Copyright © Terry Tasche, R.N., B.S.N.

- All Rights Reserved

Hello to All Who Want to Lose Weight and Be Healthy,

Welcome to the My Diet My Life Blog, and thanks for stopping by.

Many people have been asking about it, and here's the scoop: Let's face it, thinking is the

hardest piece of the puzzle to change. Never fear, help is here!

Read, Learn, Change, and Act your way into healthier eating.



MYDIETMYLIFE started simply by my telling three friends what I was eating. As I wrote what I was eating, I began thinking about what, how and why I was eating and started writing about my thinking, too. That's when I really started learning and started seeing how much junk food I was gobbling.

Here's My Blog of the journeled recording and reporting of the emails to three friends. It's a copy of my first 145 days of what I wrote to them every day. My husband, Dr. Conrad Tasche, was also reading my reports, and over a few weeks lost 12 pounds. He was learning about healthier eating along with me. Calorie counting and extreme diet plans can be difficult to follow and are no way to live forever. So, why put ourselves through the misery? A lifestyle change is what will win in the end. Understanding how my body works and what my body needs is clearer to me today.

As I wrote and told three friends what I was eating, my thinking changed, amazingly followed by changed actions and better, healthier eating. I lost 20 pounds, and my cholesterol went down 40 points!!! My blood pressure went down, too: systolic (top number) went down 10 points, and the diastolic (bottom number) went down 15 points. My clothing dropped two sizes, too. Giving up my junk food "friends" gave me nothing but positve results. The key is community and connection with real people. I actually asked people to help me. That's amazing for this self-reliant, never-ask-anyone-for-help woman. I needed to learn that I was not alone and that there is no need to do it alone.

I had to be honest about my obsession with junk-food.

Follow along with me in my journey as my thinking goes from clueless to understanding a little more each day about my eating, my thinking and my health. :) Remember, change takes time. My story is a good example of how changed attitutdes eventually changed me, my weight and my health.

“…Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” vvvvWilliam James

It's simple, and true!

So, if you're ready, let's get started! :)

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Here's a letter written by my husband, which he wanted me to post here, praising the IL Dept of Transportation for their rescue of him and his vehicle on the Edens Expressway:

Illinois Department of Transportation
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62764-0001                                                                                                                                                                                                             November 25, 2013
Hail to IDOT Emergency Services,
Veterans’ Day 2013 I was on my way to work in Rosemont. Approaching the Kennedy Expressway from Fullerton Avenue, I was surprised to see that it was bumper-to-bumper traffic, since it was a holiday. It was probably due to crashes at the Nagle curve and another at Cumberland, as mentioned on the WBBM traffic report.

After one-half hour of driving, I added to the traffic problem. My car stalled in the middle lane, leaving me scared and wondering what to do. But within minutes IDOT was on the scene, with lights flashing. The driver, over a loud speaker, instructed me to place my car in neutral, and that he’d push me to the right-hand shoulder. Once there, he determined he’d need a tow truck, which he called. Within minutes an IDOT tow truck pulled up in front of me and then towed me to the Central Avenue exit and the nearest gas station parking lot. He then loaned me his cell phone so I could call my wife to pick me up.

All this was efficiently handled. Within about 5-10 minutes IDOT had come to my rescue. I can’t imagine how it would have turned out so well without IDOT!

They were friendly, helpful, and saved me along with the traffic I was blocking.

In these times of budget cuts and sequestrations I sincerely hope that this essential service will be spared. It is totally worth our taxpayer dollars.

Thank you IDOT workers! I really appreciate your dedicated service.

Conrad Tasche

cc: Gov. Quinn
      National Safety Council




Chicago fireworks to celebrate our new beginnings . . .

fireworks chicago-willus tower with fireworks-sears tower

"Fireworks over Chicago" ©TerryTasche, Professional Fine Art Photographer

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Let's start with some food for thought:

"The great art of learning is to understand but little at a time." -John Locke

Please feel free to make lots of comments, and let me know which day of the journey you're commenting on.  And tell me about your journey, too!

E-mail comments to mydiet@mydietmylife.com I really appreciate your feedback, because it helps me to hear your thoughts, too. If your comments are posted, we'll only use your first name and your city. Or you can choose to go by your initials only and your city. :) It's nice to hear what you have to say.


Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Here's a suggestion on how to get started: Copy and paste the 145 day blog into your own Microsoft Word document, and write your own entry each and every day right after mine. Then each day send your day's entry back to me in the body of your email along with the number day in my blog that you are writing about and commenting on.

Regarding success in losing weight, new research has shown that writing down what I'm eating gives the recorders two to three times the success rate of none recorders. And, I found that adding the reporting to the recording gave me the focus I needed in order to not give up. My momentum improved the more I wrote. And knowing I had support was a great boost to my drive to stick to it.

Let's start with some food for thought:

"The great art of learning is to understand but little at a time." -John Locke   

Someone once said, "When I became willing to acknowledge my feelings, my healing began."

I didn't know or understand my feelings about eating (and junk food) until I began to write.
I have personally found that there are no better words spoken than the words spoken from the heart.  So, I write this from my heart to yours.

Here's a savory sample of how it works: EAT, but eat wisely.

Repeating or reciting healthy truths can be a meditation, which can produce a mental makeover, which ultimately leads to a bodily makeover of a healthy kind.

Increase awareness by telling someone what you’re learning and what you're becoming aware of regarding your own eating.
Three Action Steps: Awareness and Application through Action. Now go out there and take care of yourself, and EAT right and Exercise--and Read and Write!

To Get Started on MyDiet-
GMA-Good Morning Addiction!  Wake up and smell the coffee. I had become powerless over junk food! I had to accept reality and snap out of denial!  I learned that tooday and every day can be the beginning of healthy living and eating right. If I keep doing what I'm doing, I'll keep getting what I got!  EXTRA POUNDS that I don't want. Come on!  Do I want to live the best years of my life being heavier than I want to be?  I don't think so!  My thinking has been soooo mixed up where food is concerned, and my thinking is where it starts. It's time to start thinking right.  How about starting today?  Today is just as good as any to begin.  Every day is a new day, and today I'm working on a new me, one bite at a time, and one step at a time.

     Although I started mydietmylife on Aug. 29th a couple years ago, I refer to each day of the diet as Day1, Day2, etc., rather than by date, as it can apply to any date.  So if you like, just follow along with me each and every day. Please e-mail me any ideas or thoughts that you have, too, regarding food, dieting, exercise, thought patterns, etc.  It's more fun when you share, too.

Every day of MyDiet is just my honest journey day by day of my struggle to lose weight, including my successes and failures.  I hope you find it helpful.  I sent one email each day.  Please let me know what you think as we go along.  A friend of mine is losing too while reading my daily emails, so that's why I am sharing my writing with you, too.
     Something that I have learned throughout this process is to weigh myself once a week (WOW, Weigh Once a Week or Weigh-On-Wednesday, or whatever works for you).  I used to weigh every day and it never helped me lose.  But just weighing once a week seems to be what works best.
     Looking back I wish I had also taken a measurement of my waist and rated my BMI by the calculator on the following website, so I'd have a better look at where I'd been: (Taking a before-picture is a good ide, too!)

Here is some info on the BMI: There are risks to carrying around more pounds than we need.
On a chart called "Rate Your Weight" from The Nutrition Action Health Letter, it says,  "Your Body Mass Index (BMI) gauges your weight in relation to your height.   Although a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal, the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, breast and uterine cancers starts to climb above a BMI of 23."
So, there you have it!

And, also there's an additional note that says, "BMI shouldn't be used to evaluate the weight of children, the frail elderly, serious bodybuilders, or pregnant or breastfeeding women.  If your extra weight comes from muscle, not fat, you may have a high BMI even though you're healthy.  Frail or older people may be unhealthy even though they have a low or normal BMI."

     I am happy to share my e-mails with you and my thinking about food, etc., so I hope you enjoy it and are able to read one e-mail each day.  It is the key that has helped me to lose--sharing my thinking honestly. 

Here's my new word: blourney, which I define as a way to use my blog to begin recording and blogging your own journey. You can do this by simply inserting your journey into my blog. Following are my first 145 days of the mydietmylife.com Blog. "Select" all 145 days, and "copy" them. Then paste the selection into your own MicroSoft Word document and save the new document in your computer. Each day read the entry and then record your own entry right after mine, follow it with your name and date. This can help jumpstart your writing and record keeping. Send me your comments if you like via this Comments link. No diet police will arrest anyone for their writing, their temptations, indulgences or bad thoughts. I found that writing NOT only what I was eating, but also my thoughts ABOUT what I was eating sometimes became quite interesting, informative and revealing. Awareness and accountability grew out of recording and reporting as I kept learning every day.

Day 1-Aug. 29-made a decision to start "telling someone what I'm eating", Monday.

Day 2 -Aug. 30-9:51AM-started writing and reporting to three friends every day

I wonder if you'd be willing to help me out.  I am having a terrible time with my diet.  I have gained weight and am upset about it and I obsess about it every day and get on the scale every day, only to see the weight going up, instead of down.
I want to commit to you that I am not going to eat junk and sweets, until I lose 7 pounds.  I think I can do it if I can check in with someone every day. 
Here's what happened: on Sunday I got a flat tire. While I was at the Mobil service station, I bought a pack of 6 Oreo cookies and a Mounds candy bar and I thought I'd eat them over the next couple days.  Well, on my 3-block walk home, I ate them all.  I said to myself, " That is it!  That is enough!  I am going to do something about this."  So, yesterday I started a better diet.  As I heard the author of The Maker's Diet say on the radio, "my diet was die w/o the t".   It is so unhealthy.  Yesterday, since my car was at the garage waiting for a new tire, I had to walk home from my portrait studio (a good thing). 

I ate baby spinach, pecan halves, and sliced red pepper for lunch.  YEA!! 
What do you think of this idea?  I remember how much fun we had at The Weigh Down Workshop.  I am sick and tired of my body being out of shape and want it to look good again.  But, I have a horrible time doing this thing alone.
Please let me know what you think.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

MyDiet is going well.  Day 1

I asked Conrad, who does the shopping, not to buy Mini Dove Bars anymore, because every day I eat three of them (at 60 calories each, that saves me 180 calories each day).  Wow! I had no idea how they add up.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

Day 2_ I ate 1/2 turkey sandwich, spinach salad w/fresh red pepper for lunch and then I had 2 cinnamon graham crackers with milk for a treat plus a yogurt later in the afternoon.  Conrad fixed a steak on the grill for dinner, and I made rice pilaf and a salad.

Day3_ I bought cooked shrimp in the shell and a Greek and a Caprese salad at the deli.  So far so good.  I will not weigh myself until next Monday and then we'll see if I'm going up or going down.  I'll keep you posted.  Oh, I had a raisin bran muffin from batter, which I had made with Raisin Bran cereal.  They're delicious!  Our daughter Julie loves them, too.

Thanks for answering my email request about writing MyDiet to you everyday. I thought I would need to start immediately.  No more fooling around.  So glad you're going to help me with my commitment to a healthier diet. 

I realized something on Sunday while I was eating the Oreo cookies AND the Mounds candy bar.  My mouth, tongue, taste buds, were controlling my entire body.  That really made me stop in my tracks.  I was doing this to keep my mouth happy.  "Whoa!  Who's in charge here?", I thought, and stopped and laughed at myself.  I wondered if maybe I could take back the control of my body and of myself.  Well, it's worth a try. 
Thanks so much for helping me with this.  I really cannot do it alone.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Day 4_7:38pm_
Today I am on target and for breakfast I had a raisin bran muffin. Lunch: I ate a small tomato, a banana, a nectarine and a Harvest Peach yogurt. For snacks I had almonds, 10 potato chips, at 10 calories each, and later in the afternoon I had a glass of diet Sierra Mist with a slice of lemon in it, which made it look great, which I had gotten for our salmon, which Conrad is currently cooking on the grill for dinner, and I am baking a potato in the microwave and making a spinach-red pepper salad.  Sounds great, doesn't it.!  Thanks for checking in with me.  With your help, I can make it.  And I took a 40-minute walk at 4:30 pm.  And I had 3 gummie peaches for dessert today (including lunch & dinner).  I have to admit that I enjoyed all of the food much more today, probably bc I wasn't snacking and ruining my appetite throughout the day.  I was really hungry at dinner and the salmon was especially appreciated, along w/the potato and salad.
Love,  Terry
PS We belong to a health club 3 or 4 blocks away.  But I hate to go.  If Catherine calls and asks me to w/her, then I'll go.  I'd rather tap dance for exercise.  I can see that writing down what I eat and being accountable to you is helping me.  I don't want to report that I ate a carton of ice cream.

MyDiet_Day 4
Today I am on target and for brkt I had a raisin bran muffin, lunch I ate a small tomato, a banana, a nectarine and a Harvest Peach yogurt, for snacks I had almonds, 10 potato chips, at 10 calories each, and later in the afternoon I had a glass of diet Sierra Mist w/a slice of lemon in it, which made it look great, which I had gotten for our salmon, which Conrad is currently cooking on the grill for dinner, and I am baking a potato in the microwave and making a spinach-red pepper salad.  Sounds great, doesn't it.!  Thanks for checking in with me.  With your help, I can make it.  And I took a 40 minute walk at 4:30 pm.  And I had 3 gummie peaches for dessert today (including lunch & dinner).  I have to admit that I enjoyed all of the food much more today, probably bc I wasn't snacking and ruining my appetite throughout the day.  I was really hungry at dinner and the salmon was especially appreciated, along w/the potato and salad.

Day 4_10:33pm-
Thanks for calling me today.  I was encouraged to eat in a healthy way.  Why is that so hard?!  Anyway, this is working great and I thank you so much.
I am going down to the Palmer House tomorrow for a Conference, which only happens here every other yr.

Day 5-MyDiet_9:38AM
Hi again,
I realized something on Sunday while I was eating the Oreo cookies AND the Mounds candy bar.  My mouth, tongue, taste buds, (and my stomach) were controlling my entire body.  Whenever and whatever they demanded, or wanted, I responded--too often inappropriately.  That really made me stop in my tracks.  I was doing this to keep my mouth and stomach happy.  Whoa!  "Who's in charge here", I thought?  What about the rest of my body?  Who was caring for it.  Obviously, not me.  And then I stopped and laughed at myself.  I wondered if maybe I could take back control of my body, of myself.  Well, it's worth a try.
Thanks so much for helping me with this.  I really cannot do it alone.
PS Today for brkt I had a banana and made some decaf coffee to take along to a conference I am attending at the Palmer House.  I think I'll have a salad or fruit while I'm downtown.

Day 5 _  8:46pm-
Today went well.  I had a banana for breakfast.  Then for lunch I met a friend at the Conference at the Palmer House, and I had decaf coffee and a great salad w/sliced apples, lettuce, strawberries and walnuts.  When I got home I had 7 potato chips and 1 gummy peach for a snack.  For dinner I ate a Jewel cooked chicken wing, which Conrad buys and loves, and a banana sandwich, my favorite.  My dad used to make them for me when I was a kid.  They were Elvis' favorite sandwich, too.  It was delicious!
I am enjoying my meals very much, bc I am waiting to enjoy the meal and not snacking and filling myself up on junk as soon as I am a little hungry.  I am amazed.  This is working, thanks to your help.
I am holding steady and may have even lost a few ounces. 
I took a 40 min. walk from 7:30 pm to 8:10.  It's so beautiful outside. 
I could not do this alone and w/o a commitment to you.
Thanks again!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Day6 report is good--
Today I went w/our family and a friend of Catherine's to the Northwestern Univ. football game against Ohio.  We won 38-17 and it was beautiful outside for our tailgating "party" in the NU parking lot.  I had a great pheasant sandwich that Conrad had made, 5 Dorito chips, a glass of Sprite and a Twinkie, a tailgating tradition I understand.  In the game I had 7 salted in the shell peanuts and a bottle of Sierra Mist.  After the game at home I had 1 cinnamon graham cracker square and 2 gummy peaches (candy).  And that's it.  So far, so good.
Writing down what I eat and having you to be accountable to is the best idea ever.  I am therefore watching more closely what I eat bc I know I have to report in.  And I also know that the wt is not coming off if I take in more than I use.
If I had a scale w/ 2 balance dishes, and they were even, meaning my current wt, if I ate one ounce more than I needed, the scale would tip in the wrong way, down, and would not be in balance.  For now, I have to eat less than I need, in order to let the wt side of the scale come up a bit.  Eventually, I can eat just the right amount daily.  But I can see that it wouldn't take much to tip the scale out of wac and add wt, instead of removing it.
I'll be so glad when all I have to do is to maintain.
If I keep going, I can do it.

Today it will be one week since I started MyDiet last Monday.  Last night I had a steak which Conrad cooked on the grill and corn on the cob, which I shucked and cooked in the microwave.  It was all delicious!
This morning I made some Gevalia French Vanilla decaf and took it with me to the Conference at the Palmer House.  I came home at noon and Julie and I fixed brunch--omelets w/cheese, toast, and Conrad had fried sausage and bacon earlier.  So, I had 2 slices of bacon and one sausage pattie, and a glass of OJ and a little strawberry jam on the whole wheat toast.  It was great.  Then I had 2 gummy peaches.  I then played my guitar for 15 min. and now I am going for a walk for 20-30 min. 
This thing is doable-if I stay focused and realize that I am accountable to check-in w/you today.  I love it and I feel great.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Talk to you later.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

Well week #1 has come to an end and we will see the results tomorrow on the ol' scale. 
Tonight I made egg salad sandwiches per Conrad's request, because he had bought 2 cartons of eggs.  And I had 12 potato chips along with my sandwich.
Today I actually took a 1-hour walk, and bought a small popcorn when I went through Lincoln Park Zoo.

               Tiger at the Lincoln Park Zoo    

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Tiger photo hot off the press from today's walk.
Tonight my daughter Julie and I are going to see the "recommended movie"  "Red Eye," which is playing right down the block at the Three Penny Cinema.  We'll let you know what we think.
I'll be checking in tomorrow, the first day of Wk #2 of MyDiet.  My new Diet book is going to be entitled, not "Die without the t", but "DieNot", which puts "NO" between the Die and the t.
You'll be able to catch it in your neighborhood bookstores.
Take care.  Healthy eating!

9:53PM Day 7 cont.
We just came from "Redeye."  Excellent.  Julie liked it, too.  Thanks for the recommendation. 
I am reading a book about having a 48-Hour Day.  It says that there is no such thing as "trying" to do something, or saying I'll try to do it, that either we will do something or we won't do it.  That brought clarity to my thinking when I read that, because it's true.  I should quit fooling myself.  Either I plan to do something, or I don't. 
We  eat dinner together every day, except Friday, when Conrad's friends come over to play cards, and now even if they don't come, Conrad says, "we're on our own for dinner."
Take care.

I am sure you are waiting in anticipation to find out if I lost or gained this past week.  I just weighed myself and the results are in.  I lost 1 pound!  YEA!  That's soooo much better than I had been doing when I was gaining a pound every week or two.  HELP!  So I am very encouraged, bc I am now going in the right direction. 
Yesterday, on my walk, I got a glimpse, or a  "vision," of how I'd like to look..  A woman was walking toward me in a long black skirt and an over sweater (both snug, not full or loose) with a fashionable silver belt low around her waist.  She looked so svelte and wonderful.  I thought about how great it would be to be able to wear that and look that slim.  I can do it--one day at a time and with your help. 
Thanks again for the encouragement.
I'll keep working on this.  Working is a funny term for losing weight, isn't it?  But I realize how much work it takes, and determination, too, to not move my hand to my mouth and to not fill my fork and spoon with empty calories and carbs.  I shovel it in and it pushes me out, from the inside out, stretching my skin and filling it with oreos and Mounds bars.  When will I get the connection between the two?!  My hand to mouth motion is the one that I need to work on not doing. 
My diet book could be called Exercise Your Hips Not Your Hands, And Stop Grabbing the Grub.  or DieNOt and Live.
I just had a yogurt for breakfast.
Have a great Labor Day Holiday!

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

If there is one thing that I have noticed this week, it's this-that I cannot do this thing alone.  Because, by myself and alone, three words sum it up-I don't care.  I don't care enough to stay away from the sweets, the carbs, the extra calories that are filling my body. I don't care enough to change.  I can't stay away from the junk food, because I actually RUN TO it.  I need your help and encouragement.  I need the help of people who understand exactly what I am saying.
I want to watch my hand as it picks up whatever and tell it NO.  I want to be aware of that first step toward adding weight to my body.  I want to go for the healthy things and stay away from the junk and extra high-caloric food that I don't need.  It may seem satisfying at the moment, but in the end, I am not satisfied; I only want more and more. 
So, as I start this Wk2 of MyDieNOt, I hope you'll keep giving me support so that I can get to where I want to be.
To tell the truth, at first I was disappointed to find that I had only lost 1 lb, but I also realize that I've turned this thing around.  I've stopped increasing my weight every week. And, for that I am thankful.
PS Please let me know if you are sick of hearing from me.  I know that I have to report in to you, so I am watching my eating Big Time.Comments (along with the number of the "Day" you're commenting on please.) Thanks!

We had a Labor Day get together w/ the three of us, Catherine a friend of hers.  I had a bratwurst on a bun, baked beans, 1 Tbsp of potato salad, an ear of corn and lots of fresh fruit that Conrad had cut up and put into a watermelon bowl that he carved out.  He's getting pretty fancy.  And then I had the bright idea to bring out some ice cream, which I had probably 200 calories of.  Oh, well.  I'll get back on track tomorrow.
Regarding "trying" vs "planning" to do something and whether or not this is a harsh concept:
When I told Catherine the theory behind it not saying, "I'll try to do such and such", she admitted that it was a way to not do it.  But Julie said she liked saying I'll try, bc then she feels good if she does do it.  But either way, for me, I'd feel good to do it, but I might really do it if I didn't just try, but really planned to do it.  It's more of a goal for me if I plan to do it and I can't slip out of it so easily.  Anyway, I thought Don Aslett had made an interesting point regarding trying vs doing.  I hadn't really thought about it before.
Let's face it, I need all the help I can get with my thinking regarding eating.

I like the plan of having a treat now and then.  But, how can I treat myself and still be sensible and keep going in the right direction and eat in a healthy way?  That is the question. 
I think I know the answer.  Exercise more.  What an idea!  They say, "Don't exercise to lose wt.  Exercise to be able to eat more."  That makes sense, because I do really want to be able to eat more.  Since I am kind of small I really don't need as many calories as I'd like to take in each day.  I know, if I were bigger, I would have to eat more just to keep up my wt.  Only kidding.  Then I'd have to starve myself to get to a comfortable weight, be able to breathe, and not get Diabetes nor raise my choleterol.  So I'd better work on the situation the way it is.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today I am off to a good start w/Gevalia French Vanilla Decaf coffee and a small bowl of fresh fruit.  Today in the midst of Hurricane Katrina I just heard that The Waffle House of the South is responding by bringing water, food, etc. and making waffles for everyone.  The commentator called the food "comfort food".  I thought about this term because I use food to comfort myself in anxious situations and as a reward, etc.   I am sure there are many other reasons if I thought longer aobut it.  But, in the end, I may still be anxious-- still anxious in general and also adding anxiety about my weight, and now also filled with carbs perhaps even just plain sugar, definitely more calories than I needed.
Also, I thought about what I said yesterday about how it starts with my hands picking up the food.  Well, today I realized that it starts before that.  It starts with my seeing the food and then picking it up.  Yesterday, when I saw the "new" Edy's Dibs icre cream, little one-inch bites of ice cream rolled in chocolate, I kept on thinking about them and going to get them.  After all, they are only 16 calories each.  Whoa!  That thinking is a disaster waiting to happen. My mouth and taste buds were temporarily happy, but my body was becoming miserable.  I finally ate 10-12 of them.
But I am starting over today, with your help.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Good morning,
Thanks for checking in w/me.
To finish reporting the meals from yesterday-2 cinnamon graham crackers before lunch at which I had a garden salad and 1/2 turkey pannini at Bennigan's after 18 holes of golf on a 3-Par course with Catherine (2nd game this summer here in Chicago), a diet coke and broccoli instead of fries (Catherine's idea).
Tues. night dinner-
Bratwurst pattie and 10 potato chips @ 10 calories each and Baked beans and 4 Edy's Dibs (Drumstick flavor).  Watermellon later.
Catherine said, after she read the MyDiet entries from me, that if I want to lose weight., I'd better have some exercise in there, too.
I have also now decided that I'd better step back a pace before I begin reaching for the food and before I have it in my sight or my vision.  It really starts with the THINKING about it.  I think about it when I am hungry, when I am waiting for the computer while it is working on something, when I'm bored, etc.  Then I get up and go into the kitchen.  And then I am in trouble.  It's downhill from there.
I've noticed that when I am eating a sandwich, a salad, or anything, I will often stop before I am finished and think, I'll "save" this for tomorrow.  I need to think about this a little more.  Why don't I just eat it all right then?  If I eat it all and  totally fill myself,  I'd be too full to snack before dinner.  It would curb my hunger so that I would not be craving the sweets later.  So, why do I always think that I have to save some of whatever I am eating? Eat it all, and enjoy it, be filled and satisfied.

Day10_Cont 12:30pm
This is getting fun, isn't it!
Last night Julie needed the computer after she came home from VB and then I went to my guitar class and she was still on it 'til I went to bed, so I didn't get back to you, or even know you'd written.  Sorry about that.  But we're off to a good start today.
All I have to do is stay on target today.
I love your support.
Have a great day.

Today I will try to eat more fruit.  I should say, "I will eat more fruit".  Saying I will try sounds like I am planning for defeat.
For breakfast I had 1/4 C Grape Nuts cereal and a sliced nectarine w/milk and a Splenda packet.  For lunch I am planning on having baby spinach and mandarin oranges and a few pecan halves.  My mouth is watering already.
So far I am on target for today.  I'll make coffee when my intern, Brad, gets here for the two of us.
If I can lose 1 lb each week, I will be soooooo happy, bc I will be going in the right direction.  And I know I need to walk at least 20 min. each day.  But, if I walked 30 min each day, that would add up to an extra 1 hour each week.  Amazing what just 10 min a day adds up to!
ToJ-PS Hope all goes well for your mom.  Please give her my best.  It's so good you are walking every day.
PPS I am just noticing something.  I am still feeling hungry even though I ate that bowl of fruit and Grape Nuts.  This is not good.  That feeling of hunger drives me to the kitchen to snack.    I am going to ignore it for now and have coffee w/Brad in an hour, at 12:30.  Then lunch.  I can hold on 'til then.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today was good, but challenging.  Catherine and I went to Subway for lunch--turkey sandwich on honey wheat, no mayo again, no chips and no soda, just water, which was fine.
Snack in the afternoon was 8 baby carrots and 1/4 red pepper.  I am now getting the swing of this.
Since we went to Julie's VB game (they won) we ordered Potbelly sandwiches, turkey on wheat, provolone, no mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato.  The real victory was that I didn't get a strawberry banana smoothie (Their's is the best).  And I didn't get an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (Their's again is the best).  I'll get one next year.
Oh, yes, I had 15 potato chips at home w/the PB sandwich.  Conrad had the bag in his hand when Julie and I  walked in from picking up the sandwiches and I just couldn't resist.  I am a weakling when it comes to potato chips.  It's better if I don't even see them.
Catherine had some good tips, so I'll copy and paste them here:
 Hi mom,
You might be feeling hungry after your breakfast of grape nuts and fruit
because they are serious carbs so now you're craving more carbs ("carbs
crave carbs" is a saying I once heard from a doctor).  For breakfast, the
main substance should be lean protein and maybe a low carb veggie.  I would
suggest that tomorrow you have a bowl of peas and corn and a few pieces of
turkey/ham/roast beef, or chicken.  Try it and you'll notice that you'll
feel satisfied and not hungry.  I always have a bag of corn and a bag of
peas in the freezer.  1.5 minutes in the microwave and you have a good,
healthy snack.  I mean, no one ever got fat from eating peas and corn--

So, tomorrow I am going to first have a glass of water before anything to eat.  That sounds like an excellent plan.
Take care.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Wow!  Time is going fast and it's already day 12.
I am doing things differently today.  I ate 1/3 of my Potbelly's turkey/provolone sandwich for breakfast at 10:30, following Catherine's idea that I need more protein so that I am not always hungry.  We'll see if this works. Otherwise I noticed that I was in a constant state of hunger and always snacking. I also had 4 baby carrots and a cup of decaf coffee w/ 1 Splenda packet, skim milk and a tsp of French Vanilla powder creamer.  Also, before brkt, I started off w/1 C Earl Gray tea and a glass of water.
I am so glad that you are willing to listen to MyDiet Plan each day.  It makes me accountable and holds me to my plan.
This morning I saw a dirty spot on the kitchen floor and can you believe it, it reminded me of the spots the mini Dove bars make when a tiny piece breaks off from the chocolate coating and falls to the floor and it melts and gets forgotten.  Then, of course, I thought of snacking.  At least today I caught myself and was aware of my crazy thinking.  My diet previous to this was constant snacking, but never really feeling full.  I'd hurry up and grab something and, usually high in calories, and think that that would solve my hunger.  Of course, it never did.  I just wanted something else.
Today I am making a real effort to stay focused.
For lunch I had a iceberg lettuce/baby spinach salad w/baby carrots, pecan halves and red pepper and 16 calories (2 Tbsp) of low fat French drsg.  Very tasty.  Then I was still hungry so I took Catherine's advice and had some protein, 1 brkt sausage, then 1 hard boiled egg. 
At 3 Conrad asked if I'd like a Jewel chicken wing heated up, and I said that would probably be better than eating cinnamon gr crackers.  Now I am going to have a Fresca for a snack.
Talk to you later.

Here is the wrap up for the day--
afternoon snack at 5 was a Harvest Peach yogurt, 2 cinn. gr crackers w/milk.
Then I managed to get in a 1 hr 15 min walk to Diversey Harbor and then at 7:00 had a 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread w/mustard, lettuce and tomato, 12 potato chips and 1/2 glass milk.
Yea!   I made it through day 12. 
Now on to Day 13.
See you tomorrow.
PS On my walk I saw this sunset scene at Diversey Harbor.

2626 lakeview building at sunset with a man rowing a boat in the harbor

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Incidentally, Catherine lives on the 41st floor in the building on the left.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Thanks for the WW info.  Very interesting.
I went to my Bible Study brunch today and it was wonderful.  I made the orange juice smoothie.  It's a meal in itself.  The double recipe is below.  Our hostess made the menu plan.  We also had coffee cake, tomato pie, a lasagna-like apple/noodle dish, which was fabulous, coffee, and dessert.  I had a small portion of the fruit tart for dessert and just a tiny bite of the chocolate.  It's 5:00 and I am not yet hungry. 

The recipe is attached.  Halve the amounts for a regular recipe. (4 cups vs 8 cups).  The dble recipe makes 2 quarts.  I used one can of peach halves, juice and all.

Orange Breakfast Smoothie--This double recipe makes 8 cups.
1 cup orange juice                             
2 cup orange sherbet or non-fat vanilla frozen yogurt   
2 cup banana                                 
3 cups peaches                                
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                      
Puree the orange juice, sherbet (or frozen yogurt), banana, peaches and vanilla extract in a blender. Pour into 4 glasses and garnish with fruit of choice.
I don't recommend making this if you are home alone.  It's too delicious!

Tonight I am going on a boat ride, which includes a box dinner--chicken, apple, drink, etc., and, I suppose, two kinds of cookies. 

I did pretty well yesterday and only ate 1/2 of each cookie during the boat ride last night-beautiful evening and we sat right under the fireworks off Navy Pier.  Four of us walked from Navy Pier to the subway on Grand Ave on State Street, just west of Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue, at 11PM. This boat-ride event only takes place once a year.
Anyway, today for brkt I had a 6oz strawberries 'n bananas yogurt and 4 oz of OJ and decaf coffee w/Splenda & creamer.  For lunch I had 2 slices of ham lunch meat & a spinach tomato salad w/1 packet of lowfat Italian drsg., no bread, no Sprite, just water, and coleslaw.  So far so good.  Then I went to my friend's gallery exhibit opening and had 2 oz red wine, 2 cubes of cheese, 2 Townhouse crackers, 2 small pieces of pepperoni, 2 small cookies.
But then I came home and finished the 2 cookies from last night.  During the night it had crossed my mind to throw them out, but then when I saw them on the kitchen counter this morning, I just couldn't do it.  I have to get stronger in this area.  I should rather see them in the garbage than on my body, because that is where they'll end up if I don't throw them out. 
I have begun to see, thanks to your input, that I eat too many carbohydrates.  Oh, I also had 1/2 bag of the Lay's baked potato chips=80calories, at lunch. I gave the other 1/2 bag to my friend Karen at lunch (who has been receiving renal dialysis treatments for 25 years).  It was also interesting to note that her bag of Fritos had ony 130 calories, and my bag of baked chips was 160 calories.  They made up for the lower fat content w/more carbohydrates and thus more calories.  I am learning how this works.  From the bag, to my lips, to my hips.  "Through the lips, to the hips," as they say. 
Catherine's friend went to a diet expert and was told that "Carbs Crave Carbs," CCC. It is true, in the end, they are very unsatisfying and make me crave more and make me feel continuously hungry and make me grab more grub, for a "quick fix", which doesn't help my hunger at all. 
For dinner we are having meat, which Conrad made in the crockpot, and mashed potatoes by Julie.  Talk to you later.

Let's see how I did this week.  I will step on the scale, with fear and trembling.  I am worried that I did not lose.  Here's the results of the week of work on MyDiet-let's see what the scale says this morning.  Well, I see that I have actually gained back the lb that I lost.  So, now I have to start over, bc I am back to where I was 2 weeks ago when I started.  Has that ever happened to you?  I can only hope that today defeat in the diet arena will be my ticket to victory, because it will make me pay more attention to the little nibbles that I love so much.  A little nibble here, a little nibble there, here a nibble, there a nibble, everywhere a nibble nibble.  For instance, I love cashews.  I find it so easy to open the jar of cashews on our kitchen counter and have a handful.  Oh, didn't I mention that I have done that a few times, because I erroneously thought those little handfuls wouldn't matter?
Anyway, it's time to start over.  I can't believe I am right back where I started.
So, the first thing that I am going to do is to put the cashews in the cabinet where I cannot see them.  And I am going to keep my grubby little hands off of the potato chip bag and eat less carbs. 
Last Friday I asked Conrad, who does all the Tasche shopping, to buy me a bag of frozen corn and a bag of frozen peas and a bag of sugar snap peas-Catherine's idea of healthy snacks.  I will try this new pattern this week and just see where it gets me.  I wasn't too motivated before to eat a bowl of peas and corn, but now I am.  So let's go.
I started out today w/a glass of water, a banana and a 6oz blueberry yogurt.
For lunch I am going to have another big, yummy glass of water.  Wow!  This is getting serious.  I'll include a little protein, by having a chicken sandwich (and removing the top half of the bun from the sandwich Conrad made).  And I'll have a handful of the sugar snap peas.  I'll save the bowl of frozen peas and corn (microwave them for 1 1/2 minutes) for a snack this afternoon.  No cinnamon graham crackers today-I know that if I really try, I can go one day w/o them.  And no cashew nibbles.
I'm off to a great start.  I've learned a lot and I have a new focus.  Thanks for all your help!
I'm not regularly counting calories, but I just noticed that the snap peas have only 40 calories/serving (20 snap peas/serving--there's 3 servings per bag and approx 60 peas in a bag--I counted).

Thanks for the tips.  Good luck with your schedule and assignments.
Love, Mom

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today, so far, I have eaten 1/2 of the chicken breast for breakfast, which I saved from the boat ride (removing any skin except 1") and one coconut yogurt (not fat free, 170 calories). 
Actually, the yogurt I had yesterday was only 100 cal, low fat.  But then I had another after lunch and 1/4 piece of mild cheddar, 25 calories, on a soda cracker, and one soda cracker w/Smart Balance margarine, and 10 grapes.  (Can you believe that one slice of cheese is 90 calories!  That's why I cut it into quarters).  I ate another quarter at 5:00.   I have cut out the chips, the gr crackers, the mini Dove bars, the cashews.  I guess the next thing I'll have to give up is my blood.  How many calories could I lose if I gave blood?  Only kidding.
For lunch I had the other 1/2 of the ch br and 1/2 slice of cheese (45 calories) and a soda cracker.   I actually wasn't as hungry as I usually am at lunchtime.  I guess the protein thing works at cutting the craving.  I usually eat fruit and cereal and wind up feeling like I am starving to death.
I don't think that I have ever really monitored everything that I eat very closely, bc this is a real eye-opener.  It's amazing how all those little nibbles add up to weight gain.  It really doesn't seem fair.  Why should all those little bites matter?  They are not really worth counting or paying any attention to, are they?  I guess that is where my thinking is off base.  
Along w/the 1/2 ch br I also had 10 sugar snap peas and 1 serving of fruit cocktail (70 calories).
In the afternoon I had a strawberry cheesecake yogurt (170 calories).  I am going to get more of the fat free kind.
I might get the hang of this yet.  It's 5:00 now so I am going to have a Fresca and a serving of fruit cocktail.
Have a great day and I'll check in later.

I did well yesterday and for dinner we had a concoction by Conrad, who discovered a bag of party wieners in the frig and made bar-b-q'd hot dogs in the crock pot.  I made a spinach baby carrot salad w/ low fat dressing. 
I think that if I want to lose these 7 pounds that I'd better get in at least, a minimum of, 20 minutes walking every day.  Yesterday I walked up the stairs to my 4th floor studio and down again after my portrait session. 

Today I had a 100 calorie fat free strawberrry yogurt for breakfast and only that bc I knew I was going to the photography meeting and have lunch there.  The photo meeting was at Harrah's Hotel in Joliet. For the buffet  I had lemon chicken breast, broccoli, salad, 1/2 roll and margarine and a little rice, iced tea and decaf coffee.  But then there was the dessert!  Small portions of carrot cake (1"x3"x1" high)  and 2" chocolate eclaires.  I took a piece of carrot cake since it was small.  But then I noticed someone "showing off"  and eating a chocolate eclaire.  I hadn't even wanted one before that.  But now I did, so I got up off my chair and went and got one.  It wasn't as good as it looked, so I only ate two bites and a thin lady at my table took the rest.  Well, I wasn't too bad so far.  But then on my way home I passed by a root beer stand.  I turned my car around and went back and got a diet rootbeer--float--medium, probably 8 oz., for $3.50.  You know the type of place, the kind where there is a girl who comes to the car and takes your order.  And I was proud of myself before today, at least for Monday and Tuesday.  When I got home at 7 from Joliet, Conrad and Julie had ordered out from Big Bowl--lemon chicken and white rice.  So not much damage done there.  I'll seriously really get back on track tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

((My Exercises_Please don't do these without first checking with your doctor and a personal trainer to know how to do exercises properly to avoid injury.

I do some exercises every morning for healthy bones.  In the morning my exercise routine is to do 30 push-ups (w/hands on the bed and feet way back and back straight), 30 deep-knee bends, 30 "crunch" sit-ups, 15 toe touching while standing, 15 toe touching while sitting before the sit-ups, and 15 push-ups backwards on the end of the bed (with my hands behind me, as I face away from the bed-this strengthens the triceps on the back of my arms, behind my biceps).  I actually usually do 50 instead of 30, because I have been known to miss a day here and there if I am running late.  I told myself that if I miss, then the next 3 days I have to do 40, an extra ten each day, to make up for the 30 I missed on that one day.  But then I got used to doing 40 each day.  Then when I missed doing the 40, I told myself that I had to do 50 for 4 days to make up for the 40 I had missed on one day.  It started making me realize that every day doing the 40 was important, bc I really didn't want to have to do 50 for 4 days.  But now I am used to doing 50 every day, and if I am running late, I can do a quick 30 of each and feel like I carried through on bone health. 

I chose those 3 main exercises bc I had read in the AJN (American Journal of Nursing) that  the most common bones to break with osteoporsis are the writsts, the hips and the cervical spine.  When I do the sit-ups I put my fingers together behind my neck, but do not actually hold my head or support it.  This gives a wt.-bearing exercise for my cervical spine.  The push-ups strengthen my wrists, and the deep-knee bends are wt-bearing exercise for my hips.

Walking is also a weightt-bearing exercise. Please don't do these without first checking with your doctor and a personal trainer to know how to do exercises properly to avoid injury.))

Good morning! 
Today I put on a pair of caprise and they were a little snug, but a good reminder of the fact that I need to lose 7 pounds to reach my goal weight.  This morning I had a hard-boiled egg and 20 oz of water. (I was so stuffed that I could not even eat the yogurt that I had put next to my egg, so I put it back into the frig, and I'll eat it later when I feel hungry.)  Wow!  What a concept! 

I remember when I did "Weigh Down Workshop" years ago they suggested choosing a symbol of my weight loss as a reminder of where I'd been, because it's probably a good idea not to forget. I chose a SAFETY PIN, which I had taken off of the waistband of my pants, used to pin my pants closed when they had gotten too tight. I pinned it to the front of my soft-cover workbook as my reminder.  It felt sooooo good to be able to button them again.  I had made my goal weight and had lost 12 lbs. In just 3 months.  It shows just how victory is possible.  I know I can do it again.  Luckily, I only have 7 lbs to lose this time.  I could see where I was going, and when I hit that amount, I did nothing except waiver back and forth, losing 1 lb., or 2 lbs, but never being serious enough to get it all off.  Now I am serious.  Like the contractor told me yesterday, when he dug the holes to put in the posts for the new fence and gate, "We're not kidding".  He was moving on, and I'd better get my decisions made regarding the new siding, the fence design, the landscaping design, etc.  So, today I have decided that I am not kidding.  I am getting my act together.  This is all only possible with your help, of course.
Thank you so much for all your support and ideas!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I am doing so great today.  I ate the 100 calorie low-fat yogurt for a morning snack at 11 and put a bowl of sugar snap peas beside me to munch on while I worked on my computer.  At noon I had lunch.  I could hardly believe myself as I made this great salad of baby spinach, baby carrots, a few pecan halves and 1/2 of a tomato.  Is this me?! I guess that having a little determination never hurt anybody. 

I must stand corrected in my assessment of my Weigh Down Workshop wt and wt loss.  I actually lost 18 lbs in 3 months.  I had started out 7 lbs higher than I am now.  I said that I was only 1 lb higher than when I started this diet a little over 2 wks ago.  Anyway, I knew I did not want to have to lose that much again, so fortunately I didn't get quite up to that amount this time.  It was only by staying focused and with the help of the other ladies in the group that I was able to take off 18 lbs.

Right now I am trying to lose 7 lbs.  But when that is done, I will hopefully keep going to get off the remaining 4 lbs. to get me back to where I was at that very comfortable goal wt many yrs ago.  To tell you the truth, it was too much to think about when I started this-having to lose 12 lbs from beginning to final goal, so I thought that perhaps losing 7 lbs was doable. 
I think the better trick for me is just to focus on 1 lb. for this wk., and then next week I'll work on another lb.  Maybe thinking about all of it at once is too much to think about.  I can't get it all off today anyway.  All I can do is to eat right today, morning, noon and night, one meal and one snack at a time, and lose a few ounces at a time.  I'd have to have surgery in order to lose it all at once.

We have Parents' Night at school today at 5:30, so I will be eating very early.
For a snack at 3pm I had 1/2 slice of cheese, 2 crackers and a 6 oz can of tomato juice (30 calories).
For dinner at 5pm I ate 1 individual container of cottage cheese (110 calories), 2 crackers and 1/2 slice of cheese (cheese=45 calories) and water. I have to run to school now.  Conrad is sick w/a horrible cold so is not going and does not really want to eat this early, so I'm on my own.  I hope I can stay away from the great treats that they usually have on Parents' Night.
I'll keep you posted.

I have been too busy to report today 'til now. 
Last night I had 1/2 slice cheese and 2 crackers for dinner, bc I was going to the Parents' Night.  There I had some fruit, water, and 3 small samples from the dessert tray, each 2"x2" triangles.  Not bad.

Today I have been on my CLA meeting at 7:30AM, (I'm the Chair this month), then to the hair salon, then to my studio.  So in between I had 1/2 slice cheese and 2 Ritz crackers.  Tonight I am going out to dinner before the annual competition of our camera club-Fort Dearborn-Chicago. 

I did pretty well yesterday and today.  Actually, I have done great all week, my 3rd week on this diet. 

I once heard that in order to lose 1 lb you have to subtract 3500 calories somehow-either expend 3500 in exercise more than you are taking in, or reduce the food calories 3500 less you need.  I think I like the idea best to do 1/2 of each-a little more exercise and a little less caloric intake.

How does that sound?  I will try next week to actually count the calories, bc it makes sense to know and keep track of what is going into this body.

Last night I ate 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread at the deli in the old Fort Dearborn train station (where our camera club is located), 1/2 bag of SunChips for 110 calories and a Sprite-10 oz.  On Friday night they give you a free scoop of ice cream w/the combo order.  So, as I ate my sandwich I thought about how I would tell you that I only ate 1/2  of the scoop and how I threw out the remainder.  Of course, once I tasted it, I kept right on eating it until I was scraping the bottom of the cup for every last melted drop.  When will I learn not to take the first bite?!  But, on the positive note, I did throw out the rest of my 24 oz Sprite, which I filled to the brim at the fountain, and saved 1/2 of the sandwich, which I found in my purse this morning and had to throw out. 

Now for breakfast-first a cup of tea, 12 oz of water w/my vitamins, a fresh tomato from a friend's garden and 1/2 slice cheddar cheese (45 calories) w/ 2 soda crackers. That sounds so filling!  How could I possibly want any thing else to eat?

I'll take a decaf coffee w/me to Julie's VB tournament.  That will hold me until lunch.

Counting calories would be helpful if I did it routinely.  How many calories in a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream?  How many in 2 soda crackers? Good luck to you today, too.
Love, Terry
Here's photo of "Jumping Julie" from one of last week's games.  She's a "hitter" for the volleyball team.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Lunch was uneventful.  After the VB game I stopped home and had a baby spinach/baby carrot salad w/ 50 calories of pecan halves (I checked the package-1/4 C serving is  200 calories-and I had only a few).
I had 2 Tbsp of the low fat Deluxe French Dressing for 50 calories.  Believe me, since I measured it out, I scraped out the measuring spoon to get every one of my delicious calories.  I didn't want to miss a drop.
This is a real change in behavior for me to be checking the calorie content of my food and snacks.  But I think that it will help for me to realize how quickly those nibbles here and there add up to lots of calories and then lots of wt gain, and even if not wt gain, then certainly for sure no wt loss.
I just now had a cherry jubilee yogurt for w/170 calories. Julie's going to a movie w/friends so Conrad and I are having a frozen pizza for dinner.

Brkt-20 oz water, 5 grapes, 1 banana, calcium pills (1800mg) + 1 magnesium pill, and vitamins, decaf coffee w/Splenda 1 packet & creamer.  That's enough to fill anybody up!
For lunch I had 3 slices of turkey (no bread, no mayo), baby spinach salad w/ low fat Ranch dressing, 2 packets 15 cal each, sweet pickles, My friend Karen L.  offered me Fritos  so I took 3 chips at the hospital cafeteria.  Earlier someone passed around chocolate candy at the meeting.  I passed it the first time, the 2nd time I took one, and let it go by 2 more times without having another.   That is really new behavior for me.  However, when I ate the piece that I took, I thought, "This is worth the calories," because it was delicious.  I want only great stuff, not so-so stuff, because every extra calorie I eat I will pay for later in having to either starve more or exercise more.
It's 5pm and I just got a snack of 10 sugar snap peas (only 10 calories) and 10 Lay's potato chips (100 calories).
For dinner we are having bratwurst on the grill.  Sounds great!
We'll see tomorrow how I did this week, the third week of MyDiet.

It is time to report in after doing MyDiet for 3 full weeks.  I felt like it may be good news even before I got on the scale, and sure enough, I lost 2 lbs.  I feel like it came right off of my stomach.  Good News! 

This has been an amazing 3 weeks.  I have to admit that I am enjoying my food more now that I am not eating so much.

For brkt I had 16 oz of water and my vitamins and calcium.  At 3PM for a very late lunch I had  yogurt (170 calories) w/ 2 sliced strawberries and 15 blueberries in a bowl, and more water.  Then I ate 10 sugar snap peas (20 cal) and 1/2 oz almonds (50 cal.)

I might look on the internet to find the caloric content of foods that I don't know. 

Last night at dinner time I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "I made it through the day without eating junk.  Once I made it to dinner time I knew I was home free.  Night time is not usually a problem for me. 

Last night after dinner I took Julie to a meeting in the suburbs so I went to Borders Bookstore while I waited for her and I ordered a steamed skim milk w/vanilla, delicious, and then gave half to Julie when I picked her up.

For dinner tonight we had bratwurst again and sliced tomatoes and a sliced nectarine. 

I am going to see "Mad Hot Ballroom" at the Three Penny Cinema down the street in a little bit and I may have a little popcorn.  What's a movie w/o popcorn!  A friend is driving in from the suburbs to join me.

So, I have a ways to go, but at least I am on the right track for today and have had a very successful 3rd week.  I am soooo excited!  With your help, I can keep going.


Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I have to admit that I felt like having ice cream last night after dinner, but I didn't, bc I am committed to checking in w/you.
Yesterday I took a one-hr walk to a beach I'd never been-Wilson Avenue-and it was a great area and a nice walk and a beautiful beach.  Conrad had gone there earlier yesterday for his walk and told me about it.

Today I am off to a good start.  I had a banana and lots of water and tea for brkt and actually went to the health club and worked out for 20 min.-8 machines, 2 times each, and 6 1/2 minutes on the elliptical machine (burning 50 calories).  I wanted to stop after 5 min. but had only burned 40 cal. So I kept going.  I guess if I did that for 1 hr I'd burn 500 cal.  That shows me how much work it is to get rid of 500 cal and I'd better think about that the next time I eat pizza, which we had last week.  One serving size was 400 cal.  It sure adds up quickly, but goes off slowly. 

For lunch I had some grapes and a yogurt w/sliced strawberries, 1/2 slice cheese and 4 crackers.
We're having beef stroganoff for dinner and salad and noodles.
I'm sure I will eat some treat tonight at Bible Study, which we have every 2 wks. starting tonight.

Last night I opened the freezer to get out something for dinner and I SAW an individually wrapped Mini Dove Bar on the shelf.  Well, you know happened-I ate it, but only one.  That is  a great improvement from 3 weeks ago when I would eat 3 every day, along w/cinnamon graham crackers, cereal, cashews, etc.  I'm glad that I only ate one, however, if I want to lose another lb, I'd better stay focused and keep my eyes off of the extra caloric stuff.
I also had the treat at the Bible Study-a delicious fruit tart w/custard filling and a crust. 
Now for today-I had a cup of tea, 20 oz of water, a slice of turkey, and I noticed that I was not starving by lunchtime.  They might be onto something w/the protein idea.  For lunch I had 1/2 C vegetable & Navy bean soup and 2 soda crackers w/margarine, a medium-sized garden fresh tomato a friend gave me, a banana (have to eat it before it is too ripe), and lots of water.
Tonight we are going to a dinner at Northwestern Hospital honoring the head of surgery, Dr. Jimmy Yao, so I am planning on enjoying that and I will even save room for dessert.  It will be a wonderful treat, to have it all. 

Last night the dinner was excellent-salad, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a beautiful fruit tart for dessert.  The speeches were great, too.

Today I was pretty busy, but had a yogurt for brkt and for lunch I had 1/2 C (the rest of the vegetable navy bean soup) & 2 crackers w/ Smart Balance margarine and 1 Ritz cracker for a treat, 1/3 of a cucumber a friend gave me from the garden, and 1 slice of Provolone cheese.   I did my regular 5-minute exercise routine in the morning, but want to go for a walk tomorrow and perhaps do a round at the health club again. 

I had a hamburger and bun w/margarine for dinner w/ lettuce and tomato.  I had 1 mini Dove Bar for dessert.  I'd better watch those Dove bars (60 cal each) and not get carried away.  If I find that I can't stop w/just one, then I won't be able to have any.  But, so far so good.  I have to remember how hard it was and how long I had to work on that elliptical machine yesterday just to burn 50 calories-6 1/2 LONG minutes.  Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about it!

I realize that if I would just exercise 500 calories off each day, or even 250 (by walking), in addition to the lower caloric intake, I'd really be making progress on my road to losing 7 lbs (now only 5 to go, if I keep off the 2 I lost). 

I was a little scared this morning when I went to the fridge to get something to eat for breakfast.  I was getting pretty hungry so was thinking to have some yogurt and a piece of turkey (protein to stop the hunger), but we are out of both.  I panicked, thinking that I might start gobbling everything because I was hungry.  But, I decided to have a 6 oz can of tomato juice (30 cal) and a bowl of cereal (Grape Nuts), which I haven't had for over 3 weeks since I started this commitment.  But, now I am committing to go take my shower and get ready for the day, take a walk and have lunch in a while and come back here and work in my office and get some things done.
It's only 3 days 'til "weigh in" time and I don't want to mess up the success I had last week, bc that felt too good when I saw that I had lost 2 lbs.  I can do this!  Just keep focused.

Well, I did pretty well today and managed to go for a 30-min. walk along the lake at Belmont Harbor, came back home and had a nice salad for lunch of baby spinach, pecan halves, sliced red pepper, a garden cucumber and tomato along w/ 50 cal of Deluxe French low fat dressing.  Then I had a piece of string cheese and 2 soda crackers. 
We went to Julie's volleyball game at school and it was delayed so I got thirsty and went to the Shell Food Mart to get something to drink.  They had no diet Sprite so I got a diet Coke and drank half of it bc of the caffeine.  Then the trouble started.  There is a Dunkin Donuts inside.  Can you believe it!  I started thinking about getting a donut.  Luckily, before I could find the counter area, I saw an ice cream case.  I wanted the Heath crunch bar on a stick but saw how many calories from fat in included, so I went for the less fat ice cream sandwich.  I thought, "I don't have to eat all 270 cal; I can eat just half of it."  Fat chance!  I ate it all.  I decided to make it my supper.  How do you like that!  Then I went back to school for the game and we got home around 7:30 pm and I had some apple slices w/ 1 TBSP peanut butter, some green grapes, 6 almonds and 10 pecan halves. 
I don't think that this was one of my best days, but at least I got in a walk to offset some of my indulgence.
I'll do better tomorrow, just watch and see.

MyDiet_Day 27-
This morning I had a hard boiled egg (for a little protein) and a 100 cal "Apple Turnover" yogurt and a decaf coffee w/ French vanilla creamer & Splenda (1 packet).
Then for lunch I ate, on the run, 10 grapes, a NutriGrain bar (140 cal) and a Fresca.
Later I had 2 chicken wings which Conrad buys at Jewel.
Tonight I will have some nibbles at the cocktail party.
I can see that this new way of eating is difficult only when I am hungry.  Otherwise, it's not too bad.  Actually, it's very, very good.  It's a good thing that I am doing for myself.  I am going to be so happy when I lose my 7 lbs. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Tomorrow is the big day of weigh-in for wk 4, and I'll keep you posted on my progress. 
Last night at the cocktail party I had about 10 appetizers and dessert, 2 chocolate chip cookies and 2 sugar cookies. 
Today my pants were a little looser and not quite so short as 4 wks ago when I started this.  It's funny how the pant legs get longer as I get thinner.
For brkt I had a 100 cal Very Cherry yogurt and decaf coffee.
For lunch in the hospital cafeteria w/friends I had 2 slices of turkey, a baby spinach salad w/mandarin oranges, and crab meat w/French dressing (50 cal), 2 crackers, 5 Frito's from my friend Karen L.
For dinner I had bar-b-q ribs and Texas toast along w/fried red tomato slices w/a breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese topping.
I am finding that this diet isn't difficult unless I let myself get too hungry.  If I drink a lot of water, eat some protein along with healthy vegetables and fruit, I'm OK.  But, when I am hungry, it is really, really, really hard to stay away from junk.  It is at that point that I have to make a decision to get some good food in me, knowing that the hunger will pass if I eat right.  I never ate right before.  I'd run around and snack and gobble; never feeling full and always craving carbs and junk.  The more junk I ate, the more junk I craved.  But, once I am satisfied, I don't even think about food.
Last night I would never have eaten the chocolate chip cookies, but I went to the party very hungry.  Someone mentioned that they could smell the brownies, bc they were so close to them (It was dark on the deck in the backyard).  And I said, "What brownies?"  At least I didn't eat a brownie, only the cookies that were on the same plate. Although it was very tempting, I was afraid of the caffeine that late at night.
I'll check in with you tomorrow.  I hope, I hope, I hope I lost a lb.
Love, Terry


I weighed myself this morning and I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that I didn't gain.  The bad news is that I only lost 1/2 lb.  So, this week I am going to commit to walking at least 30 min. each day.  After I took Julie to school this morning I parked at North Avenue beach and took a brisk walk for 30 min.  So far, so good and then I came back and had a 100 cal low fat yogurt for brkt and decaf coffee, OJ and vitamins.  I am not hungry, so I am doing fine.
This week the change will be that I walk 30 min each day, otherwise I won't be reaching my goal by next Monday, of losing another lb.
I don't know if I've mentioned my exercise routine to you yet, but I do 3 exercises, 50 times each, every morning.
I do them for healthy bones.  In the morning my exercise routine is to do 30 push-ups (w/hands on the bed and feet way back and back straight, w/one clean line from my head to my heels), 30 deep-knee bends, 30 "crunch" sit-ups, 15 toe touching while standing, 15 toe touching while sitting before the sit-ups, and 15 push-ups backwards on the end of the bed (with my hands behind me, as I face away from the bed and knees bent at 90 degree angle-this strengthens the triceps on the back of my arms, behind my biceps).  I actually usually do 50 instead of 30, bc I have been known to miss a day here and there if I am running late.  I told myself that if I miss, then the next 3 days I have to do 40, an extra ten each day, to make up for the 30 I missed on that one day.  But then I got used to doing 40 each day.  Then when I missed doing the 40, I told myself that I had to do 50 for 4 days to make up for the 40 I had missed on one day.  It started making me realize that every day doing the 40 was important, bc I really didn't want to have to do 50 for 4 days.  But now I am used to doing 50 every day, and if I am running late, I can do a quick 30 of each and feel like I carried through on bone health. 
I chose those 3 main exercises bc I had read in the AJN (American Journal of Nursing) that the most common bones to break w/osteoporsis are the wrists, the hips and the cervical spine.  When I do the sit-ups I put my fingers together behind my neck, but do not actually hold my head or support it.  This gives a wt.-bearing exercise for my cervical spine.  The push-ups strengthen my wrists, and the deep-knee bends are wt-bearing exercise for my hips.
Walking is also a wt-bearing exercise.  I do these before I get dressed.  If I don't do them right away, I find that I don't do them at all.

I can hardly believe that it's been 1 month since I started my diet plan.  I have to admit that I am feeling more positive about myself and my health.  It wasn't easy to get started, but now it seems totally doable.  I hope I stay on this healthy eating plan.  There's really no reason that I can't.  It's totally my choice whether to do it or not.
Last night for dinner we had Italian sausage on a bun and broccoli w/a cheese sauce.  I had 3 Edy's Dibs @ 15 cal each for dessert.
I am also drinking a lot of water, more than I usually drink.  I think I'll go and get a glass right now.
Today I had a 3 pieces of honeydew melon, a 100 cal yogurt for brkt and 1/2 glass of OJ before running off to my studio.
For lunch I had 1 slice of turkey and 1/2 slice of Muenster cheese along w/ 2 soda crackers and 2 Ritz crackers, grapes and a garden fresh tomato that someone gave Conrad at work. 
I can feel and see the wt coming off of my stomach, which I have been "working" on doing for the last 7 or 8 years. 
My commitment to you is what is making the difference.  Thanks!  Since I am accountable to someone, I can't sneak high caloric snacks w/o exposing the truth.
Tonight we are going to the final home Cubs game and I'll have a baseball hot dog there, no chips or fries.
Take care.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today I started off by taking Julie to school and then going to the gym (LSAC) for a 20-minute workout.  I worked on 8 machines doing 20 moves on each and then going around to all 8 again.  I was hoping to skip the elliptical machine, however, there was a woman on the eighth and last of my double round, so I thought I might as well get on the elliptical while I wait my turn.  I did 6 1/2 minutes and burned 50 calories, and then I returned to the 8th machine and finished my exercise program in 20 min. and was on my way.  I can now deduct the 50 calories that I burned on the elliptical from the 3500 calories that I need to burn in order to lose 1 lb.  Only 3450 cal. to go.  I am really planning to walk more this week so that I can keep moving toward my goal. 
     For brkt I had a slice of turkey and some grapes, my vitamins, and three 600 mg calcium pills along w/a magnesium pill.  Catherine came for lunch and we had soup and salads at a local restaurant on Lincoln Avenue.  I did it again, I saved some, actually most, of my salad for later.  Why don't I just eat it all?  Oh well, there was so much left over that we all had some for a nice dinner salad, along w/BBQ ribs, spaghetti and meatballs, all leftovers.  Conrad is great at cleaning out the frig in preparation for grocery shopping day. 
     It's hard to believe, but I wasn't really hungry all day.  That turkey early in the morning really did the trick. 

Today I had a Harvest Peach Yogurt (100 cal) for brkt along w/a few grapes and a cup of hot tea, Lemon Lift decaf, instead of decaf coffee.  I put 1 packet of Splenda and so much French vanilla creamer in the coffee that I could stand to slow down on the coffee a bit.
By cutting out many of the carbs I was eating, I have gone from being in a continual state of hunger to feeling satisfied.  Amazing how the craving has stopped.  Now I am not always looking for something to eat.  I am sleeping better and have more energy.
Today, after taking Julie and Colin (a boy I also drive every day) to school at 8AM, I stopped at the store to buy yogurt, then came home and did 15 min. of tap dance, while holding Shackleton the cat for 5 min. of it (I don't know why he likes to tap dance), and then practiced my guitar for 15 min., all by 9AM.  Before we left for school I had done my rounds of exercise and taken a shower and gotten totally ready, meaning hair and make-up and dressed.
This new diet is for sure healthier than my old diet.
     It is interesting that the 50 of each of the exercises that I do every morning actually adds up to doing 18,250 push-ups each year, 18,250 sit-ups, and 18,250 knee bends, along w/5,475 of each of the other 3 things that I do 15 of every day, the backwards push-ups, standing toe touching and sitting toe touching.  The way the exercise adds up is just the way the 3 mini Dove bars added up, totaling 1,095 in one year.  And why did I wonder, and couldn't figure out, why I couldn't lose these 7 lbs?  I just needed to look at my diet and exercise routine.  But, let's be honest, I really didn't want to look at it.

I took a 30 min walk to Latin School yesterday to see Julie's Volleyball game and we had pizza and a salad when we got home. 
I slipped up once yesterday while I was talking on the phone in the kitchen.  Conrad had left the butter toffee peanuts on the counter and when I SAW them, I opened them and ate 10 (130 cal) while visiting.  Then I put them in the cabinet where I cannot see them.  They are too tempting and the calories add up too quickly.
For brkt today I had a cup of Perfect Peach decaf tea, a Very Vanilla low fat yogurt (110 cal) and then a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal (very unusual for me to have cereal lately).
     For lunch I had a salad w/red peppers, baby spinach & baby carrots & low fat dressing, 1 piece of Muenster cheese and 2 soda crackers, and lots of water.
I walked 45 min. between games at Julie's VB tournament this afternoon.  I noticed today that, because I had so much to accomplish before the day was through, I wanted to eat junk in order to eat faster.  I didn't want to take the time to make a salad and the time it takes to eat it.  I guess it just takes time to take good care of myself.  But," I'm worth it", as I recall the L'Oreal commercial always said.  So, I have to slow down and eat right.  There is no one else who is going to prepare my food and spoon feed me lunch just to make sure that I am taking proper care of myself.  It's up to me, and only me.
     Before I went to the VB game at 3PM, I was starving and getting a little fearful that I would start digging into the snacks, like the Butter Toffee Peanuts or the Edy's Dibs ice cream, but I stopped myself.  Then I remembered what I had learned and how protein will stop the craving and so I looked in the frig for some sliced turkey and found some sliced ham and I ate a small to medium slice.  Miracle of miracles!  It worked and the hunger left me.  I was satisfied.  So satisfied in fact that when I went to dinner at 7, I wasn't even hungry.
     I went out for dinner and ordered a delicious House Salad at Giordano's w/grilled chicken breast, and I had a half slice of my friend's spinach stuffed pizza, and brought the other half slice home.  Even though I wasn't starving when I ordered, I ate the salad and enjoyed it completely.  (FYI--The meters downtown around the AON Building on Randolph and Michigan are 5 minutes for 25¢. Anyway, I was lucky to find an available meter 1/2 block from the restaurant, even if it did cost $4.50 for an hour and a half.)
Love,    Terry
PS Lemon Lift Tea is a "lemon & spice" decaf tea by Bigelow.  I like it.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I awoke at 5:15AM an had these thoughts:
My journey w/food is actually the battle to win over temptation and to choose what is good for me.  It's a change in my mental attitude toward myself and food.  Often I think that in eating certain snacks or junk food, I am "treating" myself to something special, when in fact, I am not "treating" myself well at all.  The junk food sets off a ravenous insatiable appetite of craving that cannot be satisfied.  As my daughter has shared w/me what a friend, who went to a "Fat Doctor", as she calls him, told her regarding our eating and craving, that Carbs Crave Carbs (CCC).  It's nice that I am finally getting this and finally applying it to my eating life.  All only with your help!

Copyright © Terry Tasche

     For today I had a Harvest Peach Low Fat Yoplait yogurt (100cal) for brkt. and a French Vanilla Gevalia decaf coffee w/ a packet of Splenda and French Vanilla creamer.   For lunch I had 1/2
Ham sandwich w/ lettuce and mustard, and a banana.  For dinner we had bratwurst on a bun, and I made us a great salad w/baby spinach, baby carrots, pecan halves,  sliced red pepper and croutons, a a glass of skim milk. I took a one-hour walk before dinner to North Pond (photo below). And that's it for today            

Geese at North Pond with Hancock building in the background  

©Terry Tasche

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today went well. I had a decaf coffee before noon and for lunch I had 3 slices of turkey, some sweet pickles, slices of grapefruit and oranges, a slice of tomato, and a diet "Sprite Zero". 
But then came dinner.  We had a guest, Lee (a friend of Catherine's), join us, and he brought his adorable new puppies.  (See below.  Shackleton, our cat, was a little put out about our little guests, and so was "hiding" himself under the barrier we put up to keep the puppies in the kitchen.)   Conrad grilled a delicious steak, Julie made fabulous homemade mashed potatoes, and I made a salad w/baby spinach, baby carrots, pecan halves, and lettuce, along w/low fat dressing.  It was a great dinner.  But, then we thought about dessert, because we had a guest, so I brought out the ice cream which we each had a little of the two following ice creams:  Haagen-Dazs Light Vanilla Bean "1/2 the fat, all the taste" as it says on the container (200 calories per 1/2 Cup), and Godiva Vanilla w/Chocolate Caramel Hearts (310 calories per 1/2 Cup).  Wait!  That's not all.  They also wanted Butterscotch topping at 110 cal per 2 Tbsp.  So, my 5th week had a grand finale.  We'll see how I do tomorrow on the scale.  I'm afraid to look.  But, maybe I'm ok since I did really well the rest of the week. 

     I remember that last week I had good news and bad news.  The good news was that I didn't gain, but the bad news was that I had lost only 1/2 lb.   At that point I committed to walk at least 20 min. each day.  Well, it paid off, because this week I can report totally good news and that is this: I lost 2 lbs!!!  Wow!  I am so ecstatic!  That means that since I started this new routine of diet and exercise (Who would have ever believed that it could really work!) that I have lost 4 1/2 lbs.  I started this new plan August 29th, 5 weeks ago, and the first 2 weeks I first lost a lb. and then gained it back.  In other words, I have actually lost 4 1/2 lbs in 3 weeks.  It took me the first 2 weeks to get the swing of it. 
     This morning Julie needed to be at school at 7:30, so on my way out the door I grabbed a banana and had a large glass of water.  After I dropped her off, I took a 20 min. walk along the lake front at North Avenue.  There were people out there walking their dogs and some had already taken a swim.   These photos were taken near the Chess Pavilion.

chess pavilion chicago along Lake Michigan

©Terry Tasche

chess pavilion-lake michigan-chicago

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I came back home and had a Bigelow herbal decaf Perfect Peach tea, and at 9AM I had a Yoplait "light fat free" Key Lime Pie yogurt for 100 calories.  For lunch I'll have some turkey and a salad.
     What's making this work for me is my commitment in reporting in to you and being accountable to someone besides myself.  (I am very unreliable when it comes to food.)  
     This weekend I received a news flash "hot off the press" article which Conrad handed to me.  The headline from the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter for October 2005 reads:  "Protein Makes You Feel Fuller".  Subheading: "Study suggests secret of low-carb, high-protein diet fads".  In the 1st paragraph it says, "As it turns out, the secret isn't cutting carbohydrates-it's the added protein in the foods used to replace the "carbs."  A new study suggests protein suppresses the appetite."  Catherine's response was, "That is what I've been telling all along."  Since I have tried it, and its working, it's made a believer out of me.  Thank you, Catherine! 
     Later on in the article it says, "The latest research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, implies that dieters may have been wasting their money on all those low-carb products and focusing on the wrong part of the equation."   Dr. Astrup, MD, PhD, head of the Institute of Human Nutrition at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen, writes, "It's important to figure out how to make people feel full with fewer calories, because, just telling people that they should eat less and exercise more" isn't working."  Oh, how true!  Then he goes on to say, "This simplistic strategy assumes that humans have conscious control over appetite and body-weight regulation, which is certainly not true for most people; if it were true, there would be no overweight or obese people.  I have never met an obese patient who has worked hard to become obese and to maintain an excessive body size."  He also recommends not reducing your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains."

     For dinner last night I had one small piece of pizza, not eating the thick crust edge, and one glass of skim milk.
     I just read something else in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter that is very interesting.  The back page headline reads, "Studies Suggest Folate from Food May Protect Against Some Strokes and Alzheimer's Disease."  The article says, "Two new studies suggest that folate, a B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables, dried beans and some other vegetables and fruits, may help protect against hemorrhagic stroke and Alzheimers disease."  And, "As reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, the study found a strong connection between high blood levels of folate and reduced likelihood of hemorrhagic stroke."  It goes on to say,  "Folate has previously been shown to lower blood levels of homocysteine ... and that people with low homocysteine levels were also only half as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease." 
     This weekend I had read the same information in a magazine for physicians which my husband receives, Healthy Aging: Age Management Medicine for Physicians.    The article says, "Researchers ponder whether homocysteine can provide clues to Alzheimer's and other dementias."
And that the researchers "are closing in on an amino acid, called homocysteine.  This protein markedly increases in the bloodstream in patients with Alzheimer's.  ...If researchers prove a clear relationship, the answer to defeating dementia may be in a simple combination of B vitamins that break down homocysteine levels... Over time, high levels of homocysteine can interfere with the remethylation process in the cells and spur inflammation, cytotoxicity and neurodegeneration in the brain cells."
     I find it fascinating how much our diet is involved with various diseases and our health.  It's time I woke up and started taking better care of myself in the dietary department.  If I don't, I can plan on having diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, etc. 
     I know my battle with my temptations with food is not over; I have only won today, but then that's all I am expected to do.  It's a day by day, minute by minute, blow by blow, knock down, drag out fight with the lure of food. 
     Last night, even though I wasn't hungry, I had a taste for something sweet.  I opened the freezer and had 2 Tbsp of the Haagen-Dazs Light Vanilla Bean "1/2 the fat, all the taste" ice cream.  I decided that if I was able to have only 2 Tbsp, then I would be able to have some another day also and that I could be trusted to stop.  If not, and I had to eat half the carton, then next time I wouldn't be able to even open the freezer to look at it, bc I had proven to myself that I am unable to resist the temptation.  I passed my test and only had 2 bites.   But, I have to admit, that was a little bit risky on my part.
     Today I had 4 oz yogurt w/pineapple & 8 oz OJ for brkt.  Then Julie and I went golfing on an 18-hole, 3-par course.  It was 85 degrees today and humid and we roasted.  So at the end we each got a 12 oz, 1/2 diet Coke and 1/2 root beer soda, and had a few Fritos from a small bag to replenish our salt we depleted while in the sun.  It was great to get out and enjoy one of the last warm days of fall. 
     Then we went to the California Pizza Kitchen for dinner.  I had a fabulous Waldorf chicken salad w/low-fat balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, of which I ate only half.  I'll have the rest tomorrow for lunch.
     Tonight at a meeting I had a few grapes and 3 small cookies that someone brought for the treat, and a snack when I came home of 2 oz raisins and 4 oz skim milk before bed.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Today I'm having yogurt for brkt-120 cal of Danon "Fruit on the Bottom w/Pineapple" Yogurt & another yogurt,Yoplait "Light and Fat Free Apricot Mango", for 100 cal.  I love the descriptive names.  A friend suggested adding cheerios to the yogurt for an addition of a little crunch and whole grain and I think I'll try it sometime.  I'll drink a Bigelow Perfect Peach No Caffeine Tea also.
     For lunch I had 1/2 turkey sandwich and nice crunchy lettuce on whole wheat bread,  mustard & w/o mayonnaise,  and the chicken Waldorf salad w/candied walnuts and I added some sugar snap peas, raisins and baby carrots w/low-fat balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, along with 3 small sweet pickles. 
     For an afternoon snack I had a banana, 1/2 slice cheese w/2 crackers.  Then later on I had a Yoplait Light Fat Free Key Lime Pie yogurt (100 cal) and a Fresca to drink.  Now I am fine and no longer hungry.
     I stopped my weight gain just in the nick of time.  I was having to wear bigger shirts and stretchy pants.  They were necessary to hide the 1000 mini Dove bars that I ate last year.  Of course, I did not eat them all in one day, but 3 each day added up to over 1000 for the year.  And 1000 mini Dove bars adds up to an extra 60,000 calories, which I don't need.  And, if it takes3500 calories above my needed daily caloric intake to gain a pound or 3500 less to lose a pound, then 60,000 unnecessary calories adds up to an additional 17 lbs of wt just from mini Dove bars in one year.   In other words, my battle with weight is gained or lost with each 60-calorie item I take in, or for that matter, don't indulge in. 
I thought of another comparison to help me see how things add up:  if I bought just one nice new wash cloth every day for one year and added it to my towel collection, after one year, or 365 washcloths, I wouldn't have room for them in my linen closet.  It would be stuffed to overflowing just like my pants were getting to be.  Those Dove bars have to go somewhere.
     We attended Julie's Volleyball game in the afternoon at her high school, and I walked home for 30 minutes of exercise.

MyDiet Day39_
     Wow!  Do these days ever go by quickly.  And my hunger comes and goes just as quickly.  If I can remember that and not panic and run to the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator looking for food every time I feel hungry, but go to the kitchen sink instead and pour a nice big glass full of ice and tap water, I will be several calories ahead of the weight game.
     This morning I had a banana and a yogurt for brkt and 20 oz of water followed by a cup of hot tea, Bigelow's decaf Lemon Lift.
     I'm going to lunch with Catherine at 1PM.  I can hold out 'til then.  Actually, I am not hungry right now, even though it's nearly noon.
     At lunch at Subway I had a turkey sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard (no mayo) and a little oil and vinegar, along with a Sprite and BBQ baked chips (140 cal).
     Dinner was simple, because Julie's practice went a little longer, so we got Subway sandwiches, and I also ate 4 potato chips.

     I had 20 oz of water today when I got up.  Since I was running late, I hurried out of the house to a hair apptointment, and I grabbed a banana and hot tea, Twinnings Earl Grey decaf.
     When I came home, I made myself a nice salad consisting of baby spinach, red pepper, sugar snap peas, tomato, pecan halves, and low fat French dressing.  Then I had a Yoplait Light Fat Free Banana Cream Pie yogurt, 110 calories, for "dessert". 
I have to say that one big change I see in myself regarding my eating habits is that I am now taking the time to actually prepare a meal for myself and then sitting down at the table to eat it.  Whereas, before I would grab whatever was handy and easy even though it wasn't very healthy.  In other words, I am taking better care of myself and the pay off is pretty amazing. 
I went through my exercises very quickly this morning and cut them short, because I was running late.  But my beautician gave me some helpful information regarding stretching.  She said that toe touching with bouncing is taboo, but to, instead, stretch and hold.  So, from now on, instead of "bouncing" to touch my toes 15 times, I will stretch to my toes as far as I can while I am standing and then while I am sitting, and I'll slowly increase the time I can hold the stretch until I am up to 30 seconds.  That tip is from her personal trainer.  The subject came up because I told her that I am going to my daughter's volleyball game at school this afternoon for their Homecoming and mentioned to her that Julie's calves are hurting her and that she needs to pack them in ice every day after practice.  She said that stretching before and after exercise is the key and is the preventative cure that works.  She said her 6'2" boyfriend has played competitive volleyball for 12 years and that the same is true for him.
     I had a problem this evening after we came back from the VB game at 8PM.  I was a bit hungry, but not too bad.  I had a salad with chicken breast, because it was so late.  Then I SAW the Hostess Ho Ho's on the kitchen counter, which my husband bought today for his tailgating party at the Northwestern/Wisconsin football game tomorrow.  I could not get them off my mind.  I drove Julie to a friend's and was thinking about how I would eat one out of the box of ten when I returned home.  This was a real consideration for me, even though I might blow my entire diet for the week.  I was planning on eating one anyway.  I thought about calling you, and then finally I took charge of the out-of-control situation and took one out of the box and hid it under the counter so that it is safe until Monday.  After I weigh myself and I find that I have lost 1 lb., then I can eat it.  But, I thought that if I ate it tonight, I'd be sure and not have a good report on Monday when I weigh in.  I couldn't get that Ho Ho off my mind.  I love them.  And one time when I was downtown, I even stopped into Walgreen's and bought a package containing  three of them. When I bought them I had thought that I'd eat only one of them, but I ate them all before I even got to the subway station.  So, you can see what a serious situation I was in tonight. 

            Now, it's late and I am going to bed and I am so glad that I had to report into you about what I am eating.  It helped me not to fail this excrutiating and most difficult test tonight.

     I feel great today knowing that I did not eat the Hostess Ho Ho last night.  Victory does have its pay offs.  Talking to someone who understands has been key to me.  I just figured out that for the same number of calories that 2 Ho Ho's has (380 calories or 1 serving), I could have 10 servings of the healthy baby carrots, at 38 calories per serving of 10 carrots.  That's 100 baby carrots for 2 Ho Ho's.  Now I ask myself, which makes better sense?  To eat a Ho Ho wastes so many of the limited calories I can have if I want to lose weight, not to mention if I want to be healthy.
To start the day I had 20 oz of water along with my calcium and magnesium pills and vitamins, did my 50/50/50 exercises, along with my slow stretches rather than the bouncing toe touching, and then fixed a cup of decaf coffee and had a few grapes and a delicious Yoplait "Whips! Light & Fluffy Texture, Orange Crème Flavored" yogurt (140 cal).  Julie poured herself a glass of Dean's Milk Chug Low Fat Chocolate Milk, so I poured 4 oz and enjoyed every drop (80 calories).
     Lunch will be a nutritious baby spinach salad with all the fixings-baby carrots, pecan halves, fresh sliced red pepper, sugar snap peas and low fat dressing.  I am excited that I can have and get to have all of this wonderful food and still lose weight.
     For dinner I will be at a retreat just over the border into Wisconsin and the food is always great but very caloric.  I'll let you know tomorrow how I did.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     I am finishing up week #6 today.  I am hoping for a successful weigh-in tomorrow.  However, I must confess that I went way off my diet last night.  I thought I would be getting to Wisconsin too late for the dinnertime, so I went through McDonald's drive-through and got a cheeseburger, but I resisted the Happy Meal which they asked me if I wanted.  Yikes!!  But when I arrived at Benet Lake, Wisconsin., dinner was being served so I ate again.  I had hot and cold peas, 4 slices of peaches, a little roast beef, cole slaw, and then the real problem-a 1" slice of brownie and 1" slice of chocolate cake (with frosting), 1/2 serving of each so that I could have both.  I am a pig.  Wow!  Did I enjoy myself, or what!  And all of that splurging added to the fact that I did not walk 20 min. every day this like I did last week.  All of that to say, look out tomorrow as I may tilt the scale. 
     Today I fixed a small brunch for us of scrambled eggs and sausage patties, (I had just one), and I had a cup of Bigelow's Lemon Lift hot tea, and a bowl of blue berries with some delicious "clover" honey, instead of my usual packet of Splenda.  I had a can of Fresca in the afternoon.  And now it's time for dinner, and I am getting in a 20-minute walk today.  For dinner Conrad made a special "Sweet Pork Stew" by Freddie Prinze, Jr., which he found in the newspaper, with 3 lbs. cubed pork roast, 1 1/2 cups each carrots, celery, onions, all roughly chopped into small pieces; 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled; 3 Cups beef broth, 2 potatoes scrubbed and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch cubes, 1 Tbsp. fresh basil and 1 bay leaf, and 1 Cup red wine.  Brown the meat first and then add the chopped ingredients.  If you'd like me to finish the recipe, just let me know.  It was very good.  It's great that Conrad is so adventuresome with new recipes.  The recipe suggested serving w/crusty bread, so we had large slices of rye bread which worked well for dipping.
     I drove Julie to Kenilworth for a youth meeting and I went to Border's and ordered a steamed skim milk w/vanilla which tastes great. 
     I can hardly wait to report in tomorrow and I hope I have good news. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Good morning!    I am a happy camper today.  I lost 1 lb this week, which makes a total of 5 1/2 lbs gone off of myself.  That means that I have only 1 1/2 lb to go to reach my goal of losing 7 lbs! 
     Shackleton and I put in 10 minutes of tap dancing for a little exercise and to keep up on my tap.  Shack doesn't want to forget his steps either.
For breakfast I heated up and finished my steamed skim milk w/vanilla from left over from last night last night, along with a Yoplait Harvest Peach low fat yogurt, 100 calories, and a banana.  For lunch I am having, as I write, a salad which I prepared in a beautiful dark red round bowl that I bought last Christmas.  It's deep and holds all of my nutritious ingredients-baby spinach, baby carrots, sliced tomato and red pepper, pecan halves, sugar snap peas along w/ the Deluxe French low fat dressing, 2 Tbsp for 50 calories.  I added a dozen raisins to my salad for a little variety.  For a little protein I heated up one of the sausage patties that I cooked yesterday and it was very good.
     I am no longer feeling deprived with this healthy diet.  It's good for me and it's just what I have been wanting to do but have not been to do, probably because I was unwilling to do it.
     I went to Radio Shack today, and, in the past, I would stop next door at Scoops and get a Butter Pecan Frozen Yogurt.  But, today I did not do that.  I waited until I could get home and fix a wonderful and colorful salad in my attractive red bowl.  The red color makes it seem like a festive occasion and the green baby spinach looks so pretty in contrast to it.
     Yes, I still remember that I promised myself the Hostess Ho Ho if I lost a lb. this week, so I am going to eat it along with a half glass of milk.  Yum!  Things like this every now and then are not a problem unless I am indulging in this type of high-fat, high-caloric diet on a regular basis.  One Ho Ho every 3 or 4 weeks probably won't be bad for me.  But, if I remember correctly, one Ho Ho is 160 calories, and that is a lot of minutes on the elliptical machine to burn.  At 50 calories every 6 1/2 minutes, it would take me nearly 21 minutes to burn it off.  That is more torture than resisting the Ho Ho in the first place.
     I am so psyched about my weight loss.  I can hardly believe that I am doing it.  But I can tell you this, it feels wonderful to get this body in shape.
     I had a can of Fresca in the afternoon and tonight for dinner I am fixing Italian Beef Sandwiches w/cooked sliced green peppers on a bun and individually dipped in the au jus at each place setting.  Take care and talk to you later.
Thanks for your encouragement.  You are so funny.  Why not jump on board and join me?  It would be so much more fun for me.
I don't have any idea how many calories per day I am eating, only that I am eating less than before and much healthier than before I started this.  I am more aware, however, of the calories in each individual thing that I eat, which is a big change for me.  I watch it and look at the info on the package. 
I took a 20 min. walk tonight, because if I didn't, then I'd have to catch up and do a 40 min. walk another day.  Why not keep up with the walking situation and not get behind?!  Although, I could walk 40 -60 min one day w/o a problem, it's more possible to do a little every day.  If I can do that, I might just be able to make my goal by next Monday's weigh-in.
Love,  Terry
Here is the whole recipe for Sweet Pork Stew by Freddie Prinze Jr. as written in the Life ATHOME section of the Chicago Tribune-
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes    Cooking time: 3 Hours    Serves: 6-8
3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces, salt and pepper to taste, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 cups each carrots, celery, onions, all roughly chopped into small pieces; 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled; 3 Cups beef broth, 2 potatoes scrubbed and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch cubes, 1 Tbsp. fresh basil and 1 bay leaf, and 1 Cup red wine.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Heat a 3-4 qt sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp oil, and swirl to coat bottom of pan.  When oil shimmers, add meat, and brown it deeply on all sides (7-10 min). 
Remove the meat, add remaining oil, then onions, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves.
Sauté, stirring, until vegetables just begin to soften (about 4 minutes). 
Return meat to pan, and add broth, poratoes, basil, and bay leaf.  Bring broth to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.  Add wine.  Let simmer for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
Cook over low heat for 3 house.  Taste periodically, and add salt or pepper if needed.  After removing from heat, discard bay leaf, and serve hot with fresh, crusty bread.
Conrad served large slices of rye bread, which worked well for dipping.

Comments link Please write the number of the day you're commenting on. Thanks!

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On the same page as the Sweet Pork Stew recipe were some "New Breast-Cancer Prevention Strategies" which were very interesting.  I am taking note of this especially since my mother got breast cancer when she was just 41 years young. 
     It states in the article, "Exercising and eating right can help women lower their chance of getting breast cancer."
     Here is a synopsis of the findings:
     "The Finding:  Walking 3-5 hours a week at a moderate pace greatly decreased the recurrence of breast cancer in survivors, concludes a Harvard Medical School survey."
     "The Finding:  The osteoporosis drug Evista has shown preliminary benefit in preventing breast cancer."
     "The Finding:  Compared with women who maintained their normal diet, those who limited their fat intake to 20% of their total daily calories saw a 20% decrease in the recurrence of tumors, reports a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute study.  The Facts:  Most people get about 30% of their calories from fat, so sticking to a Spartan diet ma be hard.  Still, with more doctors seeing a link between cancer and dietary fat, yours might advise that any reduction can help."
     "The Finding:  In a comparison between Veterans Affairs patients on statins and those not on the cholesterol-cutting drugs, only half as many women in the former group developed breast cancer.  The Facts:  The FDA hasn't approved this treatment, but with a sample size of 40,000 women, the findings are promising."
     So, how about that for good reasons to cut our fat intake!  Plus, I believe that it also helps decrease the risk of colon cancer.
     Today I took a 20-minute walk after I took Julie to school and the sky was beautiful along the lake.  Just going 10 minutes one way and then back isn't too difficult if I keep up and do it every day.  It's easier than having to do 2 hours and 20 minutes in one day, and probably healthier, too.
     Then I actually went to the health club.  My husband said he'd cancel our membership if we (Julie and me) didn't use it.  I guess that's fair.  So, I did 20 times on eight machines, doing two rounds on each machine.  And I tackled the elliptical machine, but today I had to work for 7 minutes and 15 seconds to burn 50 calories, which, I may add, is only 1/3 of a Hostess Ho Ho.  I must have the machine's intensity set a little easier today.
     For breakfast I ate a Yoplait Light Fat-Free Strawberries 'n Bananas Yogurt, 100 calories, a banana, had 2 glasses of ice water at the club along with a cup of hot tea, Bigelow's Lemon Lift.
     Lunch included my usual salad and 1/2 turkey breast sandwich (2 slices of turkey breast are only 45 calories) on whole wheat bread with mayo (1 Tbsp regular mayo has 100 calories containing 100 calories from fat, compared to only 10 calories/Tbsp and 0 calories from fat in the Kraft Fat-Free Mayo), mustard and lettuce for a little crunch.
After Julie's VB game at school it was late so we ordered and picked up a pizza on the way home.  I had 4 small slices of sausage-mushroom pizza, thin crust.  O'Famé on Webster in Chicago makes the best pizza.
     I admit that I splurged a little bit on the pizza, but it was pretty good!
     Tomorrow I am going to a photography meeting so I will let you know how that goes.
     Love,  Terry

     I had a Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free Strawberry Mango yogurt (170 calories) and an Earl Grey decaf tea on my way to the photography meeting.  Once there, I had some of the breakfast goodies that they had for us at the meeting banquet hall:  a delicious, hot-from-the-oven scone, fresh fruit and decaf coffee.
     Lunch was a bit of a shock:  grilled cheese-turkey-bacon sandwiches, dill pickles and potato chips.  I wish I had ordered the fruit plate.  I ate most of the chips, the pickles and 1/2 sandwich and only the turkey from the other half.  For dessert I had a small triangle-shaped of a brownie and the same for a lemon bar.
     I stopped on the way home and had dinner with a fellow photographer at Chili's Restaurant and had a great Caribbean grilled chicken salad w/mandarin oranges, pineapple and low fat honey mustard dressing and 2 glasses of water.
     When I got home at 8PM I had 3 Edy's Dibs at 16 calories each, total 48 cal.
     To continue the ice cream theme for a minute, my husband, the grocery shopper for our family, calculated the cost in $$ of Mini Dove Bars. (He likes them, too.)  At 16 bars per box, divided into 1000 per year, that's 62.5 boxes per year (just for me), at approximately $5.29 per box, it adds up to $330 per year.  I'm actually paying the Dove Company to help get me fat.  Maybe I should invest $330 in their stock instead.  And, as a comparison, 12 cans of Fresca is only $3.98.
     I'll have to walk a little extra tomorrow if I am going to stay on track, since I didn't walk at all today.

     This morning I had a problem.  I had let the yogurt run out.  What would I eat instead for protein?  I almost went for the cereal until my husband said, "There is a sausage pattie in the refrigerator."  Then I thought, "I can have that, or I could eat a piece of turkey, and a banana."  Then I realized that I would be okay for now.  I want to stay focused and not let every little wave in the sea throw my little boat off balance.  Next time I'd better make sure that I have in the house what I need for my new improved healthy eating plan, or I'll start scavenging for carbs and junk.  It didn't take much for me to figure out a reason that I should have the high-carb cereal for breakfast.  I am glad that I said my thoughts out loud and then realized that the turkey and the sausage pattie are available to me today. 
     The protein in the sausage pattie stopped the craving, and I actually not even hungry when I went for lunch at 1:00PM.  Julie and I met Catherine at Clarke's on Lincoln Avenue and I had Chicken Noodle Soup and a House Salad w/cucumbers, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and low-fat honey mustard dressing.
     Before dinner I took a brisk 30-minute walk, hurray,  or dinner I had an Italian Beef Sandwich with au jus for dipping, and I counted out 10 potato chips for 100 calories, otherwise I just keep eating them if they are in front of me until I have eaten 2 or 300 calories that I really don't need.

     Today I had a Yoplait Vanilla low-fat yogurt (100 calories) and a banana before I headed off to the studio.  There I had Gevalia  French Vanilla decaf coffee w/creamer and Splenda.  Lunch was a little late and, even though I was starving by then, I fixed myself a 1/2 turkey sandwich w/low fat Mayo (10 cal), mustard and I even took the time to put some lettuce on it for a more interesting sandwich.  Along with it I had a slice of Muenster cheese (80 calories) and 4 oz of skim milk. 
     Conrad had bought my favorite nuts and had an open bag of them on the kitchen counter.  I love pistachios in the shell!  But, luckily, I only ate 10 and then stopped.  It's so easy to keep eating them.  Later I had a 12oz can of Fresca.  All day I was hoping to take a walk.  The farthest I got was a walk to the local post office one block away.  That will never do if I am to make my goal.
     On my way home I had stopped at Whole Foods to buy a new zero calorie sweetener called Stevia, that a friend gave me to try.  It's called SweetLeaf Stevia Plus, zero Calories, All Natural Sweet, Nutritional Supplement.  It is pretty good and I think I'd better try a change from the Splenda, because I have noticed that my voice is very raspy and coarse after I have Splenda.  So I don't know what that's about, but I'll see if I have the same problem when I add Stevia to my coffee.
     For dinner a friend and I went to a local restaurant, ZigZag,  where I had a great salad of baby spinach, pecans, bleu cheese and raspberry vinaigrette dressing, unfortunately not low fat, and 6 of my friend's crispy and delicious French Fries.

     Only one more day and I'll be at 49 days, 7 full weeks, of MyDiet.  I am a bit disappointed about my walking this week, because I did not do it regularly every day.  Now I am down to only one day left of the week and I can't walk 5-7 hours tomorrow to make it up.  I will walk 1 hour after dinner.
     It's almost 11PM and I just came back from an hour very brisk walk around the neighborhood.  I saw four Chicago policemen on their bicycles, which gave me a feeling of safety. 
The weather is beautiful.  So, I got that done.  That one hour just made up for a comparable three days of walking 20 minutes each day.  It's definitely a lot easier to just get out there and walk 20-30 minutes each day.
     For breakfast I had a Yoplait Vanilla Yogurt, a banana and a Gevalia French Vanilla decaf coffee with the new Stevia sweetener, very good, and French Vanilla Creamer.
     For lunch I had the rest of my Zig Zag baby spinach salad and added a few baby carrots and pecan halves.  And to cut the hunger which might start in I had 2 slices of turkey breast (45 calories for 2 slices) and 3 little sweet pickles (30 calories).  I had almost forgotten about how much the sweet pickles adds interest to a turkey sandwich, or for that matter, to the sliced turkey all by itself.  It is amazing to me how much I get to eat and yet ingest so few calories if I am eating healthy and nutritious things.  Well, so much for my former theory of grabbing the carbs for fast relief of hunger.  It doesn't work.  And, actually, today something interesting happened.  At 2:30PM I had a tiny cup of coffee and a tsp of sugar.  One hour later I was feeling hungry.  It is interesting because I had eaten the 2 slices of turkey a little earlier.  So I am wondering if even that small amount of sugar caused the hunger pangs to start.  What else that is interesting is that I noticed this and took note of when I had had the sugar.  I'm going to try and monitor this in the future, although, I don't usually even have raw sugar.  I usually have Splenda with me, but had run out.  OOPS!  I did it again.  I have to be sure to have what I need available to me.  I think I'll go and put some Splenda, or Stevia, in my purse right now before I forget.
     Dinner was fabulous!  Conrad grilled a Chateaubriand on the outdoor grill, medium rare, had fried some breaded thickly sliced red, juicy tomatoes earlier in the day and baked a potato.  Yes, I know I am completely spoiled.  It was great!

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     Today is a little different from the usual in regard to eating, because I had a luncheon to attend, which I left for at 11:30, so I did not eat breakfast first.  This luncheon is always great and has lots of wonderful food, so I wanted to be able to enjoy it all.  I had cole slaw, 2 jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce, a turkey sandwich, lettuce and tomato on a small Kaiser roll, and some fresh fruit: pineapple, cantaloupe and grapes.  I had 2 cups of coffee w/creamer and 1 packet of sugar in each.  But then the really big treat came.  They always order several very high-caloric items for dessert, of which I had one: a 2" brownie square w/chocolate chips on top and swirled caramel.  How is that for delicious!  I'd better get my walk in for today.  It brought to mind and I remembered what I learned in the Weigh Down Workshop  I did several years ago, at which time I had lost 18 lbs., "Don't exercise to lose weight, but exercise if you want to eat more."  Well, truly I would like to eat more, like a brownie every now and then.
     I did actually take a walk before dinner for 40 minutes.  I'll call it "Walking Off the Weight", or walking my way to thinness, or better yet, walking so that I can eat more.  Let's get honest here. 
     I noticed on my walk that one block near our house really decorates for Halloween/Fall with lots of pretty pumpkins.


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     Conrad fixed a special new recipe of chicken thighs marinated in Chinese Plum Sauce, soy sauce, and some other ingredients.  It was pretty good.  Along with it we had steamed vegetables and French fries, which, of course, I ate too many of.  I have a feeling that I gained this week bc of the extra desserts, French fries, etc. that I took in the last seven days.  That is not how to lose 7 lbs.  Going up and down in my diet plan is not the way to succeed. 

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Wow!  Seven weeks behind me already.  My report for week 7 is good.  I lost 1/2 lb.  This week I am really going to try to walk 20 min. each day; no, not just try to do it, but actually do it.  That is what made the difference the week that I lost 2 lbs.  It was fun seeing the scale go down 2 lbs that week.  So, why don't I do that again and be able to make my goal by next Monday of losing seven lbs.   Last week I was able to wear a snug-fitting knit top that I was not able to wear for quite a while, even though I like it a lot.  That felt pretty good.
     Today I had a Yoplait Strawberries 'n Bananas Low-Fat Yogurt (100 cal) and lots of water.  I went for a walk along the lake after dropping Julie at school and saw some pretty sights.  I've enclosed a couple of them, the first is from North Avenue Beach looking south with the Sears Tower in the background, and the second was taken looking east over Lake Michigan.

Geese flying with the Sears Tower-willus tower- in the background

©Terry Tasche

Geese at sunrise over Lake Michigan

©Terry Tasche

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     On my way home I bought a cup of decaf coffee at the at McDonald's drive-through.  But, when I got home, I had so much to do that I totally forgot about it, so I'll have it tomorrow.
     I should have been home working instead, but I didn't realize that I had so much left to do on this project.  I finally completed it by 4:30, and barely was able to get lunch today.  I did, however, grab a slice of Muenster cheese and 4 soda crackers and a can of Fresca, and kept working.
     For dinner we had some interesting pre-cooked sausages, pre-cooked potato wedges and steamed vegetables.  What I really needed was to take the time to fix a salad today.  Tomorrow I will do a better job at my meal planning, and I will take better care of myself along the food line.  There was just too much to get done today, which is certainly no excuse.  I will shape up tomorrow.  By the way, I did do my 50/50/50 exercises and the slower stretching and the backward push-ups off the end of the bed while facing away from the bed.

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Today I took a walk right after I dropped Julie at school, because I know that if I don't do it right away, the day gets away from me and I don't do it at all.  Just like my exercises.  If I don't do them before I get dressed in the morning, I don't do them at all.  And let's face it, it's much easier to do 50 sit-ups a day than to have to do 350 on Sunday at the end of the week.
     My guitar lesson is tonight and I have not practiced once this week.  If I would have practiced just 15 minutes each day, I would have had 1 hour and 45 minutes of practice in this week.  Now, to catch up, I need to practice 1 3/4 hour today.  Of course, I won't, so I just missed out on improving my guitar skills this entire week.  Tomorrow I am promising myself to practice 15 minutes faithfully every day.  It's something that I want to do so that I can get better at it, each and every day.
     For breakfast I had a yogurt (100 cal) and a decaf coffee.  I noticed that I didn't reach for the ever-present cashews and now pistachios, too, that are both on the kitchen counter.   It's not that I wouldn't like to, but I am controlling myself so that I can have another successful week.
     For lunch I had a turkey sandwich on a small Kaiser roll with low-fat Mayo and mustard, lettuce and tomato along with three delicious and crunchy sweet pickles.  I also had a Del Monte individual serving of fruit cocktail (70 cal) and a can of Fresca a little later in the day.
     For a snack later I had 3 cold, cooked jumbo shrimp w/cocktail sauce and ice water.  Oh, and I Sliced an apple to eat in the car along w/ 1 Tbsp peanut to add to each bite of apple, and a few raisins.  That makes a really good snack, going light on the peanut butter, of course.
We then went to Julie's VB game and got home at 8pm, ordered a pizza for pick-up at O'Famé on the way home.  Julie also ordered a Chicken Caesar Salad to go along with the pizza, of which I shared some of it with her.
     That's it for today.  Talk to you tomorrow.

     I have just thought of something that may revolutionize my thinking about eating.  If it is true that I need to take in 3500 calories less than I need for me to lose a pound, then does it also mean that taking in 3500 calories more than I need will make me gain one pound?  If this is true, what if I ate an extra (above what my body needs to sustain itself) 100 calories in a day?  Wouldn't that extra 100 calories just sit around and not be used?  And pretty soon it would turn to fat, which is a big nightmare.  And, if I ate an extra 100 calories each day for one year, that would be 36,500 calories over and above what I need and would evidently turn into fat just sitting around and waiting for me to use it some day.  If it takes 3500 calories to gain one pound, then with 36,500 extra, unused calories, I could actually gain 10 glorious extra pounds in just one year of eating an extra 100 calories each day.  As I well know, one-hundred calories can be consumed very quickly in just a couple of bites.  For instance, 1/2 of a brownie is probably 100 cal, and 1 Tbsp of Mayonnaise, or 10 potato chips, or a little ice cream, or a 1/3 of a doughnut, a small piece of cake, or a 1/4 serving of a pizza, a few cashews (1 oz = 160 calories), etc., and on and on.    This information is totally annoying and frustrating.  But I guess that is just how delicate the balance is of maintaining my ideal weight once I reach my goal.  In the same manner, I suppose that if kept adding a grain of sand to one side of a scale, that over time it would eventually tip and drop and be out of balance.  Golly, gee whiz, it was only one tiny little grain of sand, and over time it becomes a mountain! 
     I need visuals like this to get the point through my thick skull.
     On a very happy note, Catherine found out the good news today that she passed her doctorate comprehensive exam, which was a very difficult and anxiety-producing experience.  It cannot be taken again for a year if it is failed.  So, we are celebrating!  But, the bad news is that she broke her finger last night at the Chicago Social Flag Football practice.  Here is the X-Ray to prove it.  The good news is that it happened on her left hand.  Conrad took her to the Emergency Room tonight where she got this X-Ray, which I scanned into my computer, and added the arrow in PhotoShop, and now she can e-mail it to all of her friends, if she wants.

x-ray of broken finger

Now, for what I ate today.  This morning I went to an anniversary meeting where I knew people would be bringing snacks of doughnuts, cakes, etc., so I also took a treat to share.  I ate one doughnut out of my box of Entemann's Chocolate Doughnut Variety Pack before I got there.  When I arrived, I ate a 1" square brownie and a slice of pound cake.  For lunch we ate at O'Famé and  shared a salad and pizza.  For dinner I had 5 jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce topped off with one Mini Dove Bar (60 cal.  I have had only 2 of them in the past 7 weeks) and then at another meeting I had a thin slice of a chewy chocolate cake, and then when I got home I had an individual serving of Del Monte Mandarin Oranges (70).   I think I overdid it today, but it all tasted good.  However, I am now aware that, because I ate the sweets in the morning, I continued to crave sweets throughout the day, which I usually haven't been doing.  Tomorrow I will do a better job of staying focused on my goal. 
     Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I did walk 20 min. this morning!  And I practiced my guitar when I got home last night and I practiced 15 minutes today.  I am not letting the time slip away from me this week.

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     I was home by 8:00AM from taking Julie in to school early for a test prep review.  I got in a 20-min. walk along the lake, where it was again windy and chilly just like yesterday.  But today I got soaked by a huge wave just like the one in the picture, which I took this morning.  A strong north wind makes for BIG waves along Chicago's lakefront.  I think this picture would look better with a blue sky, which would make the splash stand out more prominently. But alas, it's overcast.

Waves at North Avenue

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I am trying to go lightly on the eating until tonight, because I am going to a fund-raising dinner tonight in the Northern Suburbs.  So far I have eaten a Yoplait Cherry Chiffon Low-Fat yogurt, Gevalia French Vanilla decaf coffee, an individual serving of mandarin oranges, 2 slices of Muenster cheese with 2 soda crackers, then later I had a small chicken salad sandwich on a Kaiser roll and 3 sweet pickles.  Oh, I almost forgot the 2 slices of ham and 4 sugar snap peas.  It doesn't sound like I am going very lightly, does it?  I am going to have a Fresca now along with a Yoplait Light Fat Free Banana Cream Pie yogurt (110 cal).  I really think that eating all of that junk yesterday is what is causing my craving today.  I was doing pretty well until yesterday.  Would you please remind me not to do that again?
     Carrying the idea a little farther of how I gain weight so easily, and of how little it takes. of certain foods, to add up to 100 calories.  For instance, I just checked, and it seems that there are 100 calories in 1/2 oz of pecan halves, 200 in one little oz., and only 4 oz. of chocolate milk.  Yikes!   I hated to look again, but it only takes 1 1/2 Mini Dove Bars to add up to 100 calories.  And to think that I have been eating 3 each day for nearly a year.  (That adds up to over 1000 Mini Dove Bars!  which were my FAVORITES!)
     I was thinking how easily it is to add a little every day and how difficult it is to subtract a little every day, but they add up to the same amount, only going in different directions.  Let's say that sitting next to each other are two hills, each weighing two-hundred pounds.  The wind blows a few grains of sand from one hill to the other every day.  In a short time one would become a mountain and the other would become a molehill.  The mountain would say, "Look what you have done to me."  And the molehill would say, "The wind made me do it."   I never wanted to accept responsibility for my added pounds either, which I complained about every day, either to myself or to my daughters.  But who picked up the food?  Me Me Me  My husband just went to the grocery store so we will be getting some more salad supplies in here today. 
     I have my Victory Speech ready for next week, so I hope I win.
     I am so not ready to give a victory speech on Monday.  I can't believe how I have blown my diet yesterday and today.  I have to get back on track right now. 
     Here, as I see it, looking back w/the clear vision of hindsight, are my two huge mistakes:
1) Yesterday I bought a box of Entemann's Chocolate Doughnut Variety Pack to share at the anniversary meeting and I ate a chocolate doughnut.  Of course, I had to eat one on the way.  That started my craving.  And it hasn't stopped.
2) Today I thought that I would eat lightly because I was attending this dinner tonight.  Actually, I wound up being hungry all day and ate my way through the day.  I even had a little Chocolate "Milk Chug" worth 200 calories.  It will probably take me a week to undo the damage of just 2 days. 
Tonight at the dinner I had BBQ pork sandwich on a bun, baked beans, fresh vegetables and dip, cole slaw, corn bread, lemonade, and then we had homemade desserts on each table.  Of course, I had a chocolate chip cookie, a small sugar cookie, and then later I had a small 2" chocolate cupcake w/chocolate icing.  As I was reaching for the platter, I said to the gentleman next to me, "You probably don't have a sweet tooth like I do."  His reply was very interesting, "Oh yes, I do.  But I have noticed that now I gain weight easier and my metabolism has changed and I can't eat what I used to."  Really?!  In a nice way he was saying that he has to "control" himself.  Oh my goodness!  It is so hard. But, it is also good for me to review what happened to me these last two days.  I ate carbs and then I craved carbs, and then I craved more carbs and on and on into an endless vicious cycle.  OK!  Now I have learned that again and I plan to have a better strategy starting now, I don't need to worry about it for the rest of my life, but just one day.  One day at a time I am capable of doing and living this small fraction of time.  After all, I've just been doing this for over seven weeks, and I was fine and I lost weight.  I can do it tomorrow, too.   For, as Scarlet O'Hara said in the last lines of  Gone with the Wind, "Yes, tomorrow is another day.  I'll think about it tomorrow."  And tomorrow I will conquer my craving-by eating protein instead of carbs.
Love,  Terry

Comments (along with the number of the "Day" you're commenting on, please.) Thanks!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I like the analogy of the mountain and the molehill because it reminds me of me.  I often have said, "I hardly eat anything.  I nearly have to be on a starvation diet in order to lose weight.  This is horrible how I can't eat anything.  My metabolism has come to a dead halt!  It's not fair being short. (I'm 5' 3 1/2" tall.)  Tall people get to eat more.  Life is not fair.  I just look at calories and they jump onto me now.  I am innocent.  I didn't do anything.  Seriously, I'm hardly eating anything!"
Well, it is time for a wake-up call!  I eat plenty of high-caloric foods, and then I pay and I wonder why I haven't been able to lose.  This has been a good exercise for me to really look at what I am eating and to tell you what I am eating.  I am still the one who has to make the decision every minute of every day what I will and won't eat.  I am the one who feeds myself, yes I do, ever since my mother taught me to hold a spoon, I have fed myself.  It's time to learn to eat what is healthy and leave behind the junk that is not taking me to where I want to be.  I've heard the saying, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."  And if I don't know the right foods to choose along the way, any food will do and that kind of thinking gets me nowhere except living in a state of frustration wearing clothes that are too tight and uncomfortable.  For the last year I have refused  to buy bigger pants, so I just have to make do with the tighter uncomfortable ones. 
     But this has been part of the struggle, learning to take care of myself and eat right.  I took a wrong turn, and now I am getting back on the road to weight loss and happiness.  Contentment is just around the corner.  I felt soooo good when I lost those pounds.  Why would I want to gain back what I've lost?  It is so much easier to gain weight than to lose it.  It's not worth a "chug" of chocolate milk or a Mini Dove bar or a chocolate brownie.  I act as if it is the last brownie on earth and that I have to have it, because I'll never see another one, ever.  So it went "through the lips and to the hips".
     Today I did much better.  For brkt I had a Yoplait Light Low-Fat Key Lime Pie yogurt (100 cal).   Catherine and I went to lunch at Clarke's on Lincoln Avenue.  I ordered a delicious tomato soup, which had a lot of texture and I loved it,  and a fruit salad which had strawberries and cantaloupe.  I brought home some of each.  I need to look into what is behind my saving my food and taking it home in doggie bags.  For some reason I think that I should save some for later.  What's that all about?
     For a snack in the afternoon I had a piece of Muenster cheese and 2 soda crackers and a Fresca.  At dinnertime I went to a meeting at church, and since I wasn't actually hungry because I had just had a half a bag of microwave popcorn (140 cal), so just I took a Yoplait Banana Cream Pie yogurt with me in the car to eat on the way.  At the meeting I had some delicious, plump and juicy grapes.  I was so glad that the "refreshments" did not consist of cookies, although before I got there I was already planning on eating a one or some.  When will I ever learn!
     Two temptations I had today were at stores, at their check-out counters; they both offered the same special--the NEW Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar, 3 for $1.00.  How many different types of Oreo concoctions can they make!  And I am sure that I would love them all.  But, I resisted, because I remembered that that is where this all started, when I ate all 6 of the Oreo cookies in the snack pack on my way home from the gas station, and then I also ate the entire Mounds candy bar, all between the gas station and my house, just 3 blocks apart.  So, I have proven that I am not to be trusted.  I bought my Tylenol and quickly left Osco Drug, and then quickly left Jewel grocery store as soon as I had bought the balloons for my husband's birthday, which is tomorrow, even though the sales clerk also offered me the special purchase to try the NEW Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar.  I think I'd better quit writing about it, or I will want to get back into the car and go back and buy it.  But, I will resist and go to bed instead, and wake up an ounce thinner tomorrow, instead of an ounce heavier.  This morning I actually woke up with kind of a "hang-over" from all the sugar I ate last night at the dinner.  Oh, I just remembered what else the man sitting next to me also said, "I don't tolerate it like I used to."  I said,  "You mean sugar?"  He replied, "Um Um."  Well stated!  I don't either.  He told me just what I needed to hear.  And it helped me throughout the day today.  Thank you, Sir!

Today went well.  I went to a luncheon at 11AM so didn't eat brkt and planned to eat there instead.  Since we were taking Conrad out at 5PM for his birthday, I went lightly on the lunch.  At lunch I had a little chicken breast, some of the delicious carrot salad, a few bites of rice and, of course, all of the dessert.  By all, I mean that I scraped the plate clean, because it was a wonderful pumpkin chiffon pie with a graham cracker crust, my favorite.  Whoops, I almost forgot the whipped cream topping. 
     We went to the Fireplace Inn on Wells in Old Town for Conrad's birthday celebration, and saw the first game of the World Series there-- Chicago White Sox vs Houston Astros which was being played here in Chicago. We had a great table at the restaurant for viewing the big screen.  I ordered the special, Walleye Pike, cooked carrots and rice along with a house salad and low-fat French dressing.   The fact that the White Sox won made all of Chicago very happy.
Injury Update:  Here is a photo of Catherine and her finger splint at lunch yesterday at Clarke's Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue.  The first digit is hyper extended for 6 weeks allowing the little bone to reattach and heal.  The little bone which broke off was on the top of her ring finger. If this is not splinted, it creates a "hammer" appearance with a permanent bend in the joint.

broken finger broken finger with splint

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     I am on track today, for after all, tomorrow is weigh-in day.  I want to have a good report for you.
     I got up late, because my daughter and I stayed up 'til quarter to two in the morning talking.  So, I didn't even have to worry about breakfast, only lunch.  I ate a Yoplait Very Cherry low-fat yogurt, the rest of the fruit salad from my lunch at Clarke's and the rest of the tomato soup, which was all very filling. 
     I then went to a special tap dancing workshop to prepare for a show, which I am not planning on being in, but went only to clarify and learn the steps and routine better.  I got in a good 1 1/2 hours of tapping.  That's great, because, it's raining outside so a walk wouldn't be very fun today.
     For dinner we are having steak, baked potato and steamed vegetables.  I took time on my way home from tap class to think about what 100-calorie item I am not going to eat.  There are a lot of them that I'd like to eat, but I stopped myself and remembered how quickly those 100 calorie items add up on the plus side of the scale.  So, as soon as I thought about an item of food that I'd like to eat, I right away brought myself back to reality and thought about how many calories it's going to add to my intake and how it will ruin my progress.  I am thinking that perhaps I didn't lose this week, but hopefully, I didn't gain. 
     If I only need so many calories to keep this body going, then anything over or under that amount is going to add or subtract from the current weight, whatever it is.  It is pretty simple math and probably not as complicated as I'd like to make it. 
     Well, we had to stop at the grocery store after Julie's Young Life meeting tonight, because she wanted to buy a cake mix to make for her school's bake sale on Tuesday.  She got a white confetti cake and white fluffy frosting.  On my way to the check-out counter I saw a  Halloween candy display.  I hate to admit it, but I bought a bag of miniature Pay Day candy bars.  Julie called me on it and asked me why I was getting it.  "For Halloween."  But she and I knew it was really for me.  I said to her, "This is such an improvement from years past when I would buy 6-10 different bags of Halloween candy for the trick or treaters.  Of course, I would turn out the porch light and the Living Room lights so that no one would knock on the door and take my candy.  Is that sick or what!!!!  I know I need help.  There is just no doubt about it.  I used to buy so much, because Halloween was the only time of the year that we could buy miniature sizes.  But that has not actually been true for several years, so I really have no excuse.  Julie did agree that this was an improvement.  We always had all kinds of candy all around the house, usually hidden so that I would not get into it so easily.  But, I knew where it was just in case I wanted some of it.  My question to myself is, "Why did I bring this temptation into the house?"  Is it that I think that I will never be able to get another Pay Day candy bar (my favorite) again in my life?"   What irrational thinking!
     My suggestion to myself regarding intake of junk food--if I can't see it and can't get at it, there is hope.  If I see it and I crave it and can get to it, I will eat it.  So, therefore, I must make a decision ahead of time about what I will do if and when I am tempted.  I must keep my focus and know that avoiding that 100 or 200 calorie item is going to get me where I want to go.  It's about my own thinking and my desire to be thin again.  I can do it, but only if I do not, I repeat, I do not decide to pick it up and put it in my mouth, or for that matter, buy it and bring it into the house.  I can wait to do that when I lose weight.  Then I may decide that I deserve to have a "treat", but otherwise I am sabotaging myself BIG time, in BIG ways, so that I have to buy BIG clothes, BIG pants, BIG tops,  BIG BIG BIG!  So I am going to think about my BIG-time sabotage and the BIG clothes I'll have to buy when I indulge in my BIG treats.  I hope I can remember that each day this week.  Big treats for me = BIG pants that I'll need for my BIGGER self.  How much do I really like the BIG treats I am administering to myself?  Big treats equal BIG pants and BIG tops to cover up my BIGGER body!  (I hope I am not being too hard on myself, but I need to get the BIG picture!)
     I'd better reread this last paragraph every day to help me see what I would be doing to myself.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Today is weigh-in day.  My report is good.  I made it.  I lost my 7 lbs and made my goal.  Yea! Those 7 lbs were mine, but now 7 lbs of me are gone.  That's almost as great as a Grand Slam homerun at the World Series, which really truly happened last night here in Chicago. The Astros were winning in the 6th 2-4 and then the White Sox got a Grand Slam Homerun, moving ahead 6-4.  Then they 6-6 in the 9th, but a White Sox homerun gave them the win in the 2nd game of the World Series. These last eight weeks have been interesting, to say the least.  I have learned a lot about my diet and my thinking about my diet; much of it is not good.  Changing my thinking is where the victory is and it is in making Daily Dieting Decisions for a healthy today and a slimmer tomorrow.
     I wrote a Victory Speech nearly two weeks ago in anticipation of my winning the battle over my weight.  Here it is:
Victory Speech
The reason, the only, reason, I was and am able to resist junk food today is that this time I shared my thoughts and actions with someone who could understand, another human being.  I could tell my cat, although he would listen and nod with understanding, he cannot say, "I understand.  I've been there, too."  (Although perhaps Shackleton, our official "Fat Cat," could understand.  His picture is below.  He is adorable and loves to be with people.  Actually, he greets my husband at the back door when he comes home from work.)  Rocky, our little black cat, was close by, too. My hope in my quest to have power over the temptation of food is in my sharing my thoughts with you.  You have been the key that was missing.  Sharing my thoughts with you has unlocked the mystery of why I couldn't win and have my wish of being thin.  Thank you for being willing to travel this road with me.  For as insane as it may sound at times, my battle with temptation is not unique to me.  You understand it, too.  Your understanding has given me the power to Win and Be Thin.

cat named shackleton-orange maine coon catcat named rocky-black cat

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     My treat for my new improved body is that I am going to buy and use Origins Ginger Soufflé Whipped Body Cream.  It is wonderful and makes me feel so special.  Catherine bought me a jar for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I love it!  I needed to replace it but never did.  But now I am going to buy it for myself.  I am worth it and I deserve a reward for accomplishing my goal.  This is a much better reward than eating my way through the Mini Dove Bar box.  My daughters Catherine and Julie have also helped me understand a lot of things about craving and unhealthy eating, which I have shared with you as we've gone along together day by day.  So, besides you, I want to thank Catherine and Julie and my husband, too, for supplying the fridge and kitchen cabinets with all the healthy things I've needed to reach my goal and be healthier.  Thank you all.  Gee, I feel like I'm at the Academy Awards.
     Now for breakfast I am going to have a banana, Yoplait 99% Fat Free Orange Creme yogurt (170 calories and it is really, really creamy) and a Gevalia French Vanilla decaf coffee with a package of Sweet Leaf Stevia Plus, which says on the packet "Zero Calories, All Natural Sweet", and 2 Tbsp Coffee-mate Latte Creations Vanilla coffee creamer (90 calories).
For lunch I had a big baby spinach salad with all the fixings: baby carrots, sliced tomato, red pepper, pecan halves, sugar snap peas and low fat Deluxe French Dressing.  It was so filling that I saved my 1/2 turkey, tomato, low-fat mayo & mustard sandwich on whole wheat bread for later.
     For a snack at 3PM I had a yummy Yoplait Light & Fluffy Key Lime Pie yogurt (140 calories).
     On the way to Julie's Regional Finals Varsity VB game I had a slice of Muenster cheese and 4 crackers.  After the game (which they won), I had a toasted sliced turkey breast /Muenster cheese sandwich with tomato, Smart Balance margarine and mustard, and three sweet pickles.  Very tasty and totally filling.

Copyright © Terry Tasche

     I want to review just how I was able to lose the 7 lbs.  I want to look at the weeks gone by and see what was successful and why it worked. 
     I guess there are two main things to really understand-D&E.  D&E could stand for Daily Enthusiasm for a slimmer body that will be emerging as I stay focused.  D&E could also stand for Don't Eat-Junk!  What else could D&E stand for?  Death by Eating-too much junk!  Down the Esophagus and to the hips!  Or maybe it could most likely stand for the plain and simple truth of Diet & Exercise.   When I boil it all down, it comes down to Diet & Exercise. 
     When I lost 2 lbs in one week, I had stuck to my healthy diet and walked 20 minutes each day.  When I lost only one pound in a week, although I had walked 20 minutes each day, I had not chosen to eat only good and nutritious food.  I had strayed off a bit and ate sweets and cashews and Mini Dove bars here and there.  When I actually had gained a pound (remember the pound I had gained back the 2nd week after losing it the first week of my Diet Experiment (another D&E), in that particular week I had thought that all of this seriousness about holding off on Mini Dove bars wasn't so necessary, because, after all, hadn't I lost a pound the previous week?  When I slacked off on my intentions, I gained and went right back to where I had started.  But, I did learn something:  If I wanted to really lose and keep off a pound, then I had to change my eating habits, one bite at a time.  Then, remember another week that I had lost only 1/2 pound, I had eaten right but had not walked 20 minutes each day. 
Another part of the equation for me is stopping the craving.  The craving was driving me to EAT.  So, learning that there is a way to not feel hungry all the time was very key.  Of course, I learned that protein is the magic that makes me feel satisfied.  Non-high-caloric protein would be the best if I am trying to lose weight.  Where have I been all of these years?!
     So there you have it.  I need to do both The D & The E.  It wasn't actually so much heavy-duty exercise that I needed to do, just a consistent dedication to 20 minutes of walking each day.  At least I didn't have to go to the health club and do a strenuous work-out for an hour or two every day.  Thank goodness! 
     My husband is telling me that 30 minutes is even better.  He said that to have heart health the experts recommend exercising by walking, workout, or whatever it takes, to work up a sweat.   He said that working up a sweat is your body's way of letting you know that your heart is getting a good workout and exercise.  And, of course, as I have mentioned before, I do the 50/50/50/15 bone-strengthening exercises  (sit-ups, push-ups, deep knee-bends and backwards push-ups) and the 15/15 of stretch toe touching.  These take less than 10 minutes each morning, actually more like five.
     Yesterday I saw a very funny scene, which I captured on digital "film" and want to share it with you. It was a beautiful autumn day when I caught these action shots. These guys were behind me at Chicago's Montrose Harbor. In the first image I can imagine that the goose on the right is yelling, "I told you to stay away from junk food!
What about this don't you understand!"

    "Don't Eat Junk!!! What about This Don't You Understand!" by ©Terry Tasche

And in the second one he's yelling, "HELLO! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!",

"WHEN I SAY, "JUMP", YOU SAY, "HOW HIGH?!" ©Terry Tasche

by ©TerryTasche, M.Photo.Cr., F-PPANI

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Master Photographer and Photographic Craftsman Degrees
See more images at www.terrytasche.com

As I was leaving Montrose Harbor I found this peaceful scene, which I think is totally amazing-three geese out on a walk on a beautiful autumn day.

Geese Peace

"Let there be peace on earth." © Terry Tasche

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Yes, these three images all really happened just as you see them.
I need to remember the goose's orders, "Don't eat junk!",  and take nice walks and enjoy God's beautiful creation and be healthy.
     Today for breakfast I ate a banana and a Yoplait Light Fat-Free Orange Crème yogurt (100 calories) and had hot tea,  Tazo's "Calm Herbal Infusion", a soothing blend of chamomile blossoms and other relaxing herbs, and it's caffeine free.
     Catherine and I went to Subway for lunch, and I got a turkey on wheat with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, pickles, mustard, oil and vinegar and a shake of their spices (probably salt and pepper, I'm not sure).  We shared a bag of Sun Chips and I had a cup of Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite, mixed together to cut down in the caolories and the caffeine. 
And, I am having a Fresca at 5, o'clock that is.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Now for the surprise; I'm not done dieting.  Losing 7 pounds was only the beginning.  When I started, I couldn't think about all the pounds that I really needed to lose.  I need and  want to lose another 6 pounds, a total of 12 or 13.  Although I knew that they really had to go, it was too much to think about when I started this healthy diet.  I thought that I would work on the first 7 and see how I did.  Now I am off and running to a slimmer me. 
     I did pretty well today.  I started off with a 20-minute walk.  I made decaf coffee and had a banana and a Yoplait Mountain Blueberry yogurt (170 cal).  I was at the shopping mall at lunchtime and had resisted my usual tuna salad at Marshall Field's deli.  And I could hardly believe that I was able to walk through Field's candy section and not stop and buy some chocolate.  Also, the cooking section had free pieces of pink Frango mints, but I didn't take one.  The chef was making a special dip spread on a piece of sliced toasted French bread.  I got the recipe and I've enclosed it here, because it was so delicious.  I think that the lemon made it extra zesty and fragrant, too.  The chef made copies for all of us, and I want to make it sometime when I need to take an hors d'hoeuvre to a gathering. 

Herb Cream Cheese
16 oz      cream cheese, softened
1         lemon, juice of
2        scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp     fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp     freshly ground pepper
1 tsp     kosher salt

Soften cream cheese and lemon juice in a mixer, then stir in the remaining ingredients and chill until ready to use.
Makes a great spread for sandwiches or a dip for vegetables, (or as the chef did, spread on thinly sliced, buttered, toasted French bread.

     Because I was running late and still had more errands to do, I stopped at the Nordstrom Café and ordered my favorite soup, Tomato Basil, and a wonderful fruit, lettuce-baby spinach combo salad, with turkey, and Champagne Vinaigrette dressing.  The bowl of soup was so filling that I took my salad to go and will have it tomorrow for lunch.
     I had a Fresca later in the afternoon along with a slice of Muenster cheese and 2 soda crackers, 8 or 10 pecan halves and then an hour after that I had 1 cinnamon graham cracker and a half glass of skim milk. 
     For dinner I made BBQ pork chops on the grill, baked potato (I ate 1/2 of it), and some peas along with a glass of skim milk.
     That's it for today.  I really want to keep going now that I am on a roll.  I have heard that it takes 30 days to establish a new habit.  That seems to be true for me.  Tomorrow will be 60 days that I've been at this new diet plan.  I can't believe it!  But, since it is working, I am thankful that I am doing it and seeing the results that I'd hoped for.  What keeps me going and able to walk right by the candy counter is that I want to lose this extra weight.  Finding out that it is totally doable is so encouraging.  I don't know why, but I often felt before that it was a hopeless cause or that I was a hopeless case where dieting was concerned.   But there is hope for me.  I can do this!  And I am doing it.  One day at a time and one bite at a time.  Not putting it in my mouth will keep it off of my hips.  It's amazing how it works, isn't it!

     Here it is, day 60 has quickly rolled around and I am staying steady with this new healthy habit.  Thank goodness that I am learning how to feel full with fewer calories, for this is key.  I was miserable running around being hungry all the time.  Now I know how to stop the craving by eating more protein and fiber, which both make you feel full, and once the craving is gone, I am satisfied and comfortable.  But, when I do get hungry, I also know now that I can choose something healthy to eat.  This morning I had a banana and a Bigelow Lemon Lift tea, which I took with me as I went out for my walk.  When I got back home, before I started work in my home office, I was a little hungry but wanted to wait to go with Catherine at 1:00, so I ate an apple along with 1 Tbsp peanut and 10-15 raisins.  I almost feel like this is an out-of-body experience: My looking down at myself and that I am not really doing this, I mean I can't believe that I am choosing good food for myself to eat.  What has happened to me?!  I guess that I finally just got sick and tired of being sick and tired of how I looked and felt about needing to lose but not being able to do it.  I had to see how out of control I was in regard to eating junk, i.e., the wake-up call for me was eating the Mounds candy bar and the package of Oreo cookies all within a few minutes.  I had done that even though it was not actually a pre-meditated episode.  I was not planning to kill myself by "Death by Chocolate".  But, I was doing it one day at a time and one bite at a time. 
     It was similar to how the calcium was being pulled out of my bones by the caffeine and phosphorus in dark colas, like the McDonald's medium-size diet Coke that I was drinking every day, without my even knowing it.  I thought that I was "treating myself", but actually, I had a wake-up call regarding that situation when I had my bone scan and had lost 20% of my bone mass.  It's a lot harder to bring back good bones than to keep them healthy in the first place.  And it's a lot harder to lose the excess weight than it is to keep it off in the first place.  I am hoping that I really get the picture this time.  It's time to settle down and fly right. (By the way, I did regain 10% of my bone mass by doing the right things this time, which I talked about already in MyDiet_Day29 & 31.)
     For lunch Catherine suggested that we go to Qdoba Mexican Grill, a quick cafeteria-style restaurant.  It's just around the corner from our house and her work.  I was a little fearful because I thought it might be like Taco Bell, full of calories and not too healthy.  But, to my surprise, they have some very healthy choices.  I ordered a chicken taco with a chunky tomato salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce, and one Tbsp each of sour cream and guacamole.  I also had a diet lemonade, which I mixed with a little Sprite for some fizz.  Lunch was delicious!  I'll save my Nordstrom salad for an afternoon snack or to have tomorrow for lunch.
     AOL has Six Tricks for Treating Yourself online today, October 27, 2005.  Here is some of what it said:
Candy corn and malted milkballs make their annual appearance for Halloween -- but the sweet suckables you'll eat between now and New Year's may leave you feeling sour in 2006. Want to avoid one more weight-loss resolution? Try these six tips:

1. Smart Shopping: If you have a sweet tooth, avoid buying sugar-laden snacks. Small, prepackaged bags of plain popcorn, pretzels, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps and animal crackers are typically low in fat and calories
2. Give It All Out: Why hang onto it? Looming leftovers can get you into trouble. When trick-or-treaters arrive, pile their bags full. You'll be the coolest neighbor on the block. Remember, candy out of sight is out of mouth.
3. Take It to Work: Don't keep extra candy around your home, particularly when it's in plain view. Want to see it disappear? Leave them in your kitchen for coffee-breakers. You'll be the life of the party when you bring a bowl to your next team meeting.
4. Send It to School: Be the dutiful parent. Sign up to bring treats to the next birthday party, science fair or PTA meeting.
5. Donate It to Charity: Somewhere, there's a family less fortunate than yours. Give back to your community. Package up your extras and take them to a local shelter or halfway house.
6. Throw It Out: When you've exhausted all other alternatives, head to the trash. Guilty? Don't be. You'll feel worse at the scales after eating what's left.
Want to enjoy the festivities without regret? Indulge wisely and you'll skip the holiday bulge.
     For dinner I had the left over BBQ pork, peas, and baked potato.
That's it for today.  Talk to you tomorrow.

     I thought of two other things that have really helped me:
1) only weighing myself one time each week; Monday is the day I chose.  It helped me stay focused and not get a false sense of how I was doing.  Before when I tried to lose weight, I'd get on the scale every day and evaluate the results and if I had lost a pound, I would actually sabotage myself and gain it back, and then some, the very next day.  I'd let down my guard and feel like I could eat because I had lost a pound.  It was insane, up and down, down and up, but I never stayed on a steady decline toward my goal.  But by only weighing in once each week, I have to stay focused on my goal because I never really know how I am doing, therefore, I was more careful each day to stay on track.  Weighing myself each day totally worked against me.
     2) drink lots of water.  It has been important for me to do this consistently.
     Today I found out when I went to the refrigerator that we were out of yogurt.  I can't believe that I let this happen again.  But Julie likes it, too, so it's pretty hard for us to keep it in stock.  So, I ate a banana for breakfast along with a cup of hot Bigelow Perfect Pe,ach Tea. 
     I had a salad for lunch and then ran off to my studio.
     Conrad got some delicious red grapes today and I had several as a snack in the afternoon.  I had a huge salad of turkey, fruit, lettuce, baby spinach, baby carrots, tomato, red pepper and low fat dressing for dinner.
     Today I bought a bestseller called Sugar Busters.  I can't wait to find out what it has to offer in regard to the sugar-craving problem.

     Today I had a late breakfast and a special treat, a pumpkin Einstein's Bagel, only available in the fall, so, of course, I had to have it.  Luckily, I had their low-fat cream cheese.  I was a little concerned about my ability to go and get a bagel, because a few years ago I was eating one bagel everyday, usually a cinnamon raisin with hazelnut cream cheese, and I gained five pounds so fast it made my head spin.  Thank goodness I finally put two and two together and figured out why I was gaining.  And it was so effortless, to gain I mean.
So, I double-parked my car and Julie ran in and bought one for each of us. Originally I had thought that we would share one bagel, but since I had my own, all to myself, then I thought that I could eat just half of it.  Of course, I had to eat it all.   It was too delicious.
For afternoon snack I had one Gherkin sweet pickle (30 calories), one slice of Muenster cheese w/ two soda crackers, several red grapes, and some huge blackberries with a packet of Stevia sweetner in a bowl of skim milk.  Later I had a Fresca at five.
Julie and I went to dinner at Food Life at 6:00 and then to a movie at the Esquire on Oak Street.  She's seen it before, but says that it is worth seeing it again.   I shot my wad for the week, but it was all delicious.  We shared a fabulous Harvest Salad w/walnuts, apples, lettuce, strawberries, low fat dressing, and an order of chicken fajitas (I had one of the three I was served) with all the trimmings, sour cream, salsa, fresh chopped cilantro, and to drink I had a Sprite Zero, calories, that is.  Then Julie ordered her favorite dessert, a very yummy, freshly made crepe with whipped cream and strawberries.  I had three bites.  It's a great restaurant with all sorts of wonderful choices.  Of course, after that very filling meal, I didn't get or need any popcorn at the movie theatre. 

Now I have finished 9 weeks on MyDiet.  Time sure flies when you're having fun! 
Today I went to a photography one-day school to teach and to take some classes .  We had box lunches, which were turkey wraps, chips (150 cal), 2 cookies, and I had a diet Sprite Zero.  Of course, I ate the two cookies, because I love cookies.  If I didn't have them right in my lunch box, perhaps I could have resisted them.  But, they were in there, what was I supposed to do?  Throw them out?  But, on the positive side, the lady next to me offered me her two cookies, and I said, "No, thank you."  That was a very good answer on my part.  The turkey wrap consisted of a lot of tortilla, which I ate only 1/3 trying to eat the parts that actually had turkey inside.  On my way to the school, held out in Elgin, 45 minutes from my home, I ate a banana and a low-fat Yoplait strawberry yogurt (100 calories).  I knew that I'd better eat something, because the college usually has sweet rolls for the instructors, which they did.  I only had one small cream cheese filled sweet roll and decaf coffee with Splenda and hazelnut creamer.
Since I had eaten a sweet roll and two cookies and a bag of chips in just this one day alone (this sounds like a very interesting diet that I am on), I took advantage of the 27 stairs to the second floor at the college and walked up and down the staircase six times during a break to burn off a few of the extra calories that I ingested today.   I mean I do want to continue on my diet plan and not ruin it.  So I was thinking about how easy it is to do major damage very quickly, with hardly any effort on my part.  I would like to think that I am an innocent spectator, and not really an active participant.
I'll weigh-in tomorrow.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

For dinner last night I had two slices of ham w/ chunky pineapple, 1/3 baked potato w/Smart Balance margarine, a vegetable which I can't remember, and a glass of skim milk.
My weigh-in this morning was all right but not spectacular.  The good news is that I didn't gain, but I didn't lose either.  I have to regroup my thinking and come up with a better plan than eating chips, cookies and a sweet roll all in one day. 
My idea this week is my WOW Plan, which stands for, Walk Off the Weight.  I like this plan much better than the ROW Plan, Run Off the Weight, because I hate running.    Running and jogging are hard on the knees, makes me sweat, totally exhausted, and I feel like the heavy gravity pull of the activity is probably causing dragging and sagging of the skin on my face and body, which I don't think is a good idea to speed up the droopiness of my skin.  However, when I was a kid, I loved to run.  As a matter of fact, I loved running so much that at one point, I couldn't imagine walking anywhere.  I just wanted to run.  Sometimes I'd do somersaults across the lawn while I was running.  One day my mother, after wondering how in the world I could get snow on the top of the hood of my parka, watched me as I came home from school.  She later told me that she saw me coming across the field behind our house doing somersaults in the fresh snow.  But, today I'd rather walk.  And, since I like to eat, I'd better walk a lot more.
It must be true, I cannot be trusted with temptation.  For instance, yesterday at lunch, why couldn't I have offered someone at my table my two cookies like the nice lady next to me?  I kind of see why some people that I know personally weigh and measure their food and carry it with them. They do not have to face the temptations that are lurking inside box lunches, for instance.  Perhaps I could have requested a special box lunch with my name on it that had no cookies and no chips inside.  What a depressing thought!  But maybe that's what it takes for me not to be tempted.  Don't put it in front of me or I'll eat it.
Julie was home today for a mid-morning dentist appointment.  I fixed us both beautiful salads and she took hers with her for lunchtime.  I was actually enjoying preparing them, and I can't wait to eat it.  I had my usual banana and a Yoplait low-fat yogurt for breakfast, Very Berry was today's choice.  I went for a 30-minute walk after I dropped Julie at school.  So far today, I am on track.
For an afternoon snack I had 1/2 bag of our new Smart Balance microwave popcorn and a Fresca at five.
For dinner Catherine was here and joined us.  I had a piece of salmon, asparagus w/Hollandaise, fried potatoes, along with a glass of skim milk.  For dessert I introduced something I found today at the grocery store, Yoplait Whips! Chocolate Mousse Style, Chocolate Cherry flavor (160 calories), which we all shared.  It's a pretty good imitation of chocolate mousse as far as I am concerned, not perfect, but pretty darn good.  I also had 1/2 cinnamon graham cracker and 1/2 glass of skim milk at around 9PM.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     I've changed my mind about the low-fat chocolate mousse yogurt.  It is fake and I guess it's all right in a pinch, while I am in my trying-to-lose-weight mode, but the best thing would be to have the real thing.  So, that is my goal, to get to a weight where I can have and enjoy real chocolate mousse now and then.  But, at this point, I'll just have to wait.  I can save it for a special event to celebrate.  However, if I have the real thing now, I'll never reach my goal weight. 
     I walked 30 minutes today, because I realized that by adding 10 minutes onto my 20-minute walk each day that I will be getting in an extra 70 minutes each week.  Seventy minutes of walking will probably burn off 500 calories.  So, with very little added effort on my part, I can burn off another 2000 calories each month just by walking an additional 10 minutes each day.  I need to do this, because I evidently like to eat a little more than I'd like to admit.
     For breakfast I had a banana and a 100-calorie yogurt along with a decaf coffee with creamer and Splenda.  Catherine and I went to Potbelly's for lunch and I had a hot turkey sandwich on a wheat roll with mustard, no mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, seasoning and a little oil.
     Because I ate the entire sandwich and did not SAVE any for later, I was not hungry all afternoon and only had two handfuls of Smart Balance Trans-Fat-Free popcorn (just because my husband made it and it smelled so good) and a Fresca at five.
     For dinner we are having Italian Beef Sandwiches on rolls, with cooked green peppers and the leftover asparagus and Hollandaise with a glass of skim milk. 
     Tonight I went to a meeting where we had coffee and treats, which I didn't want to miss for the world.  I had 7 or 8 nuts and 1/2 of a lemon bar, approximately 1" x 2".
     I saw this little guy this morning and thought that he was soooo cute that I had to ask him to pose for me.  He found a wonderful stick that he hopes his owner will throw for him so that he can run and retrieve it.  I'm sure that he'd like to play this game all day.

     I was thinking this morning about the treats at the meeting last night.  I actually passed over a plate of none other than OREO COOKIES with thick mint frosting filling.  I can't believe it!  I just realized that my "compulsion" to eat Oreo cookies had, at least for the moment, left me.  And, besides the Oreos, there was a large bowl of Halloween candy also on the counter with chocolate Nestle Crunch miniature candy bars, one of my favorites.  I didn't take any "treats" after the meeting that were offered to me.  What has happened to me?!  I think what's going on is that my thinking is changing, slowly, one day at a time and one decision at a time. 
     The words for today for me are D&D which stand for Decision and Direction.  What will I choose to eat when I am hungry and when junk food is right in front of me?  What direction do I want to go as far as my body and health are concerned?  I didn't think much about it before and just ate whatever was available.  I had no plan.  It's taken me years to realize that I need a plan, a direction, if I am going to have success in this area.   Well, in truth, I guess I really did have some kind of a nonsense plan:  The WWWW Plan-I planned to eat Whatever I Wanted and Whenever I Wanted.
     I feel so good having lost seven pounds.  The "folds" above my waist above my waistband on the lateral side of my back are fading.  Finally!  And my stomach isn't hanging over my waistband in front as much either.   I have to keep focused and keep my eye on my goal: to look better, feel better and to be healthier. I can do this!  Thanks for your support and encouragement!  The best thing about this plan is that it's even FREE!  How cool is that!
     Today I had a banana and a Yoplait Light Apple Turnover low-fat yogurt (100 calories) which is tasty and has little bits of crunchy apples, and decaf coffee.  For lunch I had some fresh cut fruit, a little chicken and a Sprite.  Later I had a diet Sprite Zero and for a snack I ate a piece of string cheese two soda crackers.  And, of course, I had a Fresca at five.
     For dinner I am making Chili with ground venison topped with a dollop of sour cream, along with garlic toast, and a glass of skim milk.

     This is the message I got today from "AOL FitnessFocus--Body for Life creator Bill Phillips says it's possible if you follow his diet and workout regimen. Six days of structured meals are followed by one day of "free" eating to keep you motivated."  I don't think that this plan  would work for me.  I would live for the one day of "free" eating and I would probably gain back anything I may have lost in the previous six days.  I think I'll just stick to consistent healthy eating.
     I had a big food challenge tonight because we went out to dinner for a belated birthday for my husband at a Brazilian restaurant that I'd heard is "to die for".  They had waiters everywhere continually serving you with fabulous meats, mashed potatoes and fried bananas.  The salad bar had all kinds of beautiful dishes and fresh cooked vegetables, lox, etc.
     To prepare for this evening I had gone lightly on my breakfast having only a bowl of fresh fruit (sliced banana, strawberries, and blackberries) with skim milk and a packet of Stevia sweetener, decaf coffee.
     Lunch was also fresh fruit, but a little different from breakfast,  sliced strawberries, cantaloupe and honeydew melon and red grapes, along with a light chicken salad.  Both excellent. The three or large bites of chicken satisfied my appetite so well that I was not hungry for dinner until we were getting ready to leave.  So I had no afternoon snack except a Fresca at five.
     For dinner Catherine had warned us to pace ourselves, because the waiters bring around so much food.  I really had to pick and choose and not take everything as soon as it was offered.  They keep coming around and never stop.  Conrad got a flourless chocolate cake that was warm, with chocolate frosting and vanilla ice cream, which he shared with everyone.  And the plate had "Happy Birthday" written in gel frosting around the edge of the plate along with two lit candles.  But I was happy that I did not over indulge and felt satisfied, but not stuffed when I left.  Thank goodness for Catherine's warning because it would be so easy to overdo it and then pay for it tomorrow.

Day68_Sorry, I skipped writng one day.

Today I will be going to Peoria to give a program at the APPI convention.  I haven't forgotten MyDiet, but too busy to get my thoughts out via email. I hope to stay on it on the road and in Peoria.
I'll catch up next week.   Love, Terry
     I left home at 2:30 PM for a three-hour drive to an out of town convention.  Since many from the convention were taking a bus tour at 6 PM, and I knew that I wouldn't have time to go out for dinner, I ate in the car while driving.  I had taken with me 2 bananas (I ate one and saved one for later), a low-fat yogurt (100 cal.), a bottle of water, a Fresca and the rest of the chicken salad made of large bites of chicken, a little mayo, raisins and cranberries.  I was not hungry upon my arrival at 5:30 PM.  The bus tour to four portrait studios was filled to overflowing and during transit to and from each studio we were served nuts, cheese, sausage and crackers.  Besides all of that, each studio had food waiting for us.  At the first studio I had a small bowl of homemade chili.  I had fruit, 1/2 slice of white cake and delicious white frosting, one bite of a stuffed mushroom, and a miniature chocolate éclair filled with ice cream at the third studio.  Next I enjoyed a piece of cheese along with a cracker.  And, finally, at the fourth stop I had nuts and mints, and two petit fours.  We arrived back at the hotel at 10 PM.

Today I was so consumed with going over last minute details and then giving my program at 2PM that I didn't have time to eat breakfast or lunch, which was even included in our registration.  Thankfully, I had the extra banana with me in the hotel room and since the hotel provided a packet of coffee for their in-room coffee pot, I made two cups of decaf coffee and used my Stevia sweetener, which I had brought with me.  I wasn't hungry, because I was so busy preparing the last minute details of my program.  I kept thinking of more things that would make it flow better and just kept working.  I had awoke at 4 AM and began working and continued 'til 7AM and then fell back to sleep and worked some more from 8 until noon, then took a shower and gathered my 4 cases together and headed down to the room which was prepared for my presentation.  I had planned to go to the morning program, have lunch and then do my presentation, but I had had no idea that I had so much more that I could do.  I left the room at 1:30 PM for my 2 PM program, which started on time.  People were waiting to help me put out the canvas prints of my work, hook up my computer and get the microphone connected. It ended at 4:30 PM and I had talked non-stop for 2 1/2 hours on the subject of digital art.  After dinner, I talked to people who said that they enjoyed my program.   At 5:30 PM some of us went to Bennigan's for dinner and I ordered a Sprite, Chicken Tenders and a side of Cinnamon Apples; it also came with French fries, which I should have asked to change for a salad, but I didn't, so I ate the fries.  It was an enjoyable time with friends.
We had no idea of the feast that would be set before us at the Trade Show that evening, or we probably wouldn't have gone out for dinner.  Since I had just eaten, I had something from the beautiful dessert table, a chocolate-covered strawberry, and a small, molded chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse, delicious!

     I can't weigh in this morning, because I am in a hotel in Peoria, IL.  I'll check my weight tomorrow morning instead, when I get back home. Because of the erratic schedule, I doubt that I lost anything this week.

     Plan ahead and make a decision today about what I will eat and what I will not put into my mouth. 
     Prepare for the battle and know that every cookie, cake and candy that I see will tempt me and will make me think that I have to have it.  But, also know that if I taste it, I will crave more, and I will not be satisfied with just one bite, but will want another and another, until I will surely have eaten more than I need to sustain myself.  Even ten extra calories each day will not get me where I want to be-slim again.
     Position myself for the battle-move the food out of my line of vision.  Hide it from my sight.  Throw it in the garbage.  Put it where I can't see it or can't get at it. 

This awesome sunset was displayed during my drive from Peoria to Chicago.  I loved that I was driving out in the open where I could enjoy and take in every colorful bit of it.
Last night I arrived home to a bag of Pepperidge Farm Soft-Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies sitting on the kitchen counter.  It was a surprise attack.  I ate 1/2 of one, then an hour later, another half.  I ate each with a 1/2 glass of skim milk.  When I took the milk out of the fridge, I spotted a partially eaten Sara Lee Cheese Cake inside.  I felt a little shaky in my ability to resist the temptation.  I knew that if I didn't conquer it, it would conquer me and I would lose the battle instead of losing weight.  I poured the milk and shut the door on the cheesecake.  For now and for that moment, my action had proven that I do have the Power to win and be victorious and can be thin again, one decision at a time.
     Today I had a low-fat yogurt for breakfast, decaf coffee and sliced strawberries in skim milk with Stevia sweetener.
     I had lunch with Catherine at the new Pita Pit.  It was a fantastic chicken breast pita pocket with lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumbers, pickles, and honey mustard, no mayo.  I'll go back there for sure, because it was delicious.
     For dinner I had some of the venison chili that I fixed last week and garlic toast.
     At a school meeting that I attended this evening I had a decaf coffee, but resisted any and all cookies set before us near the coffee.  Good job, Terry, if I do say so myself!  But, when I got home I had 1/3 of one of the oatmeal cookies from the bag which was still out on the counter, although I had put them under the counter in the cabinet earlier.  After I ate the third, I threw the rest out in the garbage.  I don't need them around here staring me in the face calling me to indulge myself.  Then I took them back out and thought that was a bit drastic. 
     I said earlier to my husband and daughter, "There is a junk-food monster here somewhere, and I don't know who it is.  We have all kinds of junk food in the cabinets, on the counter, in the fridge, the pantry and in the freezer.  I wonder who it is. Maybe it's Rocky our very thin kitty cat.  He might have gotten all of this junk food in order to fatten himself up."  My husband replied, "You can throw it all out, just keep the Chex Mix for me and my friends for when we play cards."  So, tomorrow I will GRO (Get Rid Of) the junk food.  I hope that I can give it a proper burial.  If I don't bury it, it will bury me.
     Love,     Terry
P.S.  I weighed myself this morning and I lost 1 lb., that's one pound toward my new goal of losing five or six more pounds.

     I can't believe it, but I had cheesecake for breakfast.  I have a luncheon meeting today that I know will include a nice dessert, so I was not planning on having breakfast.  But when I opened the fridge and thought about throwing out the cheesecake, I couldn't do it just yet and thought that I'd better taste it first, and wound up eating an entire slice.  Then I made decaf coffee to have in the car on the 40-minute drive to the meeting in the suburbs.
     Lunch was a very nice buffet with chicken breast, salad, steamed vegetables and a roll.  The dessert was a large scoop of vanilla ice cream along with pumpkin pie w/whipped cream, which I thought was excellent.  However, I noticed that the lady on my right had left most of her dessert.  I asked her how she is able to not eat it all.  Her simple reply was that she was full.  I said, "What does that have to do with it?"  And then she added, "It wasn't that good."  I again said, "What does that have to do with it?"  See, it's all a thinking problem.  Her thinking is correct, and mine is off kilter.  Why would I continue eating if I am already full?  And why would anyone in their right mind waste the precious few calories that they can have on something that is not fabulous!  I need to incorporate this idea into my thinking.  Also, I need to stop eating when I am full, and then if I do want to have the dessert, then I'd better leave room for it. 
     After lunch they had a nice coffee break along with cookies.  I had seen a lady carrying a chocolate cookie filled with marshmallow and I was wondering where she could have gotten that.  Then I found the coffee/dessert table.  I ate three cookies, a chocolate one w/marshmallow, a Chocolate Fudge Stripes cookie, and an oatmeal raisin cookie.  I did a lot of damage around that cookie table.  My actions reminded me of a diet that I had read about on the internet where it is proposed to stay on a particular diet six days out of the week and then have a free day one day a week where you can eat anything.  I know that that would not work for me.  Why just live for one day each week when I can eat what I want?  I could then destroy all the progress that I'd made in the previous six days.  It is soooo easy to overeat junk food and to load up on empty and worthless calories.  I can do it in a heart beat!  I can do a lot of damage in a short time and an entire day of freedom is not what I need, because I know me!
     I stopped at Burger King on the way home because it was nearly 6PM by then, and ordered a grilled chicken breast sandwich and ate half of it along with a Sprite.

     Since I had done so much "damage" to MyDiet yesterday, and was going to have lunch with my daughters at the Pita Pit today (Julie is off school for parent-teacher conferences.), I decided not to have breakfast.  I ordered a grilled chicken breast pita with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, pickles, mushrooms and honey mustard.  It was great!  And I ate it all.  I didn't need anything else before dinner, except my Fresca at five.
     For dinner I had shrimp and BBQ ribs, French fries, crushed pineapple, baby carrots and a glass of skim milk.  Later I took Julie to her drumset lesson and stopped at Starbucks and ordered a steamed skim milk with vanilla.  Tomorrow I am planning to get back on my schedule of walking 20-30 minutes a day.  I know that if I don't, I am at risk of gaining back what I have already lost.

     I realize now that I am fighting a battle and it happens whenever I see junk food.  My first line of defense then, since this is a real battle, is to eliminate the enemy.  I am defeated if it's in the house.  I asked my husband if he minded if I got rid of the junk food, like chips, cookies, etc.  He said that it would be fine.  At first I was just going to throw it all out in the garbage, but then decided to give it to the workers who are redoing the front of our house.  So I put the Doritos, Bugles, potato chips, cookies, Twinkies, Peppermint Bark Chocolate candy in a brown bag to give to them, and even threw out the Butter Pecan flavored Frango Mints and old potato chips.  I kept one bag of Lay's potato chips to eat a few with a sandwich (no more than 10, which would equal 100 calories), some blue chips and Tostito Chips to eat with Salsa.  Conrad also wanted to keep the pretzels, the trail mix and the Chex Mix for the card playing gang.  Oh, I almost forgot, the cheesecake has been thrown into the garbage; actually my husband did that.  Good for him!
     So, I have to declare the boundaries of what I am going to eat and of what I am not going to eat.  Once I have declared the boundaries, I have to PATROL the borders or the enemy will sneak in under the fence!  And once it is inside my boundaries, I am vulnerable to attack.
     Julie and I went out to dinner at a fine Italian restaurant.  I had a salad and talapia in a lemon sauce with angel hair pasta.  She had lobster bisque and salmon over steamed vegetables.   I was so full that I had to bring home 1/2 of my fish, and Conrad ate it after his card game.
      I am done eating for today.

Copyright © Terry Tasche

I am doing well today.  I took a 30-minute walk, for breakfast ate some freshly cooked bacon that my husband fixed, had a decaf coffee, and for lunch I ate a bowl of fresh fruit, blueberries, blackberries and sliced strawberries along with a yogurt.  At 2:00 I had a slice of Muenster cheese and four soda crackers and ten red seedless grapes.  At 5:00 I had some baby carrots, good choice, 10 pecan halves and a Fresca.  For dinner we are having filet and fried tomatoes.
     This was a good day!  It's making more and more sense as I continue on a healthy path with a healthy plan.  Finally!
     The more I eat junk, the more I am tempted by junk.  The more I let it slip through my boundaries, the easier it is for it to attack me.   I have to resolve not to open the gate.   Julie is very helpful, because she wants to eat healthy food and avoids junk.  And my husband is joining in and helping the cause.  Throwing out the cheesecake was a big victory as far as I am concerned.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Here I am at 11 weeks of MyDiet and tomorrow is weigh-in day.  I'm not sure if I lost, but I'll see for sure tomorrow.  I can only weigh myself once each week, and have been good about sticking to that schedule.  Even if I am curious, I don't weigh myself in between, because if I have lost, then I feel that I can eat and it totally defeats my plan.
     For breakfast I had a Yoplait Apple Turnover Fat-Free yogurt, with little crunchy bits of apples, a banana and decaf coffee.  Later we had a homemade brunch with scrambled eggs and chopped red pepper and onions, Muenster cheese and aged cheddar, and ham. Julie had done a great job in chopping the pepper, onions, cheese, and Conrad chopped the ham.  I fixed fresh fruit with Yoplait Very Vanilla yogurt.  My husband not only had "brought home the bacon" but also fried the bacon this morning in preparation for the brunch, and Catherine made the toast which we enjoyed with strawberry jam and skim milk.  It was all excellent and got rave reviews from my husband and two daughters. 
     We were so full from the 2PM brunch that at 6pm we each just made a half sandwich for ourselves.  I made a banana sandwich with low-fat mayo, peanut butter and sliced bananas.  That was my dad's favorite sandwich, and Elvis' too; yes, my dad was also from Tennessee.
     In the evening I went to Border's Bookstore while Julie attended a meeting in the suburbs, and I had a steamed skim milk with vanilla.  I love it.
     So, today I didn't eat junk between meals, or in place of meals, for that matter.  Some people I know say, "I don't eat no matter what, and I don't eat no matter what."   It's called a consistent schedule of healthy eating.  It's a good idea.  I wonder whoever thought of that!

My report is very good today.  I lost 1 lb. this week.  How about that!  Good job, T.J. (for Terry Jo)!   So, I am off to a great start this week.  I have lost 9 lbs. so far since I started 11 weeks ago.  That's 2 lbs. toward my new goal of losing 5-6 more pounds beyond my initial seven I lost in the first eight weeks.  At the start I just couldn't tackle the huge job I felt it would be to lose 12-15 pounds, so I started with just seven.   I've had a couple of weeks of standing still, but that taught me something, too.  I learned that it's not that easy to change bad habits, but I also learned that it is totally possible to do-- if I stick with you and not try to do it alone.  Going it alone is futile and has never worked, doesn't work, and never will.  I have certainly proven that to be true before this new plan.  I have learned that cutting down on calories is easier when I eliminate the calorie-laden junk that I was eating, because that is where I was losing the battle every day.  But, if I want to lose more quickly, and not let it take FOREVER, then I must do a little exercise every day like walking -- 20-30 minutes a day is all it takes to speed up the process. 
     For breakfast I had a Yoplait Light Harvest Peach Fat Free yogurt (100 calories), a banana, and a cup of Bigelow's Perfect Peach hot tea.
     For lunch today I had a grapefruit and, quite surprisingly, I found myself being happy to fix a healthy salad.  It consisted of Romaine lettuce, baby carrots, chopped red pepper, pecan halves, mandarin oranges, sliced zucchini, and low-fat Ranch dressing (2 Tbsp for only 60 calories).  I was excited that I was going for the healthy stuff.  Imagine that, happy to eat a salad instead of junk!  But it truly was delicious and I enjoyed every bite of it.  I also had about 2 oz. of sliced ham (for the protein and to stop the craving) along with two soda crackers.
For dinner I had an Italian Beef sandwich and a few potato chips (10 chips for 100 calories only).  
I am so grateful for the insight I've received regarding my food and how I view it and how I use it and how I have abused it.  It's a lot to think about and a lot that I've had to change, but it is soooo worth it.   I am happy to be learning a new way to eat and a healthier way to live.  And I love that it is FREE!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I wish that I could relax like our cat Shackleton and not have a care in the world-as one can see, he is not on MyDiet, but he is very, very adorable just as he is!   Taken from my view as I saw it from my home office computer desk chair.

It is real freedom for me to be real about my struggles with food; I think that it is the secret to success.  That's just HOW it works-H.O.W. --Honesty Openness and Willingness.  I'm being honest about what I eat, open about the results, and willing to try a new and better way and to change old, unsuccessful patterns.  Unsuccessful is an understatement: self-defeating may be a better word.   The real question for me is, "What is my relationship to food and what part does it play in my life?"  Do I use food to maintain a healthy body weight or for munching and crunching even when I am not hungry and eating is not necessary and actually totally useless, except for gaining weight? 
     Today for breakfast I had a Very Vanilla Light Yoplait Yogurt and a banana, then I attended a conference at a hotel near O'Hare and enjoyed Starbucks decaf coffee during the break.  They provided a nice buffet for lunch of salad, sliced turkey, whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, mustard, sodas, and dessert.  I had an oatmeal cookie and a small (1"x2") dessert bar of some kind, a chewy chocolate.
     For dinner I had some of the steak my husband grilled, broccoli and cheese, a few French fries and a glass of skim milk.
Tonight it was my turn to take the treats for a meeting and I bought a cranberry orange pudding ring, excellent.  I also took red seedless grapes and a tray of small buffet "autumn" cookies.  That's when all the trouble started.  As I unwrapped the cookies and placed them on one side of a nice round, glass platter around the pudding ring with the grapes cut into clumps on the other side, I thought I'd eat one cookie; this was just before dinner.  Well, I ate five cookies.  Then I stopped.  I ate dinner then left for the meeting.  Luckily I had put the tray, wrapped in Saran Wrap, on the floor behind my seat in the car.  In hindsight I can see that that was a good place for it.  At the meeting I ate one slice of the pudding ring, a clump of grapes and two cookies.  Not too bad so far.  But, I made a big, huge mistake on my drive from my meeting to my guitar lesson.  I sat the platter on the seat next to me, in the front.  I had a cookie, then another, and another, until I had actually eaten five or six; I lost count.  OK!  That's enough!  When I got to my class, I wrapped a slice of the pudding ring, two cookies, and a clump of grapes in a piece of the Saran Wrap and gave it to my teacher.  I guess I could have been a bit more generous and given him two slices and four or more cookies.  Anyway, that was it, and I didn't indulge myself anymore.  When I got home, I had a clump of grapes and nothing more.  I had had enough.  And all the way home I was thinking about how long I'd have to walk or exercise to work off all the calories I'd just ingested.  Not that I mind having a treat now and then, but twelve cookies, not counting the oatmeal cookie for lunch and dessert bar, was too much in one day, especially for someone who says she is trying to eat correctly and lose weight.  They added up so quickly.
     Just when I thought that I had this sweet tooth licked, I let my guard down and put the enemy right in the front seat with me.  What was I thinking?!!!  I know that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  I thought I could eat just one cookie and stop with one.  I thought I could let the enemy ride close to me at only an arm's reach away.  Am I insane?!  I did the same thing and expected different results.  I have to laugh at myself.  What else can I do?

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I've made it to 80 days, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so successfully.  But, one way or the other, I made it.
     I need to go over the cookie incident of yesterday.  As I review my Crazy Cookie Craving, referred to here on out as the CCC, I know that although I am not entirely and completely insane, I know that I did a couple of insane things to initiate the cookie craving:  1) I bought cookies, and 2) I ate the first bite.  It's pretty simple, that's all it really took, just one little cookie made me eat twelve.  When I took that first bite, I thought that it looked pretty harmless.  How much damage could a 2" cookie realistically do?  Come on, just one little cookie!  But, the sad truth is that a "2-inch diameter cookie" has, in the past, added 2" to my hips.    Just how does this happen?  This happens by my thinking that I am in control of cookies and just how many I will eat.  Actually, I seem to be in complete denial regarding my hidden addiction.  I still see myself as just the innocent bystander who completely trusts that I can handle eating just one cookie.  FALSE!!!  I need to learn to live in reality and move out of la-la land.
     I like being nine pounds lighter and having my clothes fit a little nicer and looser.  I don't want to jeopardize the progress I have made.  But I did jeopardize it and used to always put myself in risky situations just as I did yesterday.
     Today I tried a different plan.  I invited my husband to take the excess cookies and pudding ring to work to share, but he said it was too difficult to carry.  So, I took them with me to my morning meeting.  I had to think long and hard about whether or not to have a slice of the cranberry orange pudding ring or whether instead to have a yogurt along with 10 or 12 grapes.   I finally decided that the pudding ring was so delicious that I would have a slice with my coffee on my way to the meeting.   But, today I put the rest of it, along with the plate of cookies, in the back seat, where I could not reach them while I was driving.  My ingenious idea of taking the snack with me in the car where I will not be able to access anymore of it has helped me in the past.  In other words, if I want a small treat, I wait until I will be driving somewhere, and then take it with me and eat it in the car.  Actually, this does sound kind of insane, now that I'm thinking about it.  Good or bad, that's the situation.  When I arrived at the meeting, I put the two plates next to the coffee.  There was some of each left after the meeting and one woman volunteered to take them home or to her sister's kids.  I gladly gave them up.  I had had my fill.  I am turning over a new leaf.  I am not eating junk, today, no matter what.  This works one day at a time.  It's too hard to say that I won't eat junk for the rest of my life, but I can say it for today. 
     For breakfast I had the grapes and one slice of the pudding ring, as I said, and for lunch I had a great salad in my colorful red bowl with sliced turkey, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, sliced red pepper, pecan halves, Romaine lettuce and low-fat Ranch dressing.  For a snack at 4PM I had two cinnamon Graham crackers and 1/2 glass of skim milk.  I have to admit that I really like the munching and crunching, like with the cookies yesterday and the Graham crackers today.  And at 5PM I had 1/2 bag of microwave popcorn and a Fresca (not because I was actually hungry, but because the popcorn that my husband had popped smelled so good).  For dinner we are having beef stroganoff over noodles and green beans. 
This day was much better than yesterday and I am much happier with myself.  I am "going for the gold".   I am running toward my goal of losing these excess pounds.  If I stop to eat twelve cookies on the way, I'll never make it to the finish line. 
Thank you soooo much for sticking with me through thick and thin, and hopefully a thinner rather than thicker me.
     I meant to share this awesome sunset sky I saw last Wednesday after my meeting in the suburbs.

     I drove Julie to school and told her that I was going to go to the health club after I dropped her at school.  She said, "Did you know that exercise can help prevent osteoporosis?"  I said that I did and that it was why I do my exercises every morning.   I did my 50/50/50 this morning plus my 15/15/15 routine, just as I do every morning. 
     I went to the health club and did 20 pushes on each of eight different machines, then 15 minutes on the elliptical (90.8 calories burned), and then 20 more on each on the same eight machines.  This all took only twenty-three minutes.  Since the weather is not conducive to walking today, I really needed to go to an inside exercise gym.  Luckily, we still have our membership.  If I don't want it cancelled, I'd better keep using it.  The total time involved at the gym was only 32 minutes.  That, I can handle every now and then.
     While on the elliptical machine I watched Dr. Tim Johnson on the morning news proclaim that a new study on people who do the Tango have increased cognitive ability and better balance.  I like that idea, because dancing is fun.  For me, tap dancing is so much better than "real" exercise that it doesn't feel like drudgery. 
I read about another study today by a researcher at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands which said, "People who exercise can add three years to their life, and their hearts reap benefits from something as simple as brisk walking a half-hour a day." Three years of extra life just from simply walking make the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle very clear, said Dr. Oscar Franco, co-author of one study.
Because I had planned to go to lunch with Catherine today, I ate only a Very Vanilla Yoplait Light Yogurt (110 calories) after going to the gym, and then had a decaf coffee later in the morning while I worked at my computer.  This is a very sedentary activity.  I need to break this up with some walking, and perhaps the gym at least once a week.
     For lunch we went to Subway and I got a turkey sandwich on honey-wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, pickles, mustard, seasoning (S&P), and a little sprinkling of oil and vinegar.  We shared a bag of BBQ potato chips (total 140 calories, 70 for each of us). 
For dinner at 6PM I am fixing salmon, cauliflower with cheese, and baked potato wedges along with a glass of skim milk.  I also had 5 potato chips and 10 red seedless grapes before dinner.  I was slightly hungry and just wanted a little something.  I also took a Fresca along with me to drink when I went to pick up Julie from school and take her to get the missing pieces (cymbals, stands, hardware and quieter drum sticks) for the used drum set I bought.
     Later in the evening I got a steamed skim milk with vanilla at Starbucks while I waited for Julie at her drum lesson.  It's really delicious and doesn't need any additional sweetener.

     If I can get to moving in the right direction, I have a chance to keep moving in that good direction.  This is true because an object in motion stays in motion.  Therefore, don't stop to smell the cookies or the brownies or to buy them or to even look at them, lest I be tempted.  They're easy to avoid if I keep them out of my path and out of my sight, and, of course, out of my mouth.  They can so easily create a resistance on my road to slimness, proper weight, and health.
     If I stop to think about what causes resistance in my path, it's the cashews, the trail mix, cookies, cake, pie, etc., and muffins (Muffins can be a whole topic by themselves).  What a way to undo my good progress!  Today I am staying on the path of least resistance, the high road, and I am not going to go down the little trails that lead me to be bogged down with added pounds.  Everything that I put into my mouth will either keep me healthy or make me heavy.  Think before I munch away.  I need to think before I munch and crunch or I'll be doing crunch sit-ups to lose it.  So, every time that I crunch a cookie, I am going to envision myself having to do crunch sit-ups to undo the damage. 
     I need a vision of where I am going.  I need to envision my slim self and to keep that nice picture in my mind.  Away with the pounds and onward to the new me!
     For some reason we have no Light yogurt, so for breakfast I had regular Yoplait Red Raspberry yogurt (170 calories), and a banana. I had a cup of decaf coffee for break and then for lunch I made a 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, no more than 1 Tbsp light mayo (10 calories/Tbsp), mustard, baby carrots, a sweet pickle, 4 oz low fat chocolate milk (4 oz= 80 calories) and a glass of water.
     Later in the day I had a Fresca to drink.  I am not sure what I am doing for dinner yet.  I might go out with my daughters or a friend. 

Fresca is a zero calorie, no caffeine soda which has been making a comeback and I've found it to be quite tasty.  It is made by The Coca Cola Company has a citrus flavor and I often enjoy a Fresca at five, or four.  It contains phenylalanine, whatever that is or does, I do not know.
The holidays are around the corner and there will be so many tempting things to try.  The food is all prepared in such a beautiful way.  My daughter wants to make Christmas cookies and decorate them and I want to participate.  This has always been a tradition, to make and decorate cookies with the colorful sprinkles, designs and frostings.
Thanksgiving is coming next week and I'd like to be able to enjoy, without guilt, the festivities of the Thanksgiving Holiday.  And I will be especially thankful that I have been able to stay focused today in order to be able to indulge a bit then.
     The question for me is, "Can I wait 'til next week to enjoy all the wonderful food?"  Just be patient, Terry, and you'll be able to enjoy the day and indulge myself.
     I was just thinking about what happened to me when I was actually able to finally stay on a healthy track.  It happened when I realized that I was not in control once I took that first bite of the Mounds candy bar, followed by the six Oreo cookies.  The other day I had told the story about the lady on my right who hadn't finished her dessert, who so wisely said that she was full and that the dessert wasn't that good anyway.  Well, another lady at the table, actually sitting on my left, said to me when I told her that I had eaten a slice of cheesecake for breakfast, "So what!"  And then I told her that one day I had even eaten a Mounds candy bar AND six Oreo cookies in just a short 3-block walk.  Again she said, "So what!"  Here I had two ladies, one on each side of me, one thin with thin thinking and one with a few excess pounds with "So what" thinking.
How interesting is that!  The one on my right with right thinking and the one on my left with out-in-left-field thinking regarding food.  How much clearer could it get! 
     This incident shows me just how much my eating junk has to do with my thinking, and vice versa.  Something I find interesting is why some people cannot throw out food and why some people can.  Is it that the some people are poor and it causes overweight, and that some people are thin and rich?  Is it that the overweight population does not have room to store the leftovers so must eat them?  I don't think so. A refrigerator magnet says, "I want to be thin and rich." It could be a matter of different thinking regarding the importance of food, the use of food, the impact food has on our bodies, and perhaps even, the value of one's self as a human being.  I'm not sure how that last one plays into the entire scenario, but I am sure that some how it does.
     For breakfast I had a banana and an Orange Creme Yogurt, 170 calories, because I don't have any Light Yogurt in the house.  For lunch I had 1/2 ham sandwich on whole wheat bread, lettuce, mustard and low-fat mayo, and a sweet pickle.
     I took a 30-minute walk.  If I walk 30 minutes every day, I will be healthy and lose weight, and if I don't walk 30-minutes each day I will not be healthy and not lose weight.  Pretty simple. 
Love,  Terry

     Twelve weeks have gone by since I started MyDiet_Day1 and I am learning every day.  At the beginning I came to realize that I cannot do this alone, which was a big revelation.  I also had to admit that I have no control over my love of sugar and junk and that once I had put it into my system, via my mouth, I was out of control. 
What I eat will make a difference in what I weigh.  If I change what I eat, I will change what I weigh.  Since it's up to me, don't I care how I feel, what I weigh, and how I look?  What has been my problem?  I'm in charge of myself, aren't I?  OK, maybe I'm not and maybe I was letting something else be in charge.   My craving took over and I could never win this battle.  But by being honest with you, and knowing that you understand too, I have had many successes to report.
     I had to start putting my thoughts out there before I could really SEE what was going on with me.  It has so much to do with my thinking and in making the right decisions regarding food.  Today I planned ahead, because I thought I might be invited to have some pumpkin pie when I visited a friend of mine in the Nursing Home, since they were celebrating their Thanksgiving Day today, the weekend before the actual holiday.  I thought to myself that I would say, "Thank you, but I am on a diet, so I am watching what I eat.  I have lost 9 pounds and don't want to undo my good progress."  Then, I thought about that response, and decided that I would say, "Thank you, I'd love to have a piece of pumpkin pie."  And then take only a very small slice.  This really sounded much more cordial and appreciative.  After all, it is Thanksgiving, and we celebrate with pumpkin pie, which I love, but I don't have to have a huge piece, or the whole piece, to be appreciative of the offer.  So, I was offered a piece of pumpkin pie and I said, "I'd love a piece."  There, I could just have a little slice without eating the whole pie.  Another victory, which I will be so happy about tomorrow.
     Today I had a banana on the way to a meeting and a decaf coffee when I got there.  Then I had lunch in the cafeteria consisting of 3 thin slices of turkey, a baby spinach salad with mandarin oranges, crab meat, a slice of tomato and low calorie French dressing (30 calories), 6 slices of sweet pickles and a Diet Sprite Zero.
     When I got home, I had 10 potato chips and 6 cashews. (They were on the counter where I could see them.)  Before dinner I took a 45-minute walk.  For dinner I had green beans, 1/2 baked potato with margarine, and a steak that my husband had cooked on the grill.  For dessert I had ONE, just one, mini Dove bar.  It's a rare treat these days, but I have to remember that I am losing weight and that Thanksgiving is this week.  And, weigh-in day is again tomorrow.  We'll see how I've done.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     Well, weigh-in happened this morning and I LOST 1/2 pound.  YEA!  I am very happy about that, especially since my twelve-cookies-on-Tuesday incident.  But, I stepped up my walking and made sure that I did it every day.
     I started off well today by walking 30minutes after I dropped off Julie at school.  Since it was  a little chilly, I thought about having a cup of hot chocolate when I got home, instead of decaf coffee.  So, I had a Swiss Miss, my favorite, "Diet with Calcium" Hot Chocolate.  It's nice that they included calcium, because caffeine, which is in chocolate, draws calcium out of the bones.  I added a very hard marshmallow. It's hard because I haven't had hot chocolate in months, so the marshmallows have sat there on the shelf and gotten almost as hard as rocks.  The hot chocolate softened it very nicely.  It was delicious.
     This week I'll enjoy Thanksgiving Thursday, so I want to be sure and walk at least 30 minutes every day without fail.    Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, and sitting in a chair at my computer is not.
     I ate a banana with my hot chocolate and a Yoplait Berry Banana yogurt.  Since we only have the "Original 99% Fat Free" Yoplait yogurt, that's what I ate, but it's 170 calories.  I noticed that we also have a "Healthy Heart" Cherry Orchard Yoplait yogurt in the fridge, but it's 180 calories.  Obviously, "99% fat free" or "healthy heart" yogurts do not mean less calories.  I have found it very helpful and so have gotten into the habit of looking at the calorie content on labels. Seventy extra calories a day from the 99% fat free yogurt times seven days adds up to an extra 490-560 calories in a week that I'll have to make up somehow, either in eliminating other calories or in walking or exercising more.  The easiest solution is to buy the lower calorie yogurt in the first place, which is delicious.  My husband was surprised that the 99% fat free yogurt that he bought was NOT also lower in calories. 
     I had lunch with friends and had chicken noodle soup and a salad.  When I got home I had a slice of Muenster cheese in order to have little more protein.
     For dinner I had some of the leftover venison stew, leftover salad from lunch with low calorie Ranch dressing and a glass of skim milk.  Later I had 3 bites of ice cream, a little risky on my part to even taste it, but I managed to only have 3 bites.  I'd better not try that again.

     I know today that the reason that I had to have some ice cream last night is because on the night before we had had some company for dinner and so we looked in the freezer for ice cream for dessert.  The container of chocolate ice cream was opened and I SAW it and, although I didn't have any then, I couldn't get it off my mind.  So, last night I got it out of the freezer and had a little.  If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have even thought about it and, therefore, wouldn't have sought it out to eat it. 
     This reminds me of how much I used to shop.  I'd go into the stores and SEE so many beautiful things and then BUY stuff I didn't need.  The way I controlled that was to stop going into the stores, so that I couldn't see all the stuff that I would then want to buy.  Now what I need to gain control over is my eating.  If I don't see it, I probably won't even want it, and then won't be tempted to eat it. 
I remember hearing about a woman in history being tempted the same way I am today, and yesterday, and yes, probably will be tomorrow, too.  I am going to go and read about this woman again.  "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree that was in the middle of the garden was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."  The tree in the middle of the garden is the one that God had told Adam not to eat of saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die," from the second and third chapters of Genesis.   This is my problem, too.  I LOOK and I SEE and I WANT.  And not only do I eat it, but I then want more.  It's true, I am not satisfied when I eat junk. So why do I eat it?  Because it looks good and it tastes good.   I need to keep my eyes on the healthy stuff instead of on the JUNK.  I guess that I could call myself a JUNKIE.  When will I learn?
Today I am making a decision that I will not look into the cabinets where I know there are cashews and chips to gobble, nor look into the freezer where I know there is ice cream to be had.  I will look only into the vegetable drawer of the fridge and the drawer where the cheese, sliced turkey and ham are.  I will think about how nice it is to have lost 9 1/2 pounds and how good it was to go shopping with my daughters last weekend and to look so much better in the jeans and the black pants that I tried on in the dressing room.   The last time we all went shopping together they heard me complain about myself and my weight, the same way I had done every time for ten years.  But this time it was different, I had done something about it.  I had gotten help.  That help is you, supportive friends who understand my state of mind.  When I realized that I needed your help, you were there to help me.  Thank you so much!
     This morning Julie needed to go to school early so that she could meet with the physics teacher, so after I dropped her off I went to the lake for a walk, it was earlier than I usually walk, and I saw beautiful sunrays on the horizon and lots of waves.  The north wind was strong and nearly blew me over, but I loved looking at the waves.  It was a very low wind chill factor.  Anyway, here it is for you to enjoy in the warmth and comfort of your home.

What did I eat today?  When I came home from my walk, I ate a banana for breakfast and a yogurt and had a nice hot decaf coffee to warm me up.  For lunch Catherine and I headed for the new Pita Pit and each got a grilled turkey pita.  I asked for lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, pickles, alfalfa sprouts and honey mustard to be added to mine.
     For dinner Conrad cooked a pork roast, potato wedges and green beans.  I also had a glass of skim milk.  After my guitar lesson, Julie was eating blue chips with garlic cilantro salsa and I had some, too, probably ten chips.
     So, that's it!  Thanksgiving is almost here.

     I ran across an interesting quote this morning, "All glory comes from daring to begin," by Eugene F. Ware.  That's how MyDiet started, I dared to start it.   I made a decision that I had to start a better eating plan.   Where did it start?  At the beginning!  Every day is a new beginning, a new 24 hours just for me to do with as I want.  I can fill myself with junk or I can fill myself with health.  It's up to me and no one else.
     I've heard people compare compulsive eating with the problem alcoholics have with alcohol and not being able to safely drink it.  Well, I have a problem with not being able to safely eat junk, because I'll usually want more of it.  Since we have to eat, some say that our problem is worse.  I'd love to believe this and my crazy thinking will take me there very easily.  But, since I have to eat, does that mean that I therefore have no control over what I eat?  Although the alcoholic does not have to drink alcohol to survive, although some may think they do, but he does have to drink.  Actually, a person can go without food much longer than he can go without drink.  But my distorted thinking says that since I have to eat, I am condemned to eating too much and to eating junk and saying, "I only ate a tiny little bite, and look how I gained weight.  I gain it so easily.  It's horrible how easily I gain weight.  It's just not fair!  I have to eat.  What am I supposed to do?  Starve?!"  But, just like the alcoholic, who can choose what he WILL drink, I can choose what I WILL eat and what I WON'T eat.  Just because I have to eat, does not mean that I have to eat junk.  This paragraph happened in a moment of clarity.  I may think differently about it tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day.
     Today I had a yogurt and decaf coffee for breakfast.  For lunch I ate a Burger King, which surprisingly had a wonderfully healthy grilled chicken salad, and it was very good.  We were on our own for dinner so I had 1/2 peanut butter sandwich.  Oh, at the department store today I ordered a Sprite, they did not have diet Sprite, and a piece Frango Mint chocolate candy which was on the counter free for the guests.  I had not had one in months.  Frango Mints are a staple in Chicago.
     I noticed a sheet of eating tips at a hospital cafeteria the other day called "Holiday Eating Without the Weight". 
1) If I eat a light, healthy snack such as soup, fruit or cereal before parties, this will help curb my hunger and therefore I'll be able to make better choices.
2) Limit alcohol.  I might enjoy one alcoholic beverage and then switch to diet soda or soda water with lime.
3) I can take a low-fat holiday dish to the party.
4) I plan to keep minimal baked goods on hand this year and only bake enough to give away or use for one festivity.  After baking, I will immediately fill the mixing bowl with hot soapy water, sampling batter packs on extra calories. (I needed that tip the night Julie was baking cup cakes for the school's bake sale.  I was cleaning the dish while she was looking the other way.  I am really bad around cookie or cake batter.  It's better for me not to have it around since I can't stop eating it until I've scraped up every drip and drop of batter that could possibly be eaten.)
5) If I eat a large salad before a meal and fill at least half of my plate with vegetables, then I may have a better chance of eating less calories, and use a low-calorie dressing, of course.  (It's no wonder that we're supposed to start with a salad.  Now it makes sense.   Perhaps I should eat it before the meal instead of with the meal.)
More tips tomorrow to help keep me away from the calories that I don't need.
Happy Thanksgiving!  Terry

     Let's see where did I leave off?  Oh yes, the beautiful batter.  One of my favorites is brownie batter.   But, since I know me, it is true that I will not stop until I have eaten every bit of brownie batter in the bowl.  The solution for me is that I not take the first bite, no matter what!  I need to do what the holiday tips suggests and that is, if I have to make brownies, "IMMEDIATELY fill the mixing bowl with hot soapy water" or else I will eat every bit of brownie batter in the bowl, aka BBB, which stands for every Bit of Batter in the Bowl.
     Here are the rest of the Holiday Tips for Fewer Calories:
6) Cut the sugar to half the original amount in the recipe and replace the remainder with Splenda.  (www.Splenda.com has more information.)
7) Make a goal with a friend to lose five pounds (just like I'm doing with you) or to maintain weight during the holidays.  (This is a valuable goal giving me a valuable support buddy.  Shall I call this a "Junkie" buddy?
8) Remember that the holidays are only actually three days, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.  (How much damage can I do in just three days?)  Too many calories and not enough exercise is what causes the weight gain, during this time of year (and during any time of year, for that matter). 
9) Sign up for a 5K or a fitness walk or other event to keep your mind focused on fitness goals.  Keep up with your exercise during holidays and try to be more active.
10) Finally, celebrate and focus on what the holidays are really about-spending time with family and friends.  Pick a time to get together that does not revolve around a meal.
Sounds like some good suggestions to me.  I need to stay focused, and make a decision about how I am going to handle myself when confronted with the "enemy".  I need a plan of attack to get him before he gets me.

My problem is then, how can I control the craving?  Today I was very hungry by lunchtime, and I wanted to start eating stuff that I could easily stuff into my mouth for a "quick fix" like the Cranberry Walnut Tart I bought for Thanksgiving.  But, then I thought about how that will not satisfy me and I will still be hungry.  So, I ate a grapefruit and then I made a 1/2 turkey and 1/2 smoked ham sandwich, because we had a little of each in the fridge.  A few days ago I had seen my daughter Julie place a slice red pepper on her turkey sandwich, so I tried it today, and it is delicious, nice and crunchy and flavorful, and we were out of tomatoes.  Great idea!  I also had lettuce on my sandwich, low-fat mayo (10 calories), and mustard on whole wheat bread.  I find myself not wanting to stop and take care of myself. But, I really need to do it right by making a nice sandwich and then sitting down and eating it.  I deserve a nice lunch, even when I am by myself.  It's not only okay to have it, but it's necessary.  I need to eat my meals, no matter what.  It will pay off in the end, and has already paid off by my losing weight, looking better and feeling great. 
     In order, then, to control the craving, I need to stop the craving by eating right and adding the protein that helps stop my feeling that I need to eat and stuff. I'm glad that I didn't eat that Cranberry Walnut Tart for lunch and instead I'm glad that I listened when I told myself to fix a healthy lunch and eat some protein.  Now I am satisfied and have lessened my chances of eating the high-caloric tart that was tempting me.  I also think that I will have a slice of Muenster cheese just to make sure that I don't want to go for the tart.  Just knowing that it's in the refrigerator is obviously too tempting for me.  Oh, me, of little will power.
     Since we were running errands this morning, and I did not have a chance to have coffee with my Light Yoplait Strawberries 'n Banana Yogurt, I am going to have a big cup of decaf this afternoon to "keep me company" while I work. 
     Later in the afternoon I had a Fresca and some red seedless grapes for a snack.  By dinner time at 6:00 I was just getting to be a little hungry.  The protein trick works.
     At 4:30 I enjoyed a 30-minute walk in the softly falling snow.  I walked one direction for 15 minutes and then back home.  In between I stopped at the bookstore and noticed a book in their outside shelves called something like walk and change your shape.  It said on the back cover that walking can improve my appearance and my health.  It must be true, because I saw it in black-and-white.
     Julie wanted to order a pizza from O'Fame which we all enjoyed.  I had mine with a glass of skim milk.  I did not eat after dinner.  Luckily, I usually stop eating for the day with dinner.
Love,  Terry

Today is a milestone, because I have been on MyDiet for 90 days, and I am celebrating with a simple poem.  Victory Speech--

I love it that
I'm eating better
Losing weight
Looking better and
Feeling great!

(Perhaps I should put it to music.  I wonder what a good tune would be.)
Also, I am buying a treat for myself to remind myself that I am special, and so are you-Shiseido's Relaxing Fragrance Natural Spray.   I'll get the one without alcohol, which probably doesn't evaporate as quickly.
It's taken me years to get really honest about my food.  I mean, who sees me when I'm eating junk?    No one ever saw me taking the third or fourth or tenth or twelfth cookie?  What is the cure?
I heard a great story today.  There was a man who told his neighbor that he had two dogs living inside him, one good and one bad, that were fighting all the time.    The neighbor asked him, "Which one wins?"  He responded, "The one I feed the most."
     Wow!  The more I feed my junk-food craving, the more I crave.  The more I eat healthily, the more I want healthy food and don't want or think about junk.
     The real deal for me is to realize and to not underestimate the power of just 100 calories.  Eating 100 here and 100 there adds up.  Here's how it works.  If I eat 100 calories more today than I need and another 100 more than I need tomorrow, and so on, for a year, then in just one year I will have eaten 36,500 more than I need, or want hanging on my body.  I will have an extra TEN POUNDS by year's end weighing me down, which I will be trying to get rid of next year and wish I didn't have. But, on the same note, by eating just 100 calories less than I  need each day, I will lose ten pounds in one year.  To carry this further, if I'd like to lose twenty pounds by this time next year, then I'll need to eat 100 calories less each day and burn 100 calories more than I need each day, perhaps by walking.  But, if I'd like to lose thirty pounds in the next year, then I could eat 100 calories less and walk off 200 calories more each day.  I am not much in favor of reducing what I eat too drastically; one hundred calories less is enough for me.  I suppose that if I had to, I could.  It appears to me that the equation is simple and seems to be in multiples of ten.  If I somehow could use up 100 calories more each day or eat 100 calories less than I need each day, then I could lose 10 pounds in one year.  By eating a little less or walking a little more equal to 200 calories per day, then I will lose 20 pounds.  This is very simple math.  100 + 100 + 100 + 100+ 100 + 100, and so on X 365 days= 36,500.  Or I could subtract, -100, -100 -100 -100 -100, and so on X 365 =  -36,500 in just one year.  Actually, if I needed to lose 50 pounds, then I could eat 200 calories less, (which would be easy to do if I would just stop eating junk), and walk off 300 calories per day=200 less calories into me + 300 calories burned = 500 calories X 365 = 182,500 calories in one year.  It's all totally doable.    I'll need to do a little research in order to find out how long I would need to walk to burn 100 calories and also to find out what common items might equal100 calories. 
Time keeps marching on and the calories have kept jumping onto me until I said, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  It's time to get serious and stop fooling around with my weight and my health."  My heart health depends on it, and also the chance of getting diabetes and cancer also increases with my poor diet and increased weight.  What was I thinking!  GET REAL and DEAL with the reality of the situation, TJ!   Time's a wastin' and there is no time like the present to begin eating right.  Time is the stuff life is made of.  Today is the only cash I have, so I need to spend it wisely.  Don't let the mini Dove bars take the joy out of tomorrow and out of looking good.  It's totally up to me and I know that I can do this.  Thank you for supporting me and listening to my process as I am learning to live a healthier life with your help.  I could not do it without your support.
Today for breakfast I had a decaf coffee and ate some red seedless grapes and a regular Royal Raspberry Yoplait Yogurt (190 calories).  We have no more Light Yoplait Yogurt in the fridge.  I'll go to the store and get some today.
For lunch I had 1/2 turkey sandwich on one slice of whole grain bread, lettuce, fat-free, low-cal mayo (10 calories), mustard and a slice of red pepper, and 2 sweet pickles.  Julie said that she likes it better on toast bread.  I'll try that next time.
My daughters and I went shopping in the suburbs and we ate at the mall.  I got a delicious green salad with slices of roasted chicken, walnuts and blue cheese, some Italian bread with margarine, a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup, and a glass of water.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     To continue with the Hundred Extra Calories Each Day (HECED) theory, if I ate an extra 100 calories each day for one month, I could gain approximately 1 pound a month.   Let's see how this plays out in real-life eating, for instance, 3 small cookies equals 125 calories and 4 marshmallows adds up to 100 calories.  I can see that this is a very delicate balance.  Living in reality, perhaps I want to gain two pounds each month, then I could simply eat 200 extra calories each day.  If I want to gain ten pounds in a year, I would be sure to eat 100 extra calories each day.  But, if I would really rather gain twenty pounds in one year, I would eat approximately an extra 200 calories each day.
For instance, the mini Dove bars, now called "Dove Miniatures", are 60 calories each.  So, eating three each day could do it for me.  This shows me just how quickly I can add on the pounds if I don't pay attention and instead just gobble the grub without questioning what I'm putting into my mouth.
However, if I'd like to maintain my current weight, then if I did eat 100 extra calories in a day, then I would also walk off 100 calories in that same day.  This concept is beginning to become clear to me. 
     I've heard it said that there are three types of people: People who make things happen,
people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened.  That third one describes me!  I am always wondering,  "What happened?!  I can't believe it!"  In regard to eating I'd say, "I can't believe that I gained weight?  How did that happen?  I didn't eat that much.  As a matter of fact, I feel like I have to be on a starvation diet in order to lose weight!"  This is true, and that is what I thought.  But, I'd better wake up and smell the coffee, because I was eating too much and not exercising enough.  But, I'd think, "It can't be true.  I hardly eat anything.  I am truly a totally innocent victim.  It's not my fault.  Can you believe this scale?!  What do you mean I gained another pound?"  I wonder what the total calories of a Mounds Candy Bar + a package of 6 Oreo cookies equals.  Mounds + OREo=MORE.   When I eat them, I want MORE, another Mounds and more OREos.
     I am learning to remind myself, that, if I fail, I do not have to be discouraged, because success can follow my last failure if I am willing to not give up but to try again. I am not going to do it perfectly.  Progress not perfection is the key.   Also, talking to you, someone who knows exactly what I am going through, has helped me the most.  By understanding the power of people, I am able to get off the merry-go-round and know that no matter how unique I may feel, there is someone to talk to who understands.  How encouraging, refreshing and powerful is that!  I am finding that writing down my thoughts has helped me clarify my thinking.  It's easier to see when it's right in front of me and I have to think it through.
     I was running late this morning and had to get to a meeting, so I had only a decaf coffee with one small creamer and Splenda.  For lunch I had my leftover salad from last night and added some sliced red pepper, red seedless grapes, pecan halves, and also had approximately 1/4 cup of applesauce (which says on the container that 1/2 cup equals 90 calories).  I am going to the movie theater later this afternoon with Julie and may get some popcorn.  Actually, let's be real here, I will get some popcorn.  What's a movie without popcorn?!  For dinner I made cheeseburgers and French fries.  I had only 3/4 of mine and was very full, so I stopped eating.

Copyright © Terry Tasche

When I went shopping two days ago with my daughters, I found myself fitting into one clothing size smaller than previously.  Catherine said that she had heard that losing seven pounds will decrease my clothing size by one size.  I actually was comfortably fitting into a size smaller jeans.  Now that is something to really celebrate!  YEA!  This is working!  My honesty with you about what I am eating has helped me to go down one full size.  Amazing!  I can truthfully say that it feels great!  When Catherine gave me a smaller size pair of jeans to try on in the dressing room, I thought to myself, "There is no way that these are going to fit."  But, to my surprise, they did.  I am so encouraged.
Since visuals help me a lot, I was wondering what 10 pounds or twenty pounds might look like outside of myself.  Since we just had Thanksgiving, I can easily imagine a twenty-pound turkey.  In the same vein, imagine that I was carrying around a twenty-pound turkey everywhere I went.  What a burden on my body and my heart!   Or, what if I was continually carrying a twenty-pound backpack?  Even though we do acclimate to the extra weight over time, that could get pretty heavy after a few hours, days, weeks, or months.   I once went on a backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains for 5 days and carried a 24-pound pack, and it was a load!  Imagine my carrying that around everyday for a year or more.  Anyway, in the last 90 days I have lost 1/2 a turkey in weight, and it feels good to be rid of it.  Again, I ask myself, "Why did I wait so long to begin?"  I guess that I have to admit that depriving myself of junk food was just not an option.  I loved it too much.  Maybe I could write a book and call it "My Love Affair with Junk Food," or "How Many Calories Can I Cram into a Bite?"  Luckily, for breakfast today I found a Dannon Light 'n Fit Creamy Strawberry Flavor Yogurt (100 calories) in the fridge, and I also had a delicious clementine. 
Well, since it is the beginning of the week, I just weighed myself.  I am holding steady.  I didn't lose, but I didn't gain either.  That's not bad for a week that contained Thanksgiving Day, Mashed Potatoes, Chocolate Bread Pudding, all capitalized to give them the respect they deserve.
I can track my lack of progress last week by looking at a couple of things.  Number one, I did not walk every day.  Number two, I had decaf coffee, which in itself has no calories, however, I like to add 2 Tbsp of Coffee Mate Creamer, which contains 90 calories.  In just seven short days that will add up to 540 calories.  I need to walk every day just to burn off those additional calories.  So, today I am switching to Earl Grey Tea at least for this week, which I drink plain without adding anything.  If I do this every day this week, that will be an easy subtraction of over 500 calories.  If my brain could catch on to this simple thinking, I will be thin again.  Number three is that  I need to be sure and have the Light Yogurt (100 calories) and not the regular (Flavors vary between 170-190 calories).  The regular has 70-90 more calories than the Light, so adds another 350-540 calories by week's end.  The two added together equal 1000 calories less in one week.  I guess I should have been walking 1-2 hours a day, rather than not walking at all.  Decreasing my caloric intake by 100 or 200 calories per day doesn't sound like much, but when I see that it can total up to 1000 in a week, that makes me sit up and take notice.  
I could also apply this idea of realizing how easily a little adds up to a lot in relation to my clutter.  A few years ago I decided to GRO every day, which stood for Get Rid Of, something every day.  I worked on this for a year or two and actually tried to Get Rid Of ten things each day.  I wrote down what I was getting rid of, whether it was throwing it out or giving it away, or selling it, or donating it to the thrift/resale shop.  It was staggering to think that by doing this for an entire year, I would be moving on out of here 3,650 items by year's end.  That is amazing!  Also, buying one new washcloth one day would be fine, which I totally could handle and have room for, but doing every day this for one year I'd be so overrun with washcloths, having accumulated 365 by year's end, that my linen closet would be out of control.  Even getting rid of one washcloth would be better than adding another one.  Throwing out the junk mail alone could easily add up to ten items each day.  And not dealing with it each and every day adds up to a big pile on my desk.
That's how easily my calories have gotten out of control, by eating 100 here and 100 there, day after day after day and then not exercising enough.  But, I feel hopeful today, because I am learning to see things clearly and to feed my body good stuff.  Sweets and junk now and then may be inevitable, but I don't have to make a habit of them as I have in the past.
     For lunch I fixed 1/2 turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, low-fat mayo, mustard, sliced red pepper along with 2 sweet pickles, 1/4 cup applesauce and a glass of water.  Later in the afternoon I had a Fresca and five potato chips (50 calories).
For dinner Conrad made steaks, baked potatoes and cauliflower with cheese, and I had a glass of skim milk.  He served a slice (thin for me) of Cranberry Walnut Tart for dessert, trying to get rid of it, with a little spray whipped cream.
     That's it for today.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Once I heard it said that anything worth doing is worth doing well.  So, I want to stay focused today and think about being healthy, looking better and removing excess pounds.  How can I do this?   When I think about all the extra calories I was eating without a second thought, no wonder I couldn't lose weight. 
I had a real challenge to face this morning.  I was going to attend a meeting where I knew that there would be lots of wonderful treats: muffins, coffee cake, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and dessert bars.  But since I knew that I would be facing a battle and that the enemy would be lined up ready to attack at my weakest point, hunger and my inability to resist temptation, I decided to think like a soldier and have a strategy, in other words, have a BP, a Battle Plan.  I decided that I would not go and face the enemy hungry, so I ate a 6-oz container of Dannon Light 'n Fit Creamy Strawberry Flavor Yogurt (only 100 calories) and took extra precaution by eating one slice of deli turkey (only about 25 calories).  I also took a cup of hot Earl Grey Tea along in a to-go cup.  I was prepared for the worst, which happened, because there was even Carrot Cake on the treat table, my favorite!  However, because I had prepared, I had a big victory today and I didn't eat any of it, mostly because I wasn't hungry.  Something else that helped me was that I didn't tempt myself by looking and drooling over the items. 
I had lunch with Catherine at Qdoba and she suggested trying the burrito with all the great ingredients they have, but having it in a bowl without the tortilla.  It was great!  I had mine with pinto beans, their special corn and chopped herbed tomatoes, shredded cheese, a little sour cream and a Tbsp. of guacamole all on a bed of white rice.  For a drink I had some diet lemonade mixed half and half with Diet Coke.  Excellent.
Tonight I will face another battle, because my husband and I are going to the parent potluck at school, and will be passing by tables of desserts much like this morning.  I think I'll eat a slice of turkey before I leave home to sustain me so I don't weaken.  I should mention that after I left the morning meeting, I didn't think, "Gee, I wish that I had had a cookie, a muffin, a doughnut and I really, really wish that I'd had a piece of Carrot Cake!"  No, what I thought was, "I am sooooo glad that I didn't have any of it."  I made it and I am fine.  I survived and I will survive longer and healthier without it.
Well, we just came home from the parent potluck and I am happy to say that I survived tonight when confronted with the dessert table.  Actually there were THREE tables full of unbelievably beautiful sugary concoctions.  I took a quick glance and turned and walked away.  Wow!  Is this me really talking?!   Is this the ACTION I need to stay healthy and get slimmer?  The ACTION that I need to take is that I have to first be willing to walk away, and then actually WALK AWAY FROM, not toward, the junk. I knew that I would be doomed if I took one bite.  Why would I do that to myself?  Why would I lose all that I have gained for a silly bite of sugar?  I walked away from the tables in victory, just like a gambler walks away from a deal.  He may need to walk away before the deal.  As Kenny Rogers says in his song, The Gambler, "You've gotta know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run."  Thank you for those words of inspiration.  It's the only way for me to win and not to lose.  Or, should I say, the only way for me to LOSE is to run, not walk, away from junk food.

Copyright © Terry Tasche

     Well, today I don't have to say, "I wish I hadn't eaten all of that junk!" because I didn't, or, "I wish I'd eaten healthier," because I did.  I forgot to mention that before I left for the potluck I had a slice of turkey.  A little protein for the road got me through a potentially rough moment.  Since I wasn't hungry, I didn't crave.  I also did not pause for long near the dessert tables.  There is no need to longingly look at the enemy.  The longer I look, the more apt he is to attack.  These actions made it possible for me to not indulge myself in the many and very attractive unhealthy temptations.
     Today for breakfast I had a sausage pattie (pre-cooked Bob Evans) and a Dannon low cal yogurt.  For lunch I ate a Clementine orange, a slice of turkey, 2 slices of tomato with Mozzarella cheese with herbs, a sweet pickle and five Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with salsa.  We are going out to dinner tonight with friends from out of town, so I am eating a little lighter than usual.
I looked up burning calories by walking on the internet with the Google search engine and found that a simple rule of thumb is this: a person weighing 150 pounds burns 100 calories per mile.  I found some various online "walking fitness calculators" available at the website-
For instance, it calculated that a 140-pound person walking at a speed of 4 miles per hour will expend 324 calories, and also:
Person's Weight.    Walking 4 miles per hour     Calories expended
200 pounds                               472 calories
     180 pounds                                  420 calories
     160 pounds                                  376 calories
     120 pounds                                  289 calories
     100 pounds                                  236 calories
     The calculator allows me to put in any number of miles per hour and any distance that I want.
     I can see by the above calculations that the heavier person expends more calories when walking 4 miles in one hour's time than a lighter person.  
     This particular website tells me what I can eat equal to the amount just expended.  That's fine if I'm trying to maintain my weight.  If I am trying to do that, then I will walk and eat, and walk and eat, etc.  But, if I'm trying to lose weight by walking, then I will do my DEW theory, which is
Don't Eat-Walk!  "In the Morning DEW!"   "Don't Eat" for me means "Don't Eat Junk!" 
     When I went for a walk yesterday, I was a bit surprised at my reaction when I saw a woman coming out of an ice cream shop holding a chocolate Sunday with whipped cream on top.  I actually didn't even desire to have any.  I wonder how it is that I can see more clearly now what all of that stuff was doing to me, and so now don't even want it and am able to stay away from it.  First of all, I think it may be because I haven't had any sugar and therefore haven't set up the cravings.  Or, perhaps it's because my brain is clearing a bit because it isn't so full of sugar and so I can actually think more clearly! 
  I know that I feel so much better when I have resisted and gotten through a day w/o junk.  And I feel horrible when I don't.  The other day when I had twelve cookies on Tuesday, I thought about all those cookies inside of me, trying to find a fat cell to live in, through the lips and to the hips.
Conrad cut out a funny cartoon in the Chicago Tribune regarding eating.  In it Broom-Hilda said to the little boy, "Nerwin, if you don't clean up your plate, you won't get any dessert."  He responded, "So, if I stuff myself too full, I can have even MORE food?" 

Last night we went out for dinner with friends who were here from out of town.  I started with the bread and had a delicious Caesar Salad and then Salmon with a wonderful mushroom sauce.     We ended with decaf coffee and for dessert three of us shared Crème Bruleé, which was wonderful.  I didn't do too much damage.  I felt totally satisfied, but not over stuffed.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

How was I able to not do damage when I went out to dinner?  Instead of eating the entire dessert by myself, it was shared.  Just because I order dessert doesn't mean that I have to eat it all.  I ate only 1/3 of it.  And, also, even if no one had shared it with me, I didn't have to eat the whole thing just because it was there.  If I don't say no to the sugar and extra calories, I'll have to say hello to bigger clothes and never see a slimmer me.  I believe that my future has a slimmer and healthier me in mind, which is already beginning to be a reality.
One of our out-of-town friends has stayed on a very healthy diet for twenty years.  Why, because his cholesterol was found to be dangerously high twenty years ago.  Today he is very slim and very healthy.  Because he had the goal of good health in mind and kept his focus, he was able to say no to dessert.  He took the Necessary Action to improve his odds and lengthen his life.  We're glad he did. 
Here's a tip of the day and news flash.  Catherine tried a great idea last night.  She thought to herself, "I wonder how the low-calorie yogurt would taste frozen."  So, she froze a 100-calorie yogurt and when she ate it, she told me that, besides tasting delicious, it takes longer to eat, and for it to melt in your mouth. This is good, because it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to register that you've eaten enough.  
People often wonder, "Why is it that the feeling of fullness falls so far behind the stomach being full...much past the point of overindulging?"  The body registers fullness in about 20 minutes, about equal to the time that it takes to eat a regular meal.  So, maybe I should eat slowly and not hurry, chew each bite longer, and stop and enjoy what I'm eating.  One trick I learned years ago when I did "Weigh Down Workshop" was to eat dessert very slowly and enjoy each bite to the fullest.  That way I can enjoy the entire dessert for longer and SAVOR THE FLAVOR.
Thanks, Catherine.  I love the idea!  So, I went out this morning and bought some Dannon Light'n Fit Yogurt (90-100 calories).  I bought Dannon just because it is easier to eat frozen out of the wider container.  Now I have a new tasty treat to try.  Mine is already in the freezer, and I am so excited for my afternoon snack.   Or it could be a treat after dinner in lieu of ice cream.
     Today I walked 8 blocks to the grocery store and back (which is one mile in Chicago). I ate one sausage pattie and had a Yoplait yogurt (100 calories) along with a Bigelow Lemon Lift decaf tea.  Although the store is only one block I figured I might not go back out later because the weather is not conducive today for long walks, so I took the long way home in order to get in a walk.  A little walk is better than no walk at all.  

     To continue with my washcloth analogy, if I have a complete and beautiful linen closet with just the right amount of each item neatly stacked on the shelves, then when I open the door it's a beautiful sight and I can find what I need.  It's a joy to open the door.  In other words the shelves are not bulging with too many washcloths so that when I open the door, things fall out and it's a mess.  However, if I buy one new washcloth every day for a year and keep stuffing them into the linen closet, pretty soon I will need a bigger linen closet.  If a washcloth represents 100 calories, then if I add a new 100 calories every day for a year, pretty soon I have TEN extra pounds that my body doesn't know what to do with except to stuff it into a fat cell, hoping and praying that I will get rid of it one day.  Today is the day!  Since I had an over abundance of washcloths, today I can remove a washcloth instead of adding another one.   Weight was going on slowly, but it was going on, little by little, one day at a time and one washcloth at a time.  Realistically, how many washcloths does a girl really need?!
I looked up the definition of obesity on the internet, and it had some interesting facts about fat cells.  On the website www.weight.com Michael D. Myers, M.D., Inc. of Los Alamitos, California, states,
"Obesity is an excess of body fat that frequently results in a significant impairment of health. Obesity results when the size or number of fat cells in a person's body increases. A normal-sized person has between 30 and 35 billion fat cells. When a person gains weight, these fat cells first increase in size and later in number. One pound of body fat represents about 3500 calories.  Each fat cell weighs a very small amount (about 0.4 to 0.6 micrograms). In other words, it would take about 5 million fat cells to get just 1 ounce of fat.  However, the weight of billions and billions of fat cells does add-up."
     Today I'll look at what I've done and not what I have left to do.  It reminds me that I can keep going and do it!

Here's a good question for me to ponder: 
Why wouldn't I eat all of the dessert when I'd paid for it already?  This is another one of those crazy and irrational thoughts that I think is normal and justified.  When money is attached the value of an item changes.  For instance, why do I keep items around that I no longer use, need, or even like?  For me it's because I paid good money for them and I'd be wasting money if I gave them away or threw them out.   But what about health, happiness, and confidence?  If you want to think about it in terms of money, what about the $140 jeans that are hanging in my closest, untouched for two years, because I can't fit into them anymore, which is probably due to my not wanting to waste the 45 cents I spent on the other half of the cookie, or the $3 I would be wasting by not eating the whole piece of cheesecake!  ((Not to mention the $500 I'll have to spend on new clothes in order to fit the bigger me. Or the $500 of clothes hanging in the closet that no longer fit.  What about that waste?!  Where are my priorities?))
     The truth is that my thinking and priorities are mixed up.  Why would I waste the precious space I have by cluttering it up with unused, unsatisfying items that I will never use?  And in the same way, why would I waste the best years of my life and my health worrying about $3 of uneaten dessert?  The real question is to think ahead and realize that if I eat it all, I will pay for it tomorrow in the way my clothes fit, having to buy unflattering clothes to cover up my thighs, hips, stomach, etc., and to exercise more just to get rid of the extra pounds I've stored up over the years.  Anything extra that I eat above and beyond what my body needs, it will store in fat cells.  I might think next time that I order dessert, "The dessert costs $6.00, and if I eat only half of it, then I will be wasting $3.00.  But, by eating only half, I will be adding only 200 calories on my body rather than 400, or, let's be real, 300 rather than 600.  By eating only half I will be so happy tomorrow that I didn't eat it all.  The other night when I had 1/3 of the Crème Brülée, I didn't think the next day, "Boy, do I wish that I had gotten all the Crème Brülée to myself."  I didn't think that because I was sooo happy that I didn't have to go to the gym and spend extra time on the elliptical or have to cut calories to make up for the dessert I ate all by myself.  How much is the value of those 200 or 300 calories?  How much is my value?  What is worth more in the long run, me or the dessert,  or wasted dessert or $3.00?  I'll either waste the dessert or waste me.  It is just a pile of sugar that will soon be on my hips.  I must remember how much work it is to get rid of it and that if I choose to eat it, I am eating it of my own free will.  No one is forcing me to get fat.
     I wrote this about chocolate this morning and then wondered, "Why on earth did I write this?"  Can anyone relate to this crazy thinking?
If I ever feel deprived, I can easily feel rich if I buy chocolate and eat it.   I am a woman with needs, and chocolate fills those needs & makes me feel valuable.  I can't afford a mink coat, but I can afford a lb of chocolate & I can have it all to myself.  I can hide it & not share-mine alone.  As my daughter said when she was little, "Mines!"  All for me and none for you.  Nanny-nanny-noo-noo.  I controlled the chocolate.  I could have it whenever I wanted it.  I didn't have to share.  No one would see me having another bite.  No one would know, and when it showed, I would say, "I just can't seem to lose weight." And thought, "Poor me."  It's a vicious cycle of hopelessness.  In "The Wizard of Oz" Dorothy said to the Wizard, "I guess there is nothing in that black bag for me."  That's exactly how I felt.  But then she was told that she had the power within herself, that she had had the power all the time.  She just had to figure that out.  But, I couldn't figure it out by myself.  I had to share my thoughts honestly with you, someone who understands, and then you helped me to think differently, and then to act differently.

Why am I finally having success now?  I no longer could accept the way I was eating and the extra pounds that I carried for years.   I wanted to change the things I couldn't accept, but how?  I needed help, so I asked you to listen to me and to understand.  Thank you so much.  It's working.  I had to want to do it.  I had to want to lose, and choose to lose and choose to change. 
MyDiet_DayByDay is not for those who need it; it's for those who want it.  That's the only way it will work.  And it works because I am working it.
My daughter Catherine told me that I had been trying to lose 15 pounds for 15 years.  I am a regular person, like everyone else, no one thought I'd ever do it and never expected me to show up skinny one day.  I had given up hope that I would ever lose.  Why would anyone think that I'd ever really do it.  I have so much to lose by not losing.  I can lose my health and my life by not losing.  I have everything to gain by losing.
When I am in my hunger mode, I prowl around looking for something to devour.  But what I need to do is to STOP and THINK about what it is that I really need.  What I need is to satisfy that hunger with satisfying, nutritious and good-tasting food.
Yesterday I had 2 nutritious yogurts, a banana and two Clementines and a cup of Bigelow's Lemon Lift Tea.  I made a decision to stay away from the chips.  I went out to dinner with friends and had two pieces (squares) of sausage-mushroom thin-crust pizza.  The last piece was offered to me, but I was full, so I didn't take it.  

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today is my weigh-in day and Day100 since I started MyDiet.  It's another milestone for me.  WOW!  To me WOW stands for Weigh Only Weekly!  Or Weigh Once a Week!  That works best for me. 
Last week I cut out an extra 1000 calories by drinking tea instead of my usual decaf with the additional 90 calories or more of French Vanilla Creamer added to it.  One-thousand calories adds up to nearly one-third pound of weight loss.  Amazing how it adds up!
Last night when I went to bed I noticed that, when I turned to my side, my stomach did not need its own space in front of me.  It used to be lying on the bed beside me.  I can see that my new thinking is working and that it is translating into losing actual pounds.  My friend, the stomach lying next to my body, is disappearing.  Yea!  Good riddance! 
When I went to the parent potluck the other night, people came up to me and said how nice I looked.  Some even complimented me on my short black jacket that I was wearing.  It ends just above the waist.  This is a jacket that I would have never bought in a million years.  I always bought long jackets so they would hide my waist and my hips.  I have to say that it felt really good to have my clothes fit nicely.  I have to believe in the fact that it is possible to do this.
A Sculptor starts with a blob and starts chiseling.  Picture a sculptor chiseling away at my statue-half is a blob and the other half is a finished masterpiece.  A masterpiece is made one chisel at a time, 100 calories less at a time.  I've covered me up and now it's time to come out and show up for life.  I know I'm under there somewhere. 
If I want to lose one pound each week, then that is approximately 2 oz per day, because if 16 oz. is divided by 7 days, then each chisel would be exactly 2.28 oz. chipped away. Or, in calories, I could figure that it takes 3500 less calories in a week to lose one pound, then that would mean that I would need to take in 500 calories less per day.  And, in order to lose 16 oz, or one pound, then I'd have to lose 2.28 oz each day.  I won't be taking it off if I am putting it on while I'm trying to take it off.    If I'm eating while I'm burning, I'm adding concrete to the statue instead of chiseling away to the masterpiece underneath.

Miracle of miracles, when I weighed myself yesterday morning, I found that I have lost another pound!  That is especially amazing since 1) we are in the middle of the Holiday Season, 2) I went out to dinner three times last week and out to lunch two times, and 3) had pizza and dessert during the same week.  Now that is something I need to take note of.  This means that it is possible to still lose weight if I focus on my goal and not let my D&E Train (Diet & Exercise Train) get derailed.  Cutting out the junk food has really been my main secret to success, besides writing to you. 
This morning, after I dropped Julie off at school, I went straight to the health club and worked out on the machines for 30 minutes.  I really felt that I should go since I haven't been there for a couple of weeks.  That's it, just 30 minutes, totally doable.  I used 8 machines, 20 pushes or pulls on each, and then moved to the elliptical machine, and then back to another round on the eight machines.  This involved another D word which stands for Discipline.  Just do it and think healthy thoughts and think about how much I am helping myself stay healthy and about how much better I will feel.  D&E can stand for Discipline and Education Program.  I am becoming educated about myself and applying some much needed discipline.  As much as I don't like that word, it is powerful.
Changing my attitude has been a slow process.  When I gained back in the second week the very pound that I had lost the first week, I had to really look at what I was doing in the way of exercise and what I was eating in the way of junk.  I have had slow weeks of only a half pound loss and even no loss at all.  But I have not gained weight since the second week of MyDiet.
 I am going for the bigger goal of better health.  The healthier I am the easier it is for my body to work.  Would I rather eat all of the dessert and all of the pizza, or would I like my clothes to fit nicely.  They are already paid for.  I don't have to spend time and money to shop for new clothes, which would, unfortunately, need to be bigger.  If I do gain weight, then the clothes that I currently own will fit too tightly and I may not be able to comfortably wear them?  If I think through these simple ideas, I come up with the answer.  If I think before I eat, choose healthy foods, write to you about my eating and even my sometimes crazy thinking, I can stay on track.
I am gaining control of an out of control situation.  I think that this is spilling into other areas of my life and increasing my confidence in other areas.  I am not sure just how this works, but I am happy about it.  My changes on the inside are starting to show on the outside.
The more I lose, the easier it is to stay away from junk food.  And when I do go to the gym, I also want to eat healthier.  So it feeds on itself, so to speak.  Once I see that I am losing weight by doing these simple things, I am encouraged to continue on this healthy track.
Let's see, what did I eat today?  For breakfast I had a banana and a 100-calorie yogurt, and decaf coffee with a measured 30 calories of vanilla sweetener.
For lunch I went to Qdoba with Catherine and I had a burrito in a bowl, without the tortilla, consisting of white rice, pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, their special corn, a little quacamole and sour cream.  For a drink I mixed Diet Coke with diet lemonade and Sprite, in order to minimize the caffeine, calories, and dark cola.
I broiled a filet mignon for dinner and Julie made a fabulous salad.  To drink I had a glass of skim milk.  I also had a small slice of heated Cranberry Walnut Tart, still left over from a week or so ago, and very good.  Love,  Terry  (One friend liked that I had grouped everything that I ate together so that they could see it all together.)

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

The biggest change in my diet is replacing junk food, i.e. empty carbohydrates, with protein and useful carbohydrates containing vitamins and minerals, not just containing only calories.  This gives my body something that it can actually utilize for good rather than something that it will only store as fat.
The body is a UTILITY SYSTEM and the purpose of food is to give the body energy.  Eating empty calories that serve no purpose but to add more fat and to drain my body of energy is self-defeating.  The purpose of my body is to get me where I need to go and to help me do what I need to do.  Actually, I might call my body my utility vehicle or Self Utility Vehicle, SUV, for me and just for me.  I had better take care of it, because this is it for a lifetime.  There are no trade-ins.  Even though some parts might need to be replaced, it's not that easy to do.  I'd better make the best of what I have.
The fuel tank of a car stores gas for the engine and is like the stomach in the body.  I put food into the temporary container of my stomach to be utilized and burned as I need it throughout the day.
There are no pockets of little fuel tanks all over the car to store the excess gas when I fill it to overflowing.  It simply rejects it and it runs onto the ground letting me know that it is full.  The body doesn't know what to do with the excess except to store it.  If the car could store the excess in millions of little fuel tanks, the added weight would overload the engine because of the sheer weight added to the car, and the engine would be weighted down and therefore not run as efficiently as it could and should.  The tires might even blow out from the additional weight.  Why, because it was not intended to carry an excessive amount of weight.
I noticed something the other night, that I no longer need the medication which I sprayed in my nose every night to decrease the stuffiness and congestion in my nasal passages.  I wonder if the sugar running around in my system before it could find a fat cell to rest in was partially to blame for my nasal congestion.
Like salt, sugar can also retain water.  Therefore, an increase in sugar in my blood stream and tissues and throughout my system before it's converted into fat cells, causes fluid retention in the cells and tissue.  This includes all of the cells in the body, including the brain. 
This is horrible!  What have I been doing to myself all of these years!  I ignored the facts that I may have learned in basic biology in school.  I loved the taste of sugar and carbohydrates so much that I put my body and health at risk.  I had added pounds in order to satisfy my craving.  The funny thing is this, it was never satisfied.  The more sugar and carbohydrates I ate, the more sugar and carbohydrates I wanted.  It's like my system had gone completely haywire and I could no longer think clearly.  The brakes went out and I couldn't stop.  However, my brain needs protein and vitamins in order to think.  Sugar derailed my system, and I could no longer think accurately where food was concerned.  The thinking process was turned upside down by too much of what I thought was a good thing.  Now I am turning it right side up so that it can run like it's supposed to run.
Last week a huge windstorm came along and blew my husband's out door train set off its track, and it went crashing to the ground.  Of course, it could handle a normal breeze and stay on track.  The overly strong wind is just like adding excess sugar to my diet.  The body finally can't handle it and it crashes by getting diseased.  The excessive amount, like I was eating every day, derails my efficient body system, and stresses the various systems within my body.   It stresses the blood vessels and may even cause blindness as the excess sugar builds up in the blood stream and stresses and breaks down the walls of the delicate retinal vessels in the back of the eyes, giving a very clear picture of what is happening to the rest of the cells and vessels as well.   This sometimes happens to people with Diabetes.   The body transports the excess calories to the millions of additional storage containers, commonly called fat cells, as my body continues almost helplessly looking for somewhere to dump the extra sugar. The excess caloric intake can tax the pancreas, which normally produces insulin, and a disease called diabetes can result.  It stresses the heart and causes heart disease, one reason being that it can't operate under the pressure of carrying excess weight. I'm sure that if my body could talk, it would ask me to stop sending it more than it needs in the way of calories, but it can't speak up for itself.  It just does the best it can and carries the sugar molecules around and around and around to the fat cells.  Finally at day's end the system gets a rest when I go to bed.  Just when it thinks that I am done abusing it and it gets a break, I wake up and pour more sugar and empty calories into myself the next morning.  My poor system was exhausted and worn out and believe me, I felt it, too!
Another thing that I have noticed is that I am sleeping so much better.  I used to wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and not be able to go back to sleep for one and often two hours.  Now I am sleeping through the night.  What a wonderful feeling it is to wake up and it is morning!  It was horrible when I'd wake up and not be able to go back to sleep.  I would lie awake wasting my time trying to get back to sleep.  Then I finally accepted it and if I had not gone back to sleep within 10 or 15 minutes, I'd turn on the light and read until I was tired, usually for two hours.  Since I had to get up at 6:45 to get my daughter ready for school and then drive her to school, I wouldn't have a chance to sleep late, so my sleep was just mixed up and quite a mess.  I was dragging most of the time. 
But now I am sleeping through the night.  What a great thing that is!  Of course, I am more refreshed in the morning.  I never in a million years connected this with my diet.  And, since my nose isn't congested, I have better sleep.  Even if I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I usually am able to fall right back to sleep.  This alone is worth giving up the junk food.  Who would have thought all of this was possible and would be spin offs of a better diet and exercise program.  I have probably heard people suggest such a thing, but didn't believe it would work for me.  I am soooo unique and different from everyone else.  This is called terminal uniqueness, and it's a killer.  It not only can kill the body, it kills the spirit, joy and enthusiasm, because I am just plain tired!
Here is what I ate today.  I had a banana and low-calorie yogurt for breakfast and a decaf coffee.  For lunch I had a salad of baby spinach and baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, sliced fresh mushrooms and cucumbers with low-cal Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing (only 40 calories in 2 Tbsp).  I went to a beautiful Holiday Tea this afternoon and had 4 dessert petit fours, because I was standing right beside them and that was all there was to eat because I came after the appetizers were served.  I also had a glass of Champagne.  When I got home I made myself 1/2  banana sandwich on one slice of whole grain bread with low-cal mayo and peanut butter along with a glass of skim milk.
Incidently, I threw out the remainder of the Cranberry Walnut Tart this morning, because I slept horribly after eating a small slice for dessert last night.  It was the worst night's sleep I've had in weeks.  It is too much of a coincidence that I had been sleeping well until I had the sugar after dinner.  My nose was also very congested during the night and that lasted until noon today.  I wonder if there is a relationship.  This realization comes right after I had had such insight on the destructiveness of sugar to my body a little earlier.  I'm a slow learner.  Anyway, I will look at this like an experiment and pay more attention to what I am eating in relation to how I am sleeping and breathing.
I used to think that freedom was being able to eat anything whenever I wanted.  But when I am more disciplined about my food, I am finding that that is when I have real freedom.  I escape from the prison of the bondage to food.  I am happier and able to think more clearly and deal with people without over reacting.  I have had an attitude change.  What a miracle!  A good healthy meal is very satisfying.  Hunger and craving are entirely different.  Once I take a bite of sugar, then it's out of my control and I have to have more, like main lining a drug.  Give me more!  But, I need to say instead, "I'm not eating it, no matter what!" And I also need to eat, no matter what. 
It's comforting to know that someone out there understands what I am going through.  MyDiet is not complicated.  If I don't waste my calories on junk, then I won't gain.  It's not expensive, and I don't have to buy any special foods.  All the foods that I need are right in the grocery store, and need no special weighing or preparation.  I am just paying attention to what I am eating.  Actually, it's surprising how little I need.  As I've proved in the past, it it's too complicated, I probably won't do it.   I've found some healthy protein foods that I enjoy, some crunchy foods, some good low-calorie drinks, and paid attention to the calorie content listed on the containers.   Terry

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

The solution then is that when I feel hungry, think protein.  It's not to search high and low for empty carb-craving carbs that are only going to make me feel like I'm starving and not satisfy my hunger.  It's like a mirage, when I get there I'm still thirsty.  It looks enticing and beautiful and like it will satisfy, but it does not satisfy, and does nothing in the way of giving me what I need-water.  The empty calories of sweets and junk give me nothing in the way of nutrition, i.e., vitamins, minerals, protein, the body-building amino acids of protein, or even the basic fiber my GI system needs to keep smoothly flowing.  Colon cancer can even result from a sluggish slowdown.  Is that what I want?  I don't think so!  Healthy eating can result in a healthy and fit me.
Why am I still hungry and want more after I've eaten junk?  Could my body be trying to tell me that I haven't given it what it needs and really wishes I'd send down pronto-some nutritious food.  It's asking for something to help it work better and more efficiently.  The only way it knows how to ask me for help is through sending signals of hunger.  My eyes, my mouth and my taste buds have taken over control of the decision making ability of my brain.  My brain and my good sense that I was born with had checked out.  I truly no longer even knew how to appropriately feed myself.  How sad is that!
Lucky for me I received the Gift Of Desperation, G-O-D, and then asked for help.  And, fortunately I have a brain and I can learn if I am willing and become teachable.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Something else that losing weight and eating better has done for me is to show me how putting off something I need to do is ridiculous.  Procrastination is one of my defects.  I put off getting my self in shape because I thought that the project would be too difficult to accomplish.  I thought that I'd have to deprive myself of good junk food, and obviously I didn't want to do that.  But what I was really depriving myself of was good food for my body and depriving myself of so much more.  My vision was so shortsighted.  Why did I procrastinate for so long?
Now that I am beginning to reap the real rewards of having clothes fit nicely and being happier with how I look, I am "getting it".  So, I don't want to waste another minute feeling badly about something that I can actually do something about.
It all started simply by Making a Decision to change what wasn't working for me.  Eating junk food wasn't bringing me the satisfaction it always seemed to bring in the past.  It was causing trouble and one day the light bulb of awareness went on.  First I became Aware that there was a problem, me, and the way I was eating.  Then I Accepted that it was me and only me who could do something about it.  And, thirdly I had to put into Action and change what I could no longer accept about myself.  It was not a pretty picture, but with your help and support I knew that it was possible to change. 
Writing everything down that I ate was key and then letting you know.  Seriously, you have made all the difference in my life.  My commitment to be honest has kept me on target.  You are my lifeline and have given me the one thing I didn't have and that I had lost somewhere along the way, hope.  Where am I without hope?  I call it giving up, because without hope I am hopeless and helpless to change. 
But, before I could change or even know how to change, I had to Admit that I needed help.  I prayed, "Dear God, I need help, but what should I do?"  Then the idea came to me to write down what I was eating.  I thought that I would be stronger in my resolution to be honest if I could write a friend who could understand and support me, a friend who could encourage me along the way, a friend who would let me know that I am not alone.  You, my friend, are the answer to my prayer, and I thank God for you in my life.
To review:
1) Aware that I needed help
2) Admit that I needed help
3) Accept that I needed help
4) Ask for help
5) Act on the help I got
6) Apply the new direction that I received.
 I was finally able to have some new behavior, which was never possible before for me.
I am kind of in shock and in awe of how this works.  I see now that it is a process.  It doesn't happen all at once and doesn't happen over night.  But, it is possible that it can happen, and I can keep going in this new, better, and healthier direction.  It's my choice.  It's up to me.  No one else is living my life or telling me what to eat.  Much of my eating had become a bad habit. 
Why am I repeating myself?  Because I don't always get it the first time, or the second, or even the third.  Even thought I'm a slow learner, I can change if I want to change.  Before the Mounds/Oreo incident I wasn't motivated to change.  I was comfortable enough with the way things were, not happy, but comfortable.  Even though I was making bad and potentially dangerous food choices, and knew that I should eat differently, what I wanted to do was to indulge junk food.  So, I didn't choose what was good for me, but instead chose what I wanted. 
I want what I want and I want it now.  As Woody Guthrie sang in one of his songs for children, "I want my milk, and I want it now!"  And I got what I wanted and look where it got me.  At that last thought I have to laugh at myself.  Who was I kidding and what was I thinking!  I was choosing good tasting over good health.

The recent 10" snowfall in Chicago accented the beauty of the holiday. 

Procrastination can make my life miserable.  While I'm waiting to take off the weight or to get ready to take it off, I'm adding it on, and my life is going by.  Being unhappy about my weight is living in an unhappy state of mind.  Although eating junk can bring temporary pleasure, it never in a million years could take me where I really want to go.  While I was eating, my body was starving.  But the funny thing is that it surely didn't look like I was starving. 
Of course, I need calories, like a car needs gas to run, but I was over doing it.  All calories and very little nutrition make my body inefficient and eventually sick.  Draining calcium out of my bones, for example, by over indulging in caffeinated drinks leads to broken bones, which will eventually be unsalvageable and I'll be bedridden. 
I'm afraid to even look at the research on the damage caused by too many calories, too much sugar, added pounds and weight.  I suppose that the weight can add stress to my joints, knees and hips, also.  I cannot imagine or understand the stress of carrying too much weight that I added to my joints like my knees and my hips?  And knee or hip-replacement surgery is not cheap or without pain. 
Moderation is the key.  As my father-in-law often reminded us, "Everything in moderation," i.e., sugar, calories, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, etc., just to name some things that add stress to the pancreas, heart, liver, lungs, bones, joints, blood vessels, the eyes' ability to see, and on and on.  The individual body systems will start to break down and have problems.
My goal today is to give my body good stuff to work with and to relieve the stress and strain that I have added to my body.  I mean, yes, it's made to carry me my whole life, but was never made to carry me and the extra weight.  Take it off and keep it off, that is my motto. 
Today I had a banana and a light 100-calorie Yoplait yogurt for breakfast, and a decaf coffee.  For lunch I had Muenster Cheese and soda crackers and a salad w/ low fat dressing.  For dinner we went out.  I had prime rib, mashed potatoes and asparagus w/Hollandaise Sauce.  I had 1/4 of an order of Crème Brulée for dessert which was shared by others.  It was all excellent, and there were even carolers dressed in Dickens costumes who came around to the tables during dinner. 

One day will I lie on my deathbed and regret that I didn't have more calories?  In January will I regret that I didn't eat more Christmas cookies, cakes and candy or drink more eggnog?  No, because there's another candy craze just around the corner, Valentine's Day.  And even if there was not, there are plenty of abundant quantities of sugar items practically everywhere I turn.  The problem will not be that I cannot get my hands on enough sugar, the problem is how to stay away from it when it's staring me in the face.  I have an idea, Don't Look!  If it's not near me, I can't get entangled with it and it won't seep into my body.
On any future day will I wish that I'd had more the day before?  Tomorrow will I wish that I'd had more junk yesterday?  Probably not, but I will probably regret that I let my brain go haywire when it comes to sugar.  Will I make over indulging today a regret of tomorrow, or next year, and on and on 'til the end of my short years on earth?  I am worth taking care of.
Today I had a low-calorie Yoplait yogurt for breakfast, and went to lunch with my daughter Julie and her friend and her friend's mom. I had a salad and Quiche.  For dinner I attended a wonderful Holiday Open House and had the best appetizers and tasty small sandwiches.  I must admit that I looked at the dessert table and had the most delicious brownie ever, a 1"x2" brownie, and one frosted cookie shaped like holly with 3 red hots for berries.  But, that was all.
The houses are decorated for the season with garland, ribbons,  and snow.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

At the Holiday Party last night I have to admit that if I had been alone in the room with the dessert, or if I knew that no one would see me, I would have taken more than the two I took.  I would have taken a second and then a third brownie and more cookies, but I knew I'd look like a pig and they'd see that I was out of control.
It's as though I have no brakes on my car, as if I were driving down the highway of life in my car, with an accelerator but no way to stop.
Anyway, I didn't reach out and grab.  When I left the party, I was glad that I hadn't indulged myself.  My question is this, how can I place these controls on myself when I am alone? 
When I didn't take the second brownie last night, I stood there looking at the plate, and I had just told the lady I had just met just how delicious they were, so she knew that I'd already had one.  On a conscious level I had applied the brakes.  I need to apply the brakes when I am alone.  Why was I able to do this at that moment in time?  I knew that she would know, and I did not want to embarrass myself. 
     Accountability adds power to my decision to change.  Without it I am out of control and will continue so until the end.
     I need to apply the brakes when no one is looking as well. I also need to turn on my lights so that I am not driving in the dark, because I need to see where this is going and where I am going.  A little pre-visualization would help where I could see the final picture.  As a photographer I do this all the time.  I look through the camera's viewfinder and carefully examine all four corners before I click the shutter.  I need to examine the entire situation before I take a bite, and before I think of taking a bite. The only way I can do this is by being aware of my mental attitude.
     If I am driving down the road of life without being able to apply brakes to this destructive behavior, or not be able to see where I am going or where I am headed, I can look at the last ten years and see pretty clearly that the future ten years will be the same, if not worse, unless I change what I am doing.  I need to think before I act and think before I eat.
     Our Very Existence Requires Willingness Every Inch, and Grateful Honest Thinking.    Without it I will crash.  The first letter of each word spells OVERWEIGHT.  My honesty may help me not to crash.  My simply telling what's going on with me, is helping me to be honest.
     I need to be Grateful, Honest, and Think.  Being grateful is a mental attitude.  My Joyfulness is a choice.  Every Inch can mean Every Inch of the Way or Every Inch of Fat as it reminds me to remove the excess.
     Having an attitude of gratitude is something I have learned from some very grateful people.  It is antidote for many ills.  I can think of how grateful I am for my life, my friends, my home, my country, my family, my job, my income, my health, my sight, the ability to walk and see and eat and taste, and to laugh and cry, and feel and hug, to play an instrument, or simply to hear the music.  Do I need to or want to add to this list the ability to make my body and myself sick or even worse to eat myself to death?  I don't think so.
     When I have an attitude of gratitude, I change my focus away from feeling sorry for myself and despairing to happiness and joy for life.  For example, when it rains, I can either be mad about the crummy weather or thankful that the lakes and rivers that are being replenished and that the trees, flowers, and crops of the earth are being watered.  It's all in my thinking and my attitude.  I have the power to choose how I think and how I see any given situation. 
     When it's breakfast time, I can say, "Thank you that I can choose to eat in a healthy way today."  And then I can pick up or prepare something healthy and nutritious in my mouth.  The cupcake icing looks enticing, but not on me.  Chocolate may look good in the box but not on my ham hocks.  I want to be a lean machine so that I can live and work efficiently and not weighted down by excess pounds.  Instead of thinking, "Poor me, I can't have it, so I'll just have to be miserable," I could think and understand that I don't need it, then maybe eventually I won't even want it.

Today is weigh-in day and what's worked for me is to Weigh Once Weekly, WOW, which can also stand for Weigh On Wednesday.  It's amazing what just 10 1/2 pounds weight loss has done.  I had to go and buy a new pair of black slacks, because my old ones were very droopy and looked pretty bad.  Yea!  This is a good sign.  I didn't lose, but I didn't gain either, and that is especially good for the very tempting time of the Holidays.
Since losing one pound in a week will not show up as a significant loss day by day, why bother weighing myself each and every day?  Losing one pound, 16 oz., each week would mean a daily loss of approximately 2.28 oz per day, which is not going to show up on the scale.   I look forward to my weekly weigh-in.  Losing one pound every week is very significant and is worth celebrating one week at a time. Translated into calories, if it takes 3500 calories less in a week of either burning or eating less, in order to lose one pound, then that would mean either eating 500 calories less per day or burning 500 calories more each day.  By this time next year, a weekly weight loss of just one little tiny pound could add up to 52 pounds less for anyone who wants to lose 52 pounds.  Keep walking and watch the weight fall off.  Keep chiseling, there's a masterpiece under there somewhere.  Today am I ready, willing, and able to do some serious chiseling away at my present form and uncover the masterpiece underneath it all?
If I notice that my teeth are not as white as I'd like, wouldn't I at least try something different and try a whitening toothpaste?  Maybe even drink less dark colas and less caffeine sodas so I won't stain my teeth.  Since dark colas also pull calcium out of the bones by creating an imbalance in phosphorus and calcium, it's another reason to switch to a clear soda, or at least choose non-caffeine sodas, or even water.
If I notice that my body is out of shape, wouldn't I at least try something different?  Common sense would say that I would.  But, eating junk does not usually involve common sense.
When I fix my hair, as if I am repairing it, I can never get the look and lift like when the hair stylist at the salon blows it dry.  So, the last time I paid attention to what she was doing and what she was using.   I asked her about the type of brush she was holding in her hand.  She said that it was a ceramic brush, and that it heats up with the heat of the dryer.  And, it prevents static!  The next time I was near a beauty supply store I went in and got educated regarding ceramic hairbrushes.  The brush package states that it does faster, gentler drying, eliminates frizz and creates silky smooth hair, evenly spreads and holds heat longer, so hair dries faster, emits negative ions when heated which prevents static, and helps break down bacteria buildup, and produces healthy, freshly conditioned hair.  Now that I am educating myself, why would I use anything else, especially since the professionals use ceramic brushes.  Now I see why.  Where have I been all my life?  My mother was always coming home with a new brush, which was supposed to make our fine hair act like plump, full hair.  I have finally found the magic brush.
I heard an interesting bit of info on the radio.  Evidently there is research that is relating death of brain cells to hair dryers.  Could it be that the excessive heat too close to the skull is causing the brain to get too hot?  With the ceramic brush I heat up the brush and not my brain. 
I applied my new knowledge and my hair looks better.  I'm talking about and caring about my hair, and that's only the top of me, just 5% of me. But, what about the other 95%?  Don't I care about the rest of me, which is most of me?  I go and get my hair "fixed" and buy a special brush, go to the salon, buy nice shampoos and conditioners, have it cut just so, and then I let my body go to pot.  Have I seen what you see?  I think that I have been looking at a very confused person here?  I learn about and take care of my hair better than I do the rest of me.  What is wrong with this picture?  My thinking is mixed up, distorted and upside down.  But, it is slowly turning right side up as I begin to see my body as at least as important as my hair and my teeth, which are also on the top of me.

( I have been out of town so am a bit behind, but I stayed on task for MyDiet and happily can say that I did not gain.  What a major feat!  So, the worst is over regarding the difficult holidays where eating is concerned.  The Holidays are great but are, of course, very tempting.  I kept writing even though I was away and will transcribe my thoughts on eating and temptations in the next few days and I'll send them on to my support team, you!)

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Thinking before I bite may be especially difficult when I am by myself, because I may then use food when I am Bored, Anxious, or Lonely.  This is not to say that I don't have plenty to do or should do.  I guess that I could add another thing to my list of EXCUSES to eat junk, and that is just for something to do, or to Escape from a huge project I have to do.  Eat to Escape.  In that way I may use it to BALE out of life (Bored, Anxious, Lonely, Escape).  Or eat to avoid Discouragement, Disappointment or any Difficult situation that should arise.  Then I have totally BALEDDD out of life and have used food or junk to numb my feelings for the moment.  Face the facts and change.  I can do it if I'm willing.  There's help all around me.  Some cost a lot and some are free.   If I ran for a slice of turkey every time I was BALEDDD, then I wouldn't gain weight.   Sometimes I eat junk just because I see it and it is there.  So, I have to get it out of my house and not bring it into the house.  If others in the house have to have it, then let them eat it outside, like they do with smokers, because I can't have it in my sight. 
I can't believe that I am saying this, because I have never stopped long enough to think about it in this way.  But, in all honesty, it is true.  What if I tried to gain "control" of it and decided to only eat junk in the morning, or only one day a week, or only on weekends, or only had my fix between five and bedtime?  Would I really be in control, or would the effect be the same?  I could pretend that I am in control and think that nobody knows.  But, if anyone saw me surrounded by my junk of choice, would I appear to them to be in control?  No.  I'd only be fooling myself.  I would only think that no one knew unless they saw me.  I would live in the la-la land of denial.  Even my family can't do anything to stop me.  Even if I am ready to crash, they can't help me until I want help and am willing to help myself.
Perhaps that is a good picture for me to think about and see, that of placing all of the junk that I'd eat in a given day all together to be eaten all at once in a single sitting.  Then maybe my eyes would be open to see what I usually cannot see and what others could see if they were looking.  It would give me a chance to step back and reflect on what I am doing.  This tool of practicing pre-visualization is so important and can help me to see where I am going with this insane behavior.  As I go forward, I am gaining new insights and new tools to help me in this battle.
I don't often stop and think about these relatively insane thoughts regarding sugar and other junk.  Why am I junking up my body with it?   In a rational moment, on a conscious level, I know that eating junk doesn't help.  But it does have an ability to numb my emotions or feelings for the moment, and get me to focus on it instead of a problem.  I can't believe I'm saying this, because I have never stopped long enough to think about it in this way.  Well, it's time that I did!

If I am disappointed, frustrated, anxious, or whatever, I don't have to run to junk.  The truth is that no matter how much I want to blame someone else for my disappointment, frustration, discouragement, I wind up being more disappointed, frustrated, or discouraged, or whatever, by eating and gaining.  Stop and Think!  In the end, will I be more encouraged by the way I look and feel?   Eat and gain no more.
Just like I've heard it so wisely said, I can't be hateful and grateful at the same time.  Being grateful will dissolve the unpleasant feelings.  A baby can't cry when it has a pacifier in its mouth.  I can't feel when I have pacified myself with something pleasant in my mouth.  But, I am not a baby and I'd better grow up and learn to feel and then deal with the feeling.  

Copyright © Terry Tasche

Today is the last day of the year, a time to think about new beginnings, and resolutions for change.  Tomorrow will be Happy New Year!  And a time to begin a year of Happy New YOU! 
It's good to look back and take stock.  How do I do this?  Write down everything that I want to change.  I am sure that it will be quite a list.  I need to realize that I do have the power to change the picture of my future, if I want to.  Just now, for instance, I was a bit hungry so I went to the kitchen and wanted so badly to have cashews and pistachios, but knew that they wouldn't really curtail my hunger and that I'd be right back in there for more in a few minutes, so I decided that I'd better have some protein instead.   I opened the fridge and got out a slice of Muenster cheese and then got two soda crackers to go with it.  Now I am satisfied and no longer hungry.  I have forgotten about the high caloric items, so have no need to get up over and over to get more to eat.  That's how it works for me, one bite at a time.
I have to be realistic in my goals and BE REAL.  My methods often fail because I am depending on myself alone to accomplish the impossible.  Just to buckle down doesn't always work, because I am doing it on my own strength alone.  I have definitely proven that I am weak when it comes to food, especially junk food.  I have found that it is in admitting that I am weak that I am finding strength.  Changing had been utterly impossible for me to do by myself.  When I put food and junk food in its true perspective, it loses its power to dominate my thoughts and my life, and when I eat right, I'll lose weight.  If I put my successes and failures out there for all to see, then I am doing service in sharing honestly about my struggle.  Of course, it is helping me the most.  Maybe it can help others, maybe not.  Everyone is allowed to take what they like and leave the rest.  I am to do the work and not worry about the results.  Once I put it down, it is out of my hands.  Where food is concerned, I am on the same playing field as everyone else.  I struggle with it just like others do.  We are all equals.  What is the cost of health?  It is priceless!  What works is to have a real plan, not just a fantasy.  Know what I am going to eat today and stick to it.  Plan meals or snacks around healthy, hunger-satisfying foods.  At the beginning I didn't know what I was going to do, but I couldn't keep doing what I was doing.  But, as they say, practice makes perfect.  Maybe I am not perfect, actually for sure I am not perfect, but I am having excellent success and should get an A for my good work in losing ten pounds and keeping it off, especially over the Holidays.  I ended the year well in the diet department, and let me begin the New Year just as well and stay on track. 
Happy New Year! And Happy Losing.  It's the only game in town that when you lose, you win.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

MyDiet_Day112_Happy New Year!  Happy New You!
New Year's Day-My motto for this year is-
Carpe diem, carpe instantum, carpe animum-seize the day, seize the moment, seize the essence of life.  This is a beautiful motto to follow.
This is a new day and I have it in my power to choose good food just by the way I think about it and what I do with what I know.
I can be involved in building a better foundation for my body.  We just put a new front on our old house.  It needed new steps, but the old ones were made of a very strong poured concrete and were seven-feet wide.  So, we dressed them up by adding limestone caps to each one.  This beautified the front of our house by covering the strong foundation that was already there. 
It is the same principle with my body.  Now, when I dress, I am covering a better and stronger foundation.  I'm providing my body with the building blocks that it needs to stay healthy, fight disease, and work more efficiently.  Proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are the building blocks of muscles, skin, blood cells, and every cell.  They arm my body to be able to fight disease when it attacks.  Without them my body becomes defenseless and susceptible to viruses and bacteria.  It can't fight the battles without a healthy immune system and an army of healthy blood cells and body systems. 
Is my body being built and fortified with strong elements or is it getting ready for a collapse because the main food I give it is sugar?  What kind of a strong foundation can be built out of  SUGAR!!!

The less extra baggage I carry, the easier it is to fly and sail along effortlessly, just like these ducks who are departing Diversey Harbor.
     Today I had a Light Yoplait Yogurt (100 calories) and decaf coffee for breakfast; for lunch I ate 3 slices of Deli sliced turkey, sweet pickles, 2 cucumbers, 6 mandarin orange slices, 2 slices of peaches, 1 package of Light French dressing sprinkled on the turkey (15 cal.), 1 dill pickle spear, a cup of split pea w/ham soup, 2 soda crackers, 1/2 bag of regular Lay's potato chips (1/2 of 230 cal.) and then threw away the remainder of chips, and a cup of Diet Sprite Zero.  Lunch was very filling.  For dinner I ate an Italian Beef Sandwich on a toasted bun, with cooked green peppers, dipped in the juice, excellent, and a glass of skim milk.  For dessert I had 4 little ice cream snacks of Edy's Dibs at 16 calories each.
     I am also happy to say that I took a 30-minute walk today at Montrose Harbor.
Happy New Year! And Happy Losing!  It's the only game in town that when you lose, you win.

I lost 10 pounds and was able to keep it off over the Holidays. I'd like to keep going while I'm on a roll.
I just ate a banana and a Yoplait Blueberry Patch Low-Fat Yogurt, and I have a fresh pot of Gevalia French Vanilla decaf coffee brewing.
How willing am I to try and lose weight?  How much effort am I willing to put into my goal of losing and being healthy?  Am I even willing to walk to lose?  I have to walk before I can run.  I have to admit that my willingness is where I must start.  Everyday when I go to the kitchen or a drawer looking for a snack, am I willing to choose something healthy over junk?  It's my choice.  Will I reach my goal or reach for junk?  The packaging on junk food is done for a reason, to draw me to its enticing sugar concoctions and away from healthy choices.  Am I willing to go to any lengths to continue to reach my goal of shedding some of my extra pounds? 
The fact is that I do not have to exercise 1-2 hours a day to lose weight.  The fact is that I do not have to deprive myself from morning to night.  I can have chocolate and treats if I want them.  But consistently eating chocolate and treats every day and doing no exercise, I will gain weight.  It's a fact of addition without any subtraction as I just keep adding it on and adding it on.
Fruit like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple are packaged in their natural and beautiful state in all their many colors.  There are no ribbons or glitter or beautiful portraits of it like I'll find on chocolate packages.  Many dollars are poured into the beautiful lighting and composition of photography, the creative designs of packaging, and advertising with its innovative displays of the thousands of sugar and carbohydrate items that I see every day in the stores, magazines and television.  Fruit is colorful, chocolate is brown.  I need to put into practice logical thinking regarding MyDiet.  What is the goal of all that advertising and what does it want and even expect from me?  Plain and simply, $$$$$$$.  Why aren't I drawn just as easily to the nutritious food?  I have made it a habit to have junk and it has taken control.  Who is in charge here?  It's my money or my life.  Or maybe it's my money and my life.  Junk wants both of them.   Junkies want junk and collect it, just like garbage men collect garbage.  I collect junk and as a matter of fact am obsessed with it.  But that need to feed on junk is leaving me as I continue to learn and reflect on my behavior and what I am doing. 
There are really no rules, only suggestions that I follow.  These suggestions can set me free. 
Five C's is where I started several months ago:
I was Content with my Carbs and Calories and didn't Care about the Consequences.  That is the simple truth.  Obviously, or I would have tried another C a long time ago, to try and Change.  I finally had to Concede that I had no Control.  I had to be Convinced, which I now am, that I cannot tempt myself.  Yesterday I passed by a bakery and the fragrance and lure of the chocolate doughnuts was just about too much for me.  I quickly passed.  Whew!  What a close call!  I am not trusted to go inside, so I won't.  It's the smart and wise thing to do.  It is only an illusion that I can control eating junk once I start.  So, don't pick it up, buy it, look at it, or even think about it.  That's the way that I can have victory and lose weight.
Wishing you a healthy New Year!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Refined flour and refined sugar are broken down into glucose in the body.   Protein, vitamins and minerals build strength, while a diet of mostly carbs and sugar add stress.  Oh, that I would see this clearly. A healthy body cannot be built on sugar.
When I choose good food that my body can use to keep me healthy, good food to help me lose the excess weight that I've added to my frame, then the good food shows in the way I look and feel.  Now when I put on a nice-looking outfit, it's like adding the beautiful limestone steps over a firm and healthy foundation.  I don't have to be a helpless victim of my temptations.
Today I will make a plan of what I will eat and of what I will not eat.  I will not only try to do this, but I will do it, because I will make a decision to do it.  I will follow through on my plan today.
I do not need to feel deprived because I cannot eat junk, but I can feel relieved that I am free of the bondage.  I can choose not to eat junk.  It's my choice.
It's nice to be able to look back on the past year and see that I was able to accomplish my goal of first losing seven pounds and then continue on until I lost three more pounds.  Since I have lost 10 pounds and been able to keep it off over the Holidays, I'd like to keep going while I'm on a roll.  I'd like to lose even more of the weight I don't need to be lugging around with me day after day.  Even a one-pound loss is a cause for celebration.  If I tried carrying a one-pound weight in each hand all day long, I would be ever so glad to put it down.  Now, what if I carried 10 1-lb weights around in each hand?  I would see how necessary it is to put them down.  I could easily put down one pound at a time until they were all gone.
Eliminating one pound each week means losing 2.28 oz each day.  It is subtracted just as simply as it is added, one ounce at a time.
I am reminded that a 2.28 oz loss translates into 500 calories that I either need to burn or not eat each day to take off one pound each week.  Somehow I need 500 calories less than my body will use.  I can either eat 500 calories less or walk 500 calories more each day or a combination thereof. 
Eating 250 calories less and walking 250 calories more is a good compromise for me.  By eliminating three Mini Dove Bars each day reduced my caloric intake by 180 calories right off the bat.  By eliminating 20 potato chips, at 10 calories each, reduces my caloric intake 200 calories in just one day.  I can win if I know how to add and subtract and if I know how to walk and am willing to walk.    Am I willing?
Am I willing to weigh myself once a week?
Am I willing to walk every day?
Am I willing to wait while I prepare nutritious food?
Am I willing to try some protein instead of calorie-laden carbs and junk?
Am I willing to want to be healthy?
Am I willing to learn to be healthy?
Am I willing to try something new?
Am I even willing to be willing?
I don't have to be a helpless victim when it comes to sugar, carbs and calories.  I can take charge of what I eat.  Don't buy junk.  Don't let it in the door!
If others in the house have to have it, then I will simply move it out of my range of vision.  Maybe I could even lead the way in not adding anymore junk to the kitchen cabinets.
Yesterday I was standing in the kitchen talking with my husband who was only two feet away from me.  He was eating a Mini Dove Bar and I could smell the chocolate.  Suddenly, I wanted to taste it, too.  I moved myself away so that I could no longer be tempted by the fragrance.  I took charge, because I knew that if I ate one, I'd soon eat three.  Help me see it coming! 
I have a cartoon that I cut out and have saved for years and have it in the pages in my Bible.  It's from "Hagar the Horrible" by Dick Browne.  The little servant of Hagar the Viking Warrior has his hear to the ground to see if he can hear the footsteps of the enemy approaching, and he says to Hagar who is standing behind him, "I hear enemy footsteps."  Hagar says, "How many warriors are there?"  The second panel shows the small servant and Hagar in the lower left corner and in the upper right corner the enemy approaches.  It shows him only from the belt buckle down because he is so huge, coming in the distance.  We can see that his feet are ten times larger than theirs, and  the servant says to Hagar, "Just one."
I have one enemy, sugar, and it is BIG.  There is no reasoning with me if I won't listen to the approaching footsteps of the enemy.  If I won't listen, then I can't and won't learn.  If someone explains and gives evidence that sugar is killing me and I pay no attention, then how can I be persuaded?  If I close my mind to the facts, I ignore the truth.  
If I know what will happen and do nothing to change, then I am creating a future of potential disaster.  Diabetes, breathing problems, pain, arthritis, hip and knee replacements, heart disease, and on and on to name a few.  Cancer may even result from diets high in fat, high in calories, low in fiber, high in the toxins of cigarettes and alcohol.  Lifestyle choices play a part.  Being overweight not only increases the risk of cancer but decreases the chance of survival after getting cancer. (Sugar Busters, p. 52) 
Luckily, I am not a smoker.  My father killed any future temptation to smoke that may come along when I was just seven years old.  He and my Uncle George gave my cousin and me each a puff of their cigarettes.  We both ran to the kitchen sink for water to quench the fire and awfulness of the hot smoke.  I am grateful for that experience because it taught me to be able to say no.  I've been able to breathe free and clean my whole life.  Emphysema is a slow death as it reduces the breathing capacity of the lungs as black tar clogs the delicate alveoli of the lung tissue where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide.  If I knew what was coming, would I continue to smoke?
Changing my whole way of thinking is a monumental task.  I need to listen, read and think if I want to truly have a better way of living and a better body to show for it.  It's possible.  Stop, think and eat right and exercise.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

 I see that Curves, a health club, is advertising nutrition classes, because that is where it starts, with education.
If I can see that the foundation that I am building is made of sugar, I can predict that it will collapse.  It's just like building my house on a rock.  Would I rather build my house on a rock or on the sand?  Just because I can't see inside my body, because it's covered with skin, doesn't mean I can't educate myself to the facts and understand what's going on inside.  Sugar doesn't wash out of my system but changes to fat.  And fat is hard to wash away and hard to break down.
There is a fat mobilizer that my body makes naturally that will move the fat out of storage.  This fat mobilizer moves the fat and changes it from being stored to being burned.  It turns it into useable fuel.  This magic mobilizer has a name, and it is called glucagon.   The action that makes glucagons be released is the eating of protein.  This is very valuable information for me, and I am sure that it is in any and every nutrition book that I would bother to pick up.  I need to examine the facts and see for myself whether these facts are true or not?  For example, in a book called Sugar Busters on p. 13 it states that glucagon is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream following the consumption of a protein-rich meal, and "Glucagon helps promote the mobilization of previously stored fat...and high levels of glucagon will help allow energy to be derived from that spare tire around your waist."  Also, it says that the glucagon level will remain elevated for quite some time so that the body can keep on burning that mobilized fat.
In summary, insulin is released in order to control my blood sugar level.  Eating high glycemic foods, foods that change into glucose quickly after ingesting, cause insulin to be released.  In other words, some foods raise the blood sugar level quicker than others, in part because they are already partially broken down by refinement.  So, it is not surprising that whole or cracked grains produce the lowest insulin response.  Whole grains raise the blood sugar more slowly than refined flour.  Insulin changes sugar to glucose, which the body then stores as fat for future use.  The body uses what it needs and stores the rest.  Eating protein causes the pancreas to secrete glucagons, which will in turn cause the stored fat to be mobilized so that my body can use it for energy in between meals.  This is quite a marvelous natural system of balances.  I eat, my body burns what it needs and stores as fat what it doesn't need.  The protein that I eat, if not accompanied by more calories than I need, will cause the pancreas to release glucagons and then the body will give up some of the stored fat so that it can have energy to operate in between meals. 
However, if my main food is refined sugar and refined flour products, then how can glucagons be released?   My body will keep producing insulin every time I overindulge in calories and refined products in order to keep the blood sugar level under control.  If I am eating lots of junk, then my pancreas is creating lots of insulin to control the subsequent influx of glucose from the sugar-laden junk.  A high-protein meal does not stimulate significant amounts of insulin secretion.  Insulin actually inhibits the mobilization of previously stored fat, but protein actually mobilizes fat.    I can see that continuing to eat junk, a high-caloric high-carbohydrate diet, refined sugars and refined flours, is a disaster waiting to happen.  My system will go crazy trying to get control of an uncontrollable situation.  It can't keep up with the influx of sugar, carbs, calories, etc.  The pancreas produces and secretes insulin to try to keep it all in balance.  The excess glucose is converted to fat, AND, very interestingly, cholesterol is produced.  Wow!  Sugar Busters p. 10 states that, "Many of our friends or patients who have gone on our low-glycemic, low-sugar lifestyle have written to us that they had lowered their cholesterol by an average of 15 percent without either exercise or pills.  How could they have increased their fat intake and seen their cholesterol, triglyceride, and weight levels fall?  It is the effect of lower average levels of insulin in their blood."
 I'd better pay attention and learn to understand what sugar does to the blood sugar levels in my bloodstream, and then how that affects insulin secretion, and how insulin affects fat storage and the creation of cholesterol.  I can listen, hear, think and read about these facts, but if I really want this gift of clarity, I have to apply what I am learning and honor my life.
I have to tell myself this stuff every day.  It's like feeding my mind with knowledge and arming myself with clear thinking on this issue.  I have to keep this information in the forefront of my thoughts in order to stand strong and not collapse under pressure when confronted with all and any kind of junk food.   I have to get involved in my life and not waste it eating sugar.  I show myself that I am weak if I don't apply what I've learned.  To quote Aristotle who said, "What we learn to do we learn by doing."  By changing myself and the way I think and therefore how I eat, I can change my world and my weight. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

By building a foundation of strength built from protein, then I can stand.  And by building a weak foundation of sugar, I will crumble.  One physical evidence of crumbling is osteoporosis, a disease occurring especially in women in which the bones become very porous, break easily, and heal slowly.  If I am drinking caffeinated sodas instead of milk, eating chips instead of yogurt and cheese and other high calcium foods, and I am not providing my bones with strength, then one day they will literally crumble and I will be in pain and wind up in a wheelchair or bedridden.  An X-ray will show the health or disease of the bones.  One study of ninety-six women age sixty-five and older found that those who drank more than three cups of coffee containing caffeine had more osteoporotic problems than the women who drank three cups or less.  In a three-year period, those who drank over three  cups per day lost significantly more spinal bone and, in fact more bone throughout their body. (Sugar Busters p. 52)
This exercise of thinking is like taking a thoughtful X-ray of my foundation and my health.  It's like looking into the future and predicting what will happen.  If I don't have enough calcium, then my bones will collapse.  If I eat more calories than I need, then I will gain weight.  If I gain weight, then I add stress to my body systems, organs and my frame.  It is inevitable and it will happen.  Am I willing to open my eyes, see what I am doing and where this is heading?  Am I willing to be willing to look at the evidence and examine my motives?  Or will I go on and do what I'm doing and live in denial?   I am worth taking care of.  Action is the key.
Today I can keep learning and changing for the better.  One thing I do know is that I don't want to wind up in a wheelchair or with Diabetes if I can help it.  I have a chance to choose a healthy future today. 
Burn it or Earn it.  My reward for exercise is burning the calories.  My reward for earning the calories of overeating is stored fat.  When I eat too many calories, I earn them and save them to use later.  But, I never use them; I only keep adding to them.  I can only use so many calories and the rest are stored as fat.
Changing how I like to eat is what it's all about and takes thoughtful consideration.  The problem I have with earned calories and stored fat is that I never use them.  They stay on my body day after day.  I was just thinking how I do the same thing with stuff in my house.  Some of it becomes stored junk because I never use it and it's taking up valuable space in my home.  Also, the reward certificates I receive for spending dollars at my favorite store are often accumulating in a drawer, never to be used.  Do I notice a pattern here?  That is wasted money.  The stored clutter is wasted space often wasted time as I may not be able to find something I need because of having to look through too much useless stuff.
There are many things that I'd like to do and accomplish, but I am weighted down with stored stuff and stored fat, and even stored unused dollars in stored reward certificates.
I need the proper perspective on everything, myself, my food, family, my home, my space, my dollars, my life.  Without a greater perspective, I go aimlessly from one sugar item to another, always stopping to buy some junk somewhere. 
Yesterday I walked right past one of my favorite candy items in the drug store, and didn't pick it up.  Not buying these things is also saving me money.  What if I started putting the money in a special jar that I would have spent on junk?  How quickly it would fatten my piggy bank while my new and better choices were making me leaner?  A leaner slimmer me and a fatter wallet.   This would be more evidence of making better choices.  It will be quite a shock to see how much money I've wasted, money that I have used to actually ruin the quality of my life.  How is it that I've been so blind for so long?  One reason may be that I never stopped to take stock of what was happening.  Even though I could see there was a problem, I wasn't yet willing to see the underlying problems with my thinking and eating or to reflect on it long enough to change.  Someone once said that a life without reflection is a life not worth living.
The other day as I shopped with my daughter Julie and paid for our purchases at the checkout counter, I took a sample cookie on display, which was a bit risky for me to do.  Next to the plate of samples there were tins of cookies to buy, but I didn't buy a tin.  On the other side of the cash register there were boxes of Jelly Bellies, but I didn't pick one up.  In the past I would have added both of these to my purchase without a second thought.  I mentioned to Julie later how I hadn't bought them and she said that she had also noticed that I didn't buy them.  I am noticing how I am walking by all kinds of temptations today and I am so happy about not picking them up.  Every day I have to pray for willingness to be set free.  Hopefully one day it will become second nature.  Preventing problems is not painful, but not eating right may cause me pain.
Today I had a Light Yoplait Yogurt for breakfast, three slices of deli turkey for lunch along with two dill pickle spears, 2/3 bag of Lay's potato chips (2/3 of 230 calories per bag), cottage cheese and three pieces of sliced peaches, four pieces of crab meat, 2 Tbsp Light French Dressing (15 calories/Tbsp) and Diet Sprite Zero.  Dinner consisted of a delicious pot roast, which my husband prepared in the Slow Cooker, and also contained vegetables and potatoes.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I kept waiting to begin a healthier diet until I could give up junk food, or saying it another way, until my past got better.  For example, when I could control my sugar and junk intake, then I would be able to get serious about it.  However, my past was always the same, because each and every day I did the same thing and each moment I was creating a future that I would regret tomorrow.  Whoa!  This is heavy stuff!  In other words, nothing changes, until something changes.  That something has to be me.  No one can eat better for me except me.  I am creating my own past and future.   The present today becomes the past tomorrow.  Tomorrow is only 24 hours away.  This minute becomes the past in only 60 seconds.  Then it will be gone, never to return. 
Actually, I am reminded a lot of yesterday and can live in yesterday when I eat a lot of junk, because I can then carry yesterday around with me today and right on into the future. Is it a way of holding onto dreams that never happened?  That's a scary thought.  But, I have to remember and to realize that I can dream new dreams today, dreams of health and clothes that fit nicely.
I can even dream of having a new identity.  There is no need to be tied to the identity of the old me.  Each day with each choice I make I can create a slimmer, healthier me, one pound at a time.  I can be set free by admitting that I need help and then asking for the help I desperately need. 
When I went shopping with my daughters last week at the store my daughter Catherine works at, one of her co-workers said to me, "You look like a new person."  She didn't even know that I have been on a diet.  That was such good news.  Someone actually noticed that I am taking better care of myself.
To look better on the outside I have to put different and healthy low-cal nutritious stuff on the inside.  Being tempted and enticed by their packaging made my packaging not look so pretty, and by imbibing their packages, my packaging was becoming shapeless.
Every day, every moment, I am creating my soon-to-be past.  And, I am creating who I am, maybe not who I want to be, but who I will be.  This happens simply by my choices every day.
Every moment I have a choice to make, like right now, for instance.  It's breakfast time and I can choose a bagel and cream cheese or I can choose a light low-calorie yogurt and some fruit.  It's up to me whether I will choose the high-caloric food or the low-caloric food.  A few years ago I discovered bagels and cream cheese, and I had one whole bagel every morning and soon I had gained five pounds.  For some reason I did not realize that this behavior would add weight to my frame.  But, it did, and it has never come off until now.  Until I am working to change my behavior and changing my eating habits.  I have to choose every day, or I could choose, which I won't, because I've learned, to add 365 bagels in the next year.  Now that I know this, if I do want a bagel, I will likely choose to eat one half of a bagel.  I'll still enjoy it, but I won't let it get the best of me.

Don't pick up the first bite, Terry.  I put it on one pound at a time and I can take it off one pound at a time.   Stop one day at a time, because that was the way I ate junk, one day at a time.  I dreamed of it one day at a time; I didn't dream of it a week at a time or a year at a time.  So, I don't have to worry about the future regarding junk.  I can just know that for today, I won't eat it.  One day is enough for me, because that is really all I have or can control anyway, this moment.  I have to know that when I start, I don't know if I'll be able to stop.  So, don't pick it up. 
I didn't want to live the way I was living, or eat the way I was eating, but I didn't know how to stop.  But, one pound at a time and one day at a time I can handle. 
I wasn't stupid, so I had never let anyone see my out of control indulging.  I could sneak mini Dove bars, candy from my drawer and so on.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Since I've been trying to eat right and have been writing about it, I realize that my eating has more to do with my mental attitude than anything.  I've learned that I don't have to be trapped inside this body with no means of escape.  I have been provided a release from this bondage so that I can be set free.  Yes, it has been possible. 
I had always been afraid that it would take longer than I thought, so I hated to start.  But, so what, and since I've started, it has really taken a lot less time than I thought.  One day is all it takes.  One day on the right track is a good start.  Then tomorrow I can have another day on the right track.  And, if I get off track, I can always get right back on it, no matter how far down the wrong track I've traveled.
To avoid running to food for comfort, it helps to avoid quick-tempered criticism and power-driven arguments.  These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness.  Let it go.  What other people say will not kill me, but my diet can.  The first step is to step back and think, in other words, enlist self-control.  And, if I need help and support, then ask for some.  There is no need to despair, because help is only a request away.
I can't think myself into right action.  But, I can act myself into right thinking.  Action in key.  Don't give up before the miracle of weight happens.
Had I been so stupid that I couldn't get this, or did I just have an undisciplined brain?  I had to be willing to take direction and top it off with action.

Thinking of my obsession with sugar as an avalanche gives me the ability to see its power.  And sugar and snow are even both pure white, but pure white sugar turns to yellow fat.  And we all know that we shouldn't eat yellow snow.  An avalanche buries people under its weight just as sugar does.  I become buried in there somewhere unable to get out.  I can't dig myself out.  It takes a rescue team to help me.  My best hope is to stay out of its way and avoid its crushing power.  Just like the avalanche, it builds one seemingly innocent and beautiful snowflake at a time until I am ten, twenty, or even fifty pounds overweight.   I can't let the snowflakes in to begin with.  Eating only two hundred extra calories each day (That's only one or two cookies, depending on the cookie) above the calories that I need, will add up to a weight gain of 20 pounds in a year. (365 days X 200 calories = 73,000 calories)
Also, something to remember is that I will have to give up good nutritious food in order to make room for the junk.  Does this make sense?  Anyone in their right mind would say, "No!"  But, not me.  I could always make room for junk, replacing the nutrition I really needed.  Refined sugar and refined flour are low in fiber and nutrition, for they only contain calories, and are missing the amino acids, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, etc.  The bottom line is that I have to want a better life, want to change, and choose to change, so that I will not build up an avalanche of my own that will cave in on me.
"The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice."  George Eliot

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

My intention every day is to eat right, but there is often a very big gap between what I intend to do and what I really do.  I intend to eat my spinach, my peas and carrots and an apple a day, as they say.  But then I'll have an uncontrollable impulse to get up and go to the kitchen, or open a drawer and get a not-so-good-for-me snack.  Before I ever have this impulse I need to remove it from my drawers and kitchen.  In other words, I need to make my space a healthy and safe environment.  Just like moms make a home "kid safe", mine needs to be "me safe" to keep the junk out of my way.  That will provide me with a healthy and safe environment to keep me from my irresistible urges so that I can't act on them.  Or else someone may need to call the police to hold me back from hurting myself.  I have to chuckle, because that sounds so pitiful.
I am disappointed in myself when I do not follow through on my good intentions.  What can I do to avoid this big stumbling block?  I need to decide what I really want out of today.  I can accept that I will make mistakes. But, I also have to remember that I am not a mistake. Just get back on track, and keep going and take the next right bite.   Confucius said, "It does not mater how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."
Am I intending or pretending to do what I say I will do?  To follow through on my intentions will have a life changing impact on my own world.  My life and health are a serious business.  And this is a serious situation.  Do I act like I mean business about my intentions?   If I had had a video camera installed in my kitchen, would I have been shocked when it was played back to see just how much junk I had piled up and consumed?  Probably! Would I have wanted to cover the camera with a black cloth so that I would not have been seen as I raided the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets?
 I will never do this thing perfectly, but I must remember that it's progress not perfection.  It's not impossible, but it's only possible if I stay focused on my true intentions for today.
I had a Harvest Peach Yoplait Light Yogurt for breakfast and decaf coffee.  I had a great lunch consisting of the other 1/2 of my 1/2 turkey sandwich from yesterday.  I had thought that Julie may have wanted it, but she didn't.   Then I made a great salad of baby spinach, sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced strawberries, pecan halves, sugar snap peas, baby carrots topped off with a delicious Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette 0 grams Trans Fat Dressing, 2 Tbsp = 40 calories.  And for dinner we are having leftover lamb stew, which is one of those things that is even better as a leftover.
Incidentally, I just read in the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, Nov. 2005, Vol. 23, No. 9, p.8, which says that in a study at University of Scranton that coffee contains antioxidants, and that's in both caffeinated and decaffeinated.  There is also a high concentration of antioxidants in cranberries, dates and red grapes.  They are also contained naturally in potatoes, bananas, dry beans, corn, apples, onions, lettuce and tomatoes, especially cherry tomatoes.  Fruits and vegetables are an especially important source of polyphenols, and the skin is where they are concentrated the most.  The same issue stated on p. 6 that the obese were more prone to high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis, as well as disability.  In a study by Johns Hopkins U. School of Medicine, researchers have found an assoc between a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and the likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.   And men with a high BMI-a height-to-wt ratio used as a gauge of obesity-were also found to be more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease.  This study was published in the journal Urology.  Obese men-those with a BMI above 35-had a 2.4 times greater risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer than normal-weight men.  "Furthermore, the risk of having a high Gleason score-a measure of tumor aggressiveness- doubles among overweight men with a BMI of 30 to 35, and quadrupled for obese men above a 35 BMI."

I have a confession to make.  I noticed that earlier today, when the phone rang, and I thought that it might be a stressful conversation, I went to the freezer to get a Mini Dove Bar, which I ate.  However, I really want to lose one pound this week by weigh-in day.  So, fortunately, I took a 30-minute walk today and a 45-minute walk yesterday, which I will need to do everyday, especially if I want to eat those Dove bars.  If I eat a snack, then I have to counter it with exercise.  That's just the way it works, or I'll be putting on weight instead of taking it off.  My husband bought the Dove bars, so I am totally innocent.  Perhaps I need a lock on the freezer door.

Cookies and candy bars taste good but have no lasting nutritional value.  Make food count for the purpose of a healthier me. 
I kind of had the feeling before that without sugar I'd have no life, that life would be empty, devoid of meaning, as though I couldn't exist without it.  But, indeed, there is life after sugar.  I can choose to live without it, at least a life without as much as I was eating.  And, truthfully, I will probably have no life if I continue eating junk like I had been.
We should be called human doings rather than human beings the way we're so busy.
If I think that I can eat all I want, which is more than I need, I'd better think again.  If I think that I can do that and not exercise, I will be overweight and I don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.  1+1=2, 2+2=4, 4+4=8, and on and on, ounce after ounce of junk and pound after pound of weight.  Stop this insanity of living in the la-la land of junk.  Wake up!  See it for what it is, a one-way street to misery and sadness, not a road to happiness as it promised.
If I am disappointed, frustrated, anxious, or whatever, I don't have to run to junk. The truth is that no matter how much I want to blame someone else for my disappointment, frustration, discouragement, I wind up being more disappointed, frustrated, or discouraged, or whatever, by eating and gaining.  Stop and Think!  In the end, will I be more encouraged by the way I look and feel?   Eat right and gain no more.
Just like I've heard it so wisely said, I can't be hateful and grateful at the same time.  Eating junk is not the antidote to the unpleasant feelings, but being grateful is.  A baby can't cry when it has a pacifier in its mouth.  I can't feel when I have pacified myself with something pleasant in my mouth.  But, I am not a baby and I'd better grow up and learn to feel and then deal with the unpleasant feeling or situation.   I'm try some good, healthy food, and I'm learning to love it.

I have amazing potential.  I don't have to give up on my dream of slimming down or wave the white flag of surrender just because I might have gone off my diet and eaten a cookie or two.  I can get right back on track, fight back and win.  Change takes time.   I can have compassion toward myself and win the battle if I don't give up.  Life-changing wholeness, wellness and health are only a bite away.  I can eat my way to health and happiness or I can eat my way to illness and sadness.  Some of the foods I eat are not unlawful, but they are almost illegal, because they can cause a slow death.  What is the difference between illegal and unlawful?  Illegal is a sick bird.  Thought I'd interject a little humor.  Wholeness, happiness, help and hope are mine for the choosing.
Today I had a Light Yoplait Yogurt and a banana for breakfast and a decaf coffee.  For lunch I had a salad consisting of baby spinach, baby carrots, sliced strawberries, mandarin orange slices, pecan halves and Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing.  I had a Fresca at five o'clock.  I made baked salmon for dinner and served with capers, baked potatoes, and a large salad like the one I had for lunch, which also had sliced avocado, along with a glass of skim milk.  And that's it for today.
Oops!  Julie went to Osco Drug Store after school at 2:30 (early dismissal today) and brought home a bag of Heath candy bits.  After we ate our salads, she opened it and I had one, then two and the final count was 8, which adds up to 240 calories per serving of 8 pieces.  So, there went my good work for today, right out the window.  Julie can handle it because she is an athlete and will burn it off right away in club volleyball, which she is in. 
Candy provides quick and readily accessible energy, but if not used, is stored as fat.  But for me, more sweets is all it takes to keep me stuck, keep me from losing, or making me gain.  Anything that I eat over and above what I need will turn to fat.  My body says, "Oh, great!  Something to save for later when I might need it."  But, my body never needs to use it if I going to keep giving it more than it needs.
So, I am committing that I will not eat anymore of those little brown things in the bag Julie brought home, because the benefits of eating junk is no longer worth the price. I can make healthy choices today and continue on for a lifetime of health.  Thanks!

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I just had lunch, 2 slices of deli turkey on one piece of whole wheat bread with low-fat mayo, mustard, lettuce and sliced red pepper, along with 8 sugar snap peas, 8 oz of Cranberry-Raspberry Juice followed by one sweet pickle (5 calories).  For breakfast I had a Very Cherry Light Yoplait Yogurt (100 calories) and a banana and then decaf coffee mid-morning.  For dinner my husband is preparing pheasant, boneless, skinless chicken breasts and venison chops with chopped Red Orange Yellow and Green Peppers and onions in the slow cooker.  It should be good! 
Last night I attended a banquet and had a salad, salmon with dill sauce, rice and steamed vegetables.  The dessert was out of this world, a thick chocolaty brownie with vanilla ice cream.  I didn't finish the brownie, because the caffeine probably would have kept me awake.  So, amazingly, I left some in the dish.  We had a little discussion at our table about our diets, because when I arrived I was greeted by a man who said to me, "You look great!  Why is it that most of us are getting older and getting pudgy, but you're getting slimmer and look terrific?"  I said, "I just lost eleven pounds."  He wondered how long it took me and I said, "I lost about one pound a week, since the end of the summer."  So, during dinner we continued our conversation and, interestingly, everyone chimed in with interesting tidbits of information.  The gentleman on my left said that he has a sweet tooth and also loves bread.  He buys six loaves a week at the Pepperidge Farm wholesale store, makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and eats them before lunch and then also for lunch.  He said his cholesterol was a little high and that before his last doctor's appointment he ate four garlic cloves a day for a week, swallowed whole, which reduced his cholesterol level by the time he checked in with the doctor. 
Since he had mentioned that he likes sweets, I said that I had learned that eating sweets can raise our cholesterol level, because the insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas to lower our blood sugar level, also causes our body to make cholesterol.  He responded by saying, "I thought that cholesterol only comes from animals."  To which the gentleman on my right said to him, "You're an animal."  So, there you have it, straight from the cholesterol-producing animal's mouth.  It's amazing but true.  I was raising my own cholesterol level by my poor diet.  Before I started reading and learning, I never knew about the connection between sweets (refined sugar and refined flour) and cholesterol production.  The woman across the table added that recently, when she was put on a cholesterol-reducing diet, one thing that it stressed was to not eat sweets. 
The first gentleman that had commented on my new "look" asked me what I had done in order to lose the weight.  I said that I had started,
1) realizing that I was out of control (and told him the story of the Oreos and Mounds candy bar all eaten on my 3-block walk home from the gas station/snack shop),
2) paying attention to what I ate
3) cutting down on the refined sugar and refined flour products
4) writing down what I was eating
5) reading and learning about what stops craving and what causes craving
6) sending my findings via e-mail to three trusted friends who could offer me support in my attempt to have a healthier food plan, and
7) walking more often, 20-30 minutes each day five or six times a week.
In other words, I did something about my problem, took direction and put into action what I was learning.
He then said, "I imagine that there are no Oreos on your new diet."  I told him that I have not had any since I started MyDiet four months ago.  I am on a roll and like the results I have gotten.  I wonder what my cholesterol level will be at my next check-up. 
Here's a scene from my walk at 7 the other morning out to the point on North Avenue Beach.

I love this program, because if I don't do it perfectly, I can start over if I need to.
Today I had a Blackberry Light Yoplait Yogurt for breakfast and a banana and decaf coffee. I made myself a delicious turkey sandwich with one slice of whole wheat bread, low-fat mayo, mustard, sliced red pepper, and lettuce, some sugar snap peas, 6 cherry tomatoes and baby carrots along with an 8-oz glass of cranberry raspberry juice.  Later on I had a cinnamon graham cracker dunked in 1/2 glass of skim milk, a few cashews and a Fresca at five.
For dinner I baked salmon with lemon juice, and made fresh green beans with crumpled bacon and sautéed chopped onions, salt and pepper and a dash of nutmeg.  This is a recipe a group of six students in my daughter's fifth grade class made years ago for a special Thanksgiving dinner at her school for the students and teachers, and helping parents.  We made the green bean recipe for 110 people.  What fun cutting up 10 large onions, frying 10 pounds of bacon, and boiling many many cups of green beans.  Any left over portions went to the Pacific Garden Mission here in Chicago on State Street to help the homeless.  Some other groups made pies, turkeys, mashed potatoes, etc.   Anyway, the dinner was a great success here at home tonight.  We also had mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives. 
There is a definite benefit to sticking to the health routine, because when I do eat, I enjoy it very much.  I am actually enjoying making the healthier meals now that I'm learning a better habit.
Also, according to researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, feeling younger as time goes by may be as easy as eating a low-calorie, nutritionally balanced diet.   They found that these types of diets help slow cardiac aging. Now that is something to take note of.
The study included 25 people, ages 41 to 65, who had consumed a low-calorie diet (about 1,400 to 2,000 calories a day) an average of six years.
Using ultrasound imaging, the team found that the hearts of the people on the low-calorie diets appeared more elastic than those of other people the same age who ate a typical Western diet (about 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day).
The Chicago Tribune reported in the Health section on January 22, 2006, that the hearts of the people on the low-calorie diet also were able to relax between beats in a way similar to the hearts of people 15 years younger. The study appeared in the Jan. 17 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
I see that there are more and more benefits to eating right and eliminating the junk.
Also, I just read that coffee is bad before a workout.  Having a coffee fix just before a workout may not be the best idea, a new study suggests. Researchers in Switzerland found that the amount of caffeine in just two cups of coffee limits the body's ability to increase blood flow to the heart during exercise.
"Whenever we do a physical exercise, myocardial blood flow has to increase in order to match the increased need of oxygen. We found that caffeine may adversely affect this mechanism. It partly blunts the needed increase in flow," Dr. Philipp A. Kaufmann, of the University Hospital Zurich and Center for Integrative Human Physiology, said in a prepared statement.
Just as Donald Trump said of his new building here in Chicago, "This is really a very special building."  So is mine.  My body is really a very special building.  And I am learning to take care of it the best possible way I know how.  Not like Jessica Simpson said about a college education, "forget about it."  I need all the education I can get where my health is concerned.  No one else is going to feed me or go in for my check-ups or take my vitamin and mineral pills for me.  I have to do it.  I'm all I've got, and I am enough.  I do enough, I have enough, I am enough.

My desire today is to have a healthy diet.  There's no easy way out of anything.  There is no hope if I do nothing.  But, there is hope if I start and then continue each day.  I've heard it said that we are as sick as our secrets.  Did I tell people how much junk I ate?  "Hello, I'm Terry, a junkie!"  I'm a walking miracle today.  I can't believe that I finally lost weight.  I am so happy about this.  And to think, it wasn't even that difficult.  The payoff has been tremendous.  Thank you all for being willing to go through this process with me.  I could not have accomplished this without being connected to you.
If I had to put it into 3 Easy Effective Steps, they would be:
1) Eliminate junk
2) Eat right
3) Exercise
Well, it may not be easy but it is effective.  I might add a fourth E, Express myself, in order to connect with others.  I can't ever think, "Wow, I've got it now, so I don't have to do this anymore."  Today I have to stay connected and share my thoughts with people who care about what I care about.  Connecting with people who can understand is key.  Support is vital.  It involved my surrendering and my admitting my out-of-control love of junk; that's when hope arrived. 
I read a front page article in the Chicago Tribune the other day which read, "FDA panel Oks drug for obesity", and the subtitle read, "Alli would be first diet pill available over-the-counter".  It says that Alli is pronounced AL-eye.  Wow!  That is amazing and it is just what I have been waiting for!  However, when I think about it, my problem is that I would probably think that it meant that I could now eat whatever and whenever I want, have no restrictions on my intake of junk, and, therefore, live happily ever after.  But will this new miracle pill really remove weight and cure obesity while I am piling on the adipose tissue?  I am going to read closely to see what it says.  The article states that the drug, known as orlistat, "helps block fat absorption" and "helps people control their caloric intake."  And it can be sold "without the need of a doctor's prescription."  It goes on to say, "the drug could be on the market by this summer."  It also says, "roughly two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight, according to government statistics," and describes the situation as a "growing obesity crisis."    Although there is no way to police its use, the manufacturer recommends that people use it for only six months at a time.   The article continues, "Doctors and the drug's maker say, however, that patients should use the drug along with a weight loss plan that includes healthy eating and exercise." 
Ah Ha!  I knew it!  I knew there'd be a catch.  It's just as I thought, I have to eat right and exercise.   What a set up!  All my hopes are dashed in an instant.  Oh, well, this is a healthier way to do it anyway.  Eat right and Exercise.  That's what the Experts are saying.  John Dent, a research and development executive at Glaxo, the maker of the "obesity pill", said, "There is no magic pill for weight loss and orlistat is definitely not a magic pill."   There it is, right hot off the press, there is no magic pill.  I think I'll keep doing what I'm doing, which is eating right and exercising. 
I enjoyed a lunch today full of wonderful textures, colors and flavors.  I had applesauce, grapes, a few raspberries, and two slices of bacon.  I also shared some turkey with my daughter's cat, Shackleton, who lives with us.  He looks forward to my lunch every day as he anticipates a bite or two of turkey along with me.   Incidentally, he eats at his dish (on the floor), and I eat at mine (on the table).   I topped mine with a little mustard and ended with a sweet pickle, and of course, a glass of water.  I'll have a cold glass of Fresca with ice later.
I will have a "treat" today consisting of two Edy's Dibs, just two, 16 calories each.   And, I am committing to you that I will not allow myself to have any tomorrow, if I cannot keep my limit to only two today.  I'll see if I can do it.  And I will not sneak in a Mini Dove Bar either.  Yes, we still have them around, because my husband loves them, too.  But, now I have to sign the box every time I take one.  I have put three marks on the box since the new box arrived last week.  I have improved so much in the area of NOT indulging in mini dove bars.  Eating one hundred in a year is so much better than eating 1,095, and I will have saved myself 62,700 calories in mini dove bars alone.  Divided by 3500 calories/pound it will save me from gaining 17.9 extra pounds just from the extra calories in those little "devils".   My, those little things sure do add up!  Today I have a plan and it is to not eat any more than two Edy's Dibs.  I can do it!  I've done it before and I can do it again. Onward and downward with my weight!  For me, the best way for me to not increase my calorie intake is to NOT increase my caloric intake.  It's just that simple.
First, I set a goal of losing seven pounds, then I lost four more, and now I am planning on losing the final four.  Thanks to you, with only four to go, I am on my way to losing a total of fifteen pounds!  Although it seemed impossible at the start, my losing weight is coming true, one day at a time.

Having no plan for my diet was pretty much like operating a ship the same as I always did, rudderless and adrift?  Having a daily plan has gotten me eleven pounds lighter.  Writing my goal can also make it more real and make me more committed to it.
Even though the junk was abundant and flowed freely all around me, I was starving.  In the midst of all of my abundance, my body was starving and didn't have the necessary nutrition that it needed.  If my body could have spoken, it would have cried out for me to stop this nonsense and give it what it really needs-nutrition, building blocks of health.  What it really craved was energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.  Without them the body will eventually undergo systemic organ failure.  This is exactly what happens to the man or woman who pours ounce after ounce and gallon after gallon of alcohol into his/her system.  The heart, brain, and/or the liver eventually give out.  The body cannot live endlessly on a diet high in carbohydrates all the while substituting and forfeiting the nutritional elements of nutritious foods.  Indulging in excessive amounts of junk, to the point that I was not maintaining a healthy weight, was like living in a famine.   Even though all the tables at the grocery are piled high with beautiful and natural foods in a rainbow of colors, I would stop at the dessert table, bypassing the feast.  Was I not hungry?  Yes, I was actually starving and in a continual state of hunger, and that is why my body was telling me, in the only way it could, that it was hungry, with hunger pangs and continuous thoughts of eating.  Yes, I live in America and do not need to starve myself, but that is exactly what eating a diet high in refined sugar and refined flour was doing.  I didn't look like I was starving, but my body was yelling to me, "You're sending me garbage that I have to store as fat.  Please send me something that I can use to stay healthy.  Give me what I NEED, not what YOU want.  Use your head and keep me healthy and I'll work at optimum capacity for you for a lifetime."
This reminds me of a story often quoted in operating rooms around the country.  The surgeon tells the scrub nurse, "Scalpel!"  And the nurse then slaps a scalpel handle into the doctor's hand, but he actually wanted a forceps.  So then he says sternly, "Give me what I need, not what I asked for!"  Although the body is saying it's hungry, what it really wants is nutrition and nourishment.
I am grateful for this insight to be able to see my choices for what they are.  I can choose a famine today or a feast.  May I choose the available wealth of nutritious foods, rather than a poverty of junk food.   Just like this sample of foods here in the colors of the rainbow, from red to violet, foods provided naturally for us:

     Honeydew Mellon         

 Corn Green Onions
      Lemons          Green Grapes
   Egg Yolks       Avocado
Carrots                  Lime
       Cantaloupe                     Kiwi     
                             Green Peppers
Oranges                        Granny Smith Apples
 Cherries & Radishes                                Peas
Raspberries                                       Asparagas
      Delicious Apples                                    Blueberries   
    Watermelon                                          Purple Grapes
Red Peppers  
                                             Egg Plant

Some things that are white are Cauliflower, Egg Whites, Coconuts, White Onions, to name but a few.  Remember the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V I learned in school?   Roy G. Biv, which stands for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet, the order of the colors in the rainbow.
I could choose items from this list to eat or choose stuff that is made with food coloring, which is often an attempt to make junk food look visually appealing.  Jelly Bellies, although I used to eat loads of them, and even toured their factory in Wisconsin with Julie and her school mate, Kendall, I can see it is only a ploy to get me to buy more sugar concoctions.  I took the bait, hook, line, and sinker.  They even cleverly give them real fruit flavors and all the colors of the rainbow.  They are very enticing to say the least.  But, why not choose the real fruit instead?  Then I'll also receive nutrition.  And, real fruit is less expensive ounce for ounce and contains fiber.  Fruit is just simply picked and delivered.  A factory is not necessary to create the cute shapes, flavors and colors of real fruit.  Now that I can see where the road filled with junk is headed, and able to see junk for what it is, I am better able to make an informed decision and choose a healthier life by choosing fruits and vegetables.  The banquet awaits me in every single grocery store in America.  Enjoy the dazzling displays and rainbows of right eating!
In another way the addiction to junk is similar to any other addiction.  Take the addiction to cigarettes, for example, if I happened to start smoking, I would set up the need and the desire for cigarettes.  It's as though the brain signals have gotten crossed and it starts sending out an alert that says to send down more hot smoke so that I can survive.  But, it is a totally false alarm.  The body is addicted to harmful chemicals and just thinks it needs more, when in fact, continuing to smoke will probably produce death either by lung cancer or slow suffocation by emphysema.  Both destroy the air sacs, called alveoli, which is where the oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged and allow the body to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.  Tar builds up and the sacs become clogged and the air cannot be exchanged and the body becomes hypoxic, due to lack of oxygen, and dies. 
Eating junk causes famine and starvation, which are soon lead to disease and poor health.  At that point I may wonder what happened!  In our lives we often receive warning signs that things are not quite right.  Fat and excessive weight is just such a warning.  It's important to heed the warning that this is not a healthy state of being.  Thinking that I need junk is a lie, or thinking that junk will bring me happiness is not a healthy state of mind either.  Cut the ties with junk and instead choose life.  In order to stop the addiction, I have to stop eating the junk!  I'm dealing with my life here.  And it is moving very quickly, so I'd really like to move it in the right direction.  Stop playing games!  Give up the junk!  Just as the robber always says in the movies, "Your money or your life."
Buying junk food is taking my money and my life.   And I have found, for me, that it's my diet or my life. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved
What tools have I used in the past to lose weight before I started MyDiet?  I think that before MyDiet, my biggest and best tool was my willpower, which was pretty weak at times.  It would take all the will power I had to stick to a diet.  What made me think that I could control it by sheer willpower alone?   I'd starve myself every day 'til 2PM then finally give in and eat.    Sometimes I even tried not eating at all.  This seemed like the solution, because if I didn't taste it to begin with, it was easier to stay away from it.  It was very unhealthy, but I did it anyway.  It's the only way I knew.  I just had never thought about eating sensibly and eating less and exercising more, eating more protein, and especially cutting out the junk.  I believed the lie that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to, all by myself.  Of course, I can accomplish many things, but this one was a real struggle for me.  One roadblock to victory I suppose, I have to admit, was my pride.  I hated to have to admit that I couldn't do it alone.  You have helped me so much in coming to terms with my own failure where food is concerned.  I could not do this without your support.   I could not take it off and keep it off without your help.  Thanks again!
Yesterday I started off my day by not taking time for breakfast.  Later I went to a restaurant called "Panera Bread" to have lunch with a friend.  I had a salad with Raspberry vinaigrette dressing, roasted garlic tomato soup and a "side" of chips.   When I was given a choice of an apple or chips, I chose chips.   It was my choice.  Later on, when I got home, I went for the Edy's Dibs, four of them, and then onto a Mini Dove Bar, just one, some cashews, followed by a refreshing Fresca.  Our family ordered out for dinner.  My husband had a smoked turkey sandwich; Julie chose a large salad with grilled chicken and additional avocado.  I ordered a large pizza with sausage and mushroom over all of it and green pepper on half, of which I ate two squares and one small triangle.  And I also ordered rice pudding, which I ate 2/3 of all by myself.  No one else would help me.  I left for a short meeting where I had a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie as I left.  If I could have, I would have taken a piece of chocolate cake too, but, with a cookie in one hand and my papers in the other, I couldn't get over to it without being noticed.  Even with all that, or perhaps because of all that, I finished off the rice pudding when I got back home.
Whoa!  I bet that I could easily gain back in a jiffy all of the twelve pounds that I have lost if I ate like that every day.  What happened to me yesterday?  I did counterbalance it a bit by walking 25 minutes earlier and then another 15 minutes later as I walked to my car after the meeting, in hopes of burning off some of the extra calories I had eaten. 
Today I am back on track.  Yesterday I guess that I felt like saying to myself, "I don't feel like being accountable to anyone, and I'll let MyDiet slide just for today."  But, in reality, I don't know if there are enough minutes in a day to walk off all the calories that I'd really like to eat every day or that I so easily ate yesterday in the chips, ice cream, cashews, pizza, cookie, and pudding.  Wow!  Did I really eat all that, not in a week, but in just one day.  I guess that the more I eat, the more I want to eat.
So, as I reflect, I have to realize how important accountability is.  I'm learning to make use of the new set of tools today that I have found so helpful over the last few months.    Accountability is probably now my biggest, and most effective tool.  Without it I am isolated and that is not good.  Without it I wouldn't even be thinking about or learning from my experience yesterday.   But, I am so glad that I have to report yesterday's escapades.  You help keep me honest.
So, my list of tools includes accountability, along with walking, which is another good one.  Here's a list of some of my tools of weight loss:
1) Accountability
2) Walking
3) Watching calories
4) Reflection
5) Cutting down portion sizes
6) Awareness
7) Connection with others
8) Exercise
9) Thinking before I buy
10) Direction
11) Knowledge

Some tools of destruction
1) No accountabililty
2) Isolation
3) Emotional turmoil
4) Buying junk
5) Excessive sitting with no exercise
Perhaps it is easier to remember the word JINX-Junk, Isolation, No exercise, and X, where X stands for anything that keeps me from losing weight.  I jinx myself with my own roadblocks that I put in my path of health, which keep me stuck and unable to move forward.
Yesterday a woman said, "No wonder I can't lose.  I keep snitching and eating Midnight Milk Ways.  Why do I buy it and bring it home?"  For me also, that is the question.  Why do I buy it when I know 1) that the next step will be temptation, 2) that I won't be able to resist 2) that it has Power to add Pounds.  Think before I buy.   Think about the fact that it is at that moment in time that is the real turning point.  I can turn away from the junk food and say no, or succumb to it and eventually be a helpless victim enticed by its power. 
I have been doing very well in my quest to lose, but yesterday I was brought back to reality of how easily I can slip back into old patterns of behavior.  Oh, I just remembered something else.  I also bought one piece of individually wrapped chocolate candy for 40¢ at Borders bookstore checkout.  I ate it in the car as I left, but it only made me want more junk. And truthfully, that may have been the beginning of my problem, leaving a trail of eaten calories behind me.  But, they're not really behind me are they?   They're on me, until I can get them off with some extra effort of exercising, walking, burning it off, one calorie at a time.
Today is a new day and I will learn from yesterday.  If I don't stop and think about how destructive this grazing and grabbing habit is, I'll do it again today.  I want to remember how much I love being thinner and that it is not worth giving up the prize of health.  This is a worthy goal and is where I need to keep my attention focused.  Nutrition or Junk, which will it be? 

To reiterate, I'll list the bad guys vs the good guys:

Things & ideas to give up:       Things to embrace &/or work for:
1) Junk   (Foe) 
1) Nutritious food (Friend)
2) Fat  
2) Slim
3) Disease
3) Health
4) Denial  
4) Reality
5) Isolation
5) Accountability
6) Powerlessness
6) Willingness
7) Give in
7) Give up
8) Victim
8) Victory
9) Do it alone
9) Connect for support
10) Helpless 
10) Hope

 And find people who can help keep me on track.  The list on the left can do nothing to help me improve my situation.  I will make myself learn to use the tools on the right.  I will have a firm determination to improve my life.  I know that I have tools that are useful in overcoming my temptations.  May I be willing to use these useful and better tools of health.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     I am actually starving to death while eating junk.  I'm nearly dead, slowly killing myself and don't know it.  No wonder I am hungry and want more and more.  If I eat junk, I have no room for and feel I have no need for good food.  My body needs good nutrition, not more junk.  It needs healthy grains, fruit, vegetables, and protein, not refined sugar and refined flour.  Natural foods work better with the body so the body works better.
Once I had gotten off track, I continued to eat more and more junk.  Once I started eating junk, it was very hard to stop.  I thought to myself, "Well, I can slack off a bit, because I have lost twelve pounds.  I can reward myself with a "treat".   It won't matter if I eat just this one thing or if I eat twenty pistachios, twenty potato chips or have six Edy's Dibs or one or even two Mini Dove Bars, or pizza and rice pudding."  And on and on it went 'til I gained back one pound.  I stopped writing because I was "too busy".  So, the bottom line is that after I successfully lost twelve pounds, I was very successful in eating junk and adding weight.  That's the sorry tale of MyDiet when I lose my focus.   So, "Hello, I'm back."
     Being alive and healthy takes vigilance.   Eating junk gives junk power in my life.  Not writing and not connecting was detrimental to my health.  It didn't work. 
     For breakfast I had a Low-fat Yoplait Yogurt and a banana.  I just ate lunch and had one-half turkey sandwich with low-fat mayo, mustard, lettuce and sliced red pepper, along with a sweet pickle.  I also put five potato chips on my plate (50 calories).   I then ate 2 Edy's Dibs ice cream miniatures for dessert.   I also had an 8 oz jug of low-fat chocolate milk (160 calories), which I drank with my lunch.  I suppose that I could have had skim milk, water or a Fresca (zero calories) instead.  But, to my credit, by not putting the whole bag of chips in front of me, but by placing the five chips on my plate instead, I saved myself 150 additional calories from the 15 additional chips that I would have eaten right out of the bag.  Smart move, Terry!  But, my husband just commented on the potato chips on the plate theory, "Why any?"  Now, that is a good question.  A lady told me yesterday that, "We eat 'til we're happy", which seems to be true in my case.  But, what I really need to focus on is how happy I am to fit into my clothes.  Although the gratification is delayed a little bit, it is totally worth the wait. 
     Speaking of having patience and waiting for the benefits of my patience and perseverance to appear, I heard a story yesterday about making homemade wine.  It seems that a man followed the instructions perfectly, added the perfect proportions of ingredients and the wine was being processed nicely.  But then he became impatient, because it was taking too long.  So, he poured all of the ingredients from the crock and into a blender and blended them to speed up the process.   Then he returned them to the crock.  Well, when he checked a few days later, his work had not produced delicious homemade wine, but homemade vinegar.  It was ruined, all because of his impatience.  In the same way, I can't rush this process of weight loss either, because it takes time.  I can do it right, change my bad habits, and have fabulous results.  People will notice that I am doing it right.  I am happy about that.  I have to be patient and give up the junk. It takes time, but health is worth the time and effort I put into it.  Can't save it either for 20 or 30 or 40 years, or good wine may also turn to vinegar.  There is a time for everything.  A time to gain and a time to lose.  A time to eat and a time to not eat.  A time to shape up.  And now is the time.

Yesterday, when I stepped on the scale, I saw that I'd gained a pound, instead of maintaining my weight or losing a pound.   I thought that I'd have to be taken to the ER.   If I keep this up, I'd gain back all that I lost in short order.  This week, instead of having to be taken to the Emergency Room, I just really want to get back to ER and ER, Eating Right and Exercise Routine!  It's the only way to stay healthy.  It does matter what I eat!
Someone recently told me that there is a celebrity weight-loss show on one of the cable channels where certain overweight celebs lose weight, and after they have lost the weight, they have to carry around a weight on their backs equal to the amount of weight that they have lost.  What a great visual and a great way to remember that they don't want to put it back onto their bodies to carry around every day with no reprieve!  I'll just think about twelve pounds of that twenty-pound Christmas turkey that I'd still be carrying around with me every minute of every day if I hadn't been motivated to do something about it.
     So now, it's on to a better and healthier week.  Being alive and healthy takes vigilance.   Eating junk gives junk power in my life.  Not writing and not connecting was detrimental to my health.  It didn't work. 
     I plan to take a 30-minute walk at 4PM.  That will help to counteract any extra calories I had during the day.  I must remember that someone once said that I should not exercise to lose weight, but to exercise if you want to eat more.  Well, I guess that I want to eat more.  Fine, then I must exercise even more!   I have to keep up with and burn off the amount of calories I am eating, or else the calories will pile up and turn into unwanted fat.  This is basic mathematics, addition and subtraction.  If I cut down the calories, I'll cut down my weight.  If I want to lose more, I have to exercise or walk more.  If I want to eat more, I need to exercise or walk more.  It's a simple formula.  Add calories, add fat.  Exercise more, subtract weight.

Day130_Glycemic Index_
     This morning I took my daughter Julie and another child to school early and so was able to be on a walk by 7:47 and walked for twenty minutes. As I walked I thought, "When I am walking, I am winning!  It's great, because when I walk, I win and lose at the same time."  I win the battle and lose the weight.   
I heard the geese honk as they announced their departures and landings, and they gracefully sailed along.                                  I've noticed that there has been a lot of talk lately about the Glycemic Index.  The book Sugar Busters defines Glycemic Index on page 19 as "the measure of how much a specific amount of ingested carbohydrate (usually 50 grams) will cause a person's blood sugar to rise and remain elevated over time, relative to the effect on blood sugar of the same amount of pure glucose (which is assigned a GI of 100).  To determine a food's glycemic index, the food and glucose are consumed on separate days, blood samples are taken under supervised conditions, and the results are measured in a laboratory.  The measurements are precise and scientifically straightforward.  To allow for metabolic variation within a given individual, the testing is repeated at least once on different days.  To allow for the natural variation in metabolic reaction between individuals, the glycemic index testing is usually done on at least twelve individuals, and then averaged to come up with the final number."  It continues, "...the relative GI's as published today are still good indicators of how a given amount of a specific food will affect your blood sugar and also of the amount of insulin required to bring your blood sugar back to normal."  Also, the authors of Sugar Busters add, "We feel that a very important determinant of the glycemic index is the particle size and form in which a carbohydrate comes packaged by nature.  Cracked grains produce a lower glycemic index than coarse flour, which in turn produces a lower glycemic index than finely milled flour.  The lowest glycemic indexes are associated with the whole grains.  It is no surprise that whole or cracked grains produce the lowest insulin response.  When whole, rolled, or finely milled oats (oatmeal) are compared, the whole oats have the lowest glycemic index."  This is very interesting and shows how the insulin release is affected by what I eat.  It goes on to say, "When starches are cooked, they become gelatinized.  The particles or granules swell because of the heat and water absorbed during cooking.  This leads to a rupture of the granule, exposing the individual starch molecules, thus increasing the susceptibility of the starch to enzymatic digestion.  This leads to a more rapid absorption through the walls of the small intestine.  When a carbohydrate is absorbed quickly, it stimulates more insulin than the same amount of a more slowly absorbed carbohydrate."  And, "Generally, products with the least degree of processing have the lowest glycemic index."  It was also noted that, "An interesting and useful point is that the addition of vinegar or even lemon or lime juice has been reported to lower the glycemic effect of a meal."  It points out on p. 25 regarding refined table sugar, that there are "no vitamins, minerals, trace elements, or fiber in table sugar, only empty calories."
Therefore, the problem seems to be in eating stuff that quickly and greatly increases the need for insulin to be released into the blood stream.  Since insulin, which is needed to control blood sugar levels, causes the storage of fat, the more insulin that is released, the more fat that will be stored.  This is not what I need, more fat stored on my body.  This information is helpful so that I can eat on an informed basis.  Doctors must always notify their patients about the adverse reactions or affects of a surgery or medication, and they even make them sign a release stating that they understand the RISKS.  Understanding the adverse affects of sugar and other refined products hopefully will make me think twice before I ingest it.  Eating junk will increase insulin production and therefore increase the amount of fat I store.  Now, if I choose to eat it, I will know what will happen and shouldn't be surprised when I can't lose weight or when I gain more weight.  There is a RISK involved.  Why would I put my health at risk?  Does it really taste so good that I can't say, "No" to junk?  Now I can make an informed decision and decide whether or not it's worth the risk. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved
     Today was weigh-in day.  Although I'm happy I maintained and didn't gain, I should not be surprised that I didn't lose.  I walked only 20-30 minutes two days this week and went to the health club one time.  That was the extent of my exercise, besides the 50/50/50 which I do every morning to keep the hip bones, cervical spine and wrists strong and healthy.
I am learning that I have a love-hate relationship with food.  I love junk and then hate myself for having no self-control and having eaten it.  I began seeing that I had no control and no boundaries where junk food was concerned.  I acted irresponsibly when it came to eating.  I needed to see that my reaction to junk food was my responsibility.  Only when I could see that my reactions to it were my problem, then I could take responsibility for changing my reaction.
     Once I learned to take responsibility for what went into my mouth, then I had the opportunity for change.  Once I saw that my eating was my problem and that I alone am responsible for it, then I was in the driver's seat of changing.  For the first time I was empowered.  Once I clearly understood the principle that I was responsible for my own weight, then I was empowered to change my seemingly powerless and hopeless situation.  Then, no matter what I was feeling, I had the responsibility and power to choose good food for myself.  Once I began taking responsibility for my reactions, I could work on changing what I needed to change.  In other words I had to learn to not let someone else's anger affect me, nor let anxiety and fear control me, nor let my hunger get out of control, alone with loneliness and tiredness.  By the way, HALT, which stands for, Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, are four basic checkpoints and things to pay attention to in myself.  I've added a fifth to these four feeligns, which seem to reduce my resistance to the temptation of junk food.  I've added an S, which can stand for Sick or Stress, both which also lessen my ability to cope and can, therefore, cause me to eat junk.  For me, it's almost as though it is the Eleventh Commandment.  Thou SHALT pay attention to your feelings of being Stressed, Sick, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, because coping mechanisms may become very low or nonexistent, and lessen my ability to cope. When I am stressed, I look for an out.  I began noticing that the out for me was to eat junk.
     Responsibility involves action.  If something was going to happen in order for me to shed some pounds, it would happen because I took ACTION.   The wrong action of Actively Choosing To Ignore Our Negative feelings will keep me stuck.  I needed to change some of my attitudes, behaviors and choices, my A-B-C's of change.  I had to actively participate in my resolution to lose.  Once I saw that my reactions were my problem and not anyone else's, not even the tempting junk's, then I was able to take responsibility for them.  I am learning to respond differently to what others do and to how I feel.
     The bottom line is that I had no boundaries where food was concerned.  I saw it; I ate it.  I thought about it, I'd go and find it.  Perhaps I could wait 'til five each day to give myself the illusion that I was in control, but in all truth, it controlled me.  I have learned not to just react, but to think through my choices.  Clarifying what I had to take responsibility for was a big first step in a new and right direction.  Setting boundaries on what I ate and what I drank, no matter what, was my responsibility, and I had the power to choose what I would and would not put into my mouth and, therefore, into my system.
In short, I have to take responsibility for learning about and then managing my own A-B-C's-
I have let my feelings and thinking PUSH me toward eating junk and too many empty calories.  And it became time to take charge of myself.  Sharing my story and sharing my weakness regarding eating and food has been key.  Sharing me is key.
Eating junk gives the junk power in my life.  What I focus on gives it power over my life.   I tried not writing for a few days and it didn't work.  I've gained power over junk from admitting to you that I am very weak in this area and by asking for your help.  I'm empowered to change the things I can.
Away with the junk and onward to excellence!
My prayer of serenity might be:
God, help me choose healthy food
Courage to give up the junk
And Wisdom to know the difference
Winning the battle of my mind and over junk and to stop junk's access into my life and my body is to stop giving it access into my mouth.    It goes from my head to my mouth and to my body.  Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fiber need to go into my mouth through the foods I eat and then out to my body.  My addiction has blinded me to reality.
I could either wish to be independently wealthy and, therefore, be able to afford to go to a health spa, formerly known as a fat farm (I believe), or just Eat Right and Exercise Routinely: ER and ER.  I think that I have said this every way I can think of, Eat Right and Exercise.
It was amazing to me just how quickly I was able to gain back one of the twelve pounds that I had just lost.  It's just how a snowball builds as it rolls down hill in the snow, and pretty soon it is huge and out of control.   I eat junk and more junk and pretty soon I am bigger.  And it's also just like the avalanche mentioned a while back,  it builds and eventually I become buried under the fat.
Being alive and healthy takes vigilance.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I just heard a story about a woman who had lost a lot of weight on a certain weight-loss plan, where she ate energy bars to get the weight off.   She had gotten it off and looked great.   But now the woman has gained it all back and more.  It seems to her that the best plan is to learn to eat a proper diet and exercise regularly.   It was a turning point for me when I also finally had this revelation.  News Flash!  Eating Right and Exercise Routine are important to my health.
That story she told me is soooo sad and so discouraging!   The good news is that it does not have to be that way.  We can do it and we can win.
Before I put anything into my mouth I have to know what I am doing and think about what I am doing.  It had just become second nature to pop anything anytime into my mouth, sending it right out into my system and letting it turn into fat, day after day after day.  Now, how do I feel about that?  What was I thinking?!!!!  I didn't get the connection.  I had a serious disconnect between what I ate and how I looked.  Where was my brain?  I knew pretty clearly when I saw an overweight person that it happened from eating too many calories.  But, for me, it was different.  I was unique.  The same dynamics did not apply to me.  I thought that I could lose weight by eating what I wanted when I wanted.  NOT!!! 
     When I finally got the message that weight loss was not happening and that what I was eating was the cause, then I started to get real and see my situation for what it was and snapped out of my big-time denial.  What I eat does matter and will affect how I look and how I feel. 
     I guess I had to face the bad news before I could understand the good news.  The hopelessness was real, that I was out of control and not leading a healthy lifestyle.  I finally wanted to learn a new way to eat and actually practice the principles of what I was learning.  I keep learning every day.
     It wasn't easy, but it was definitely necessary.  I had to change my eating habits.  And they were ingrained eating habits from my childhood, consisting of lots of sweets, desserts every day, and tons of carbs.  Now I walk through the store and actually notice how I am not picking up the junk.  I think to myself, "My, my, I just walked by those things and didn't get taken in like I would before and  always would buy some little snack or treat."  I would think to myself, "I can live without it.  I can always have it tomorrow if I still want it.  I can always have it when I reach my goal weight."  When I had left it behind, it's funny how I never wished that I had bought it and eaten it.  But I would often think how I had just saved myself 300 calories, not to mention the $$$.  It felt so good to say no and to know that I had not added more of a burden to my mental weight of not being able to lose. 
     That's why I am saying that it is great to gain the control and lose the weight.  Before I could lose the weight, I had to lose my old ideas.  I had to accept that I couldn't keep on eating junk and still lose weight.  It's not going to happen.
     Yesterday I bypassed a potentially dangerous situation.  My husband had brought home 4" square of coffee cake that someone had brought to work for their birthday to share with the staff.  He offered me a bite.  I looked at it and said, "No, thanks.  I know if I take a bite, I will want it all."  So, he took a bite and threw out the rest.  Good for him!  I know now that it's all right to throw out the junk.  Don't eat it.  In a rational moment I know that I don't want junk as a part of my diet.  I am not talking about a little after dinner dessert, which I look forward to now and then.  The definition of dessert is 1) a sweet course eaten at the end or toward the end of a meal, 2) U.K. fresh or dried fruit and nuts served at the end of a meal.  Those definitions are from Microsoft Word Dictionary.  That is very interesting that the U.K. has a different definition than we have here in America.  The U.K. definition sounds much healthier to me.
     The truth is that I have believed the lie right along with everyone else that refined sugar and refined flour products are something that I need, deserve and should spend my money on.  That's right.  What a lie!
     I have found that it is best when I plan what I am going to eat.  I am better off, because I know what to expect.  I plan something that I can look forward to, that's good tasting, enjoyable and satisfying.  It's a lie that the only enjoyable foods are loaded with refined sugar and calories.  It's just not true.  I replaced the can of cashews on our kitchen counter with a bowl of red grapes.  I found that I always took a handful of cashews every time I went  into the kitchen.  Now I grab a few grapes.  I had to change my erroneous thinking regarding food.  It was my thinking that always got me into trouble.  I have learned that I can say no to the loaded calories, and I am so much better off when I do.
     It is possible to win!  I have been soooo happy to see the scale shout the good news that I weighed a pound less than I did the week before.  It's worth resisting the junk for today.  I can do anything for one day, one hour, that I couldn't imagine doing for the rest of my life.  Keep going!  Don't give up!

I can't look back with regret if I want to keep moving forward, because regret can cause me to be defeated today.  I can look back to learn from my experience and then go forward with strength and hope.  If I felt defeated yesterday because of eating too much, may I determine to not lose my focus today. 
While watching the winter Olympic games of Torino, Italy,  I saw a young American girl winning a race by three seconds in the Olympic snowboard competition.  Just before the finish line she paused high in the air to glory in her victory and "show off" on the final jump.  From the high she felt, she came crashing down, and a racer came from behind her, crossed the finish line before her and won the race.  The Gold Medal was snatched right out from under her in an instant.  America felt the sadness for her as we all watched in disbelief.  She felt the pain of the crash and the loss of winning the race.  She won the silver, but she could have had the gold.  It could have been her national anthem that was played at the awards ceremony as the gold medalist was honored.  She said later that she got caught up in the moment and the excitement and did a little display of victory that cost her the gold.  Her coach and her parents could not believe it as they saw her fall.  Now it will be four long years of more training and practice for the winter Olympic games to return again.
I can also lose my focus and get caught up in all the excitement of the moment as I anticipate eating the "delicious" junk.  But, by taking my focus off the finish line, I'll lose and the prize will go to the other guy.  So, keep the focus, go for the prize of the gold.  That's what I want.   And I must remember that I am not over the finish line today until I cross over the finish line.  Neither can boast about my success, as though I did it alone.  It took a lot of training to get me to learn to stay focused.  I need daily support, direction and connection.
Before the gold medalists won the gold they had to learn to ski, run, skate, whatever.  They weren't fast when they started.  I also had to stop gaining weight and start winning.  First I had to learn to lose and learn to win.  I also had to understand that it's OK to win and be thin.  It was actually a little scary to think about losing, perhaps it was really about changing.  I don't know, but there was a little fear mixed in with the anticipation of winning.
Another story of losing just before crossing the finish line is of a marathon runner who was in the lead and looked back to see who was behind her at the end of the race.  She stumbled and fell and lost the prize of years of training and hours of running that day.  What a shame!  I don't need to look to see what anyone else is doing and if I am ahead of them or who I am ahead of.  It doesn't matter.  It's my race and I will win if I keep running.
I'll never win as long as I keep looking at and longing for the junk.  Go for the gold.  Desire a healthy life.  Don't give up.  Don't regret.  Don't look back.  Learn from the mistakes of yesterday and press on to the high calling of health.  "I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.  I press on toward the goal for the prize" of health, of feeling good and looking better.  I can do it if I keep my focus and don't give up.
Yesterday I had one Mini Dove Bar and twenty pistachios.  If I continue snitching like this every day, I will gain back the weight I have lost and lose the prize of looking as good as I can, and it will be taken away and given to someone who can keep their focus.  Although the final winner of the gold was a bit slower, she pressed on toward the finish line, crossed over and won.  Wow!  What a beautiful picture of victory of me.  I can win too.  Even thought I'm not losing, or didn't lose, 2-3-4-5-6 or even 7 pounds in one week, as some of the weight-loss programs advertised, I can keep doing the next right thing and choose healthy food and stay away from the junk.  Sound too simple to work?  It's simple but not easy.  It's a simple idea for simple me.  It's not complicated.  I can do this.  Every day is a new day and a new beginning as I set out to make healthy choices for myself throughout this day.  Today I will track hour by hour what I eat, breaking the day down into hours on the clock.  For instance, between 7 and 8 A.M. I ate....and so on, and I'll see what I am really doing regarding my food.  This way I'll be able to see right away if I'm getting off base.  I already know that I don't want to have to right down a Mini Dove Bar, twenty pistachios, or twenty potato chips, no matter what.  Then why eat them?  Stay away from them.  I'll plan what I am going to eat and stick to it.  I can do it with a plan and direction, for I'll know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there. 
7-8 A.M. nothing
8-9          nothing
9-10       Light Low-Fat Yoplait Very Cherry Yogurt (100 calories)
10-11      a banana and 6 rather large purple grapes
11-12      decaf Gevalia French Vanilla coffee with a packet of Stevia sweetener
12-1     lunch, consisting of baby spinach, 10 baby carrots, 10 sugar snap peas, 10 pecan halves, 10 blueberries and two Tbsp of Nordstrom Dark Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (140 calories, the end of the bottle) and also two pieces of dried apricots
1-2         one small sausage pattie, which I cooked last week and reheated in the microwave
2-3    one small cup of regular coffee with one tsp sugar (that's all that was available at the meeting I was attending, and I couldn't find my Stevia packets that I always have with me.)
3-4.1 ate nothing 
4-5         4 Edy's Dibs (2 of the new peanut butter flavor 2 new cookies & cream flavor)
5-6         1/2 bag of microwave popcorn and a Fresca
6-7         Dinner-steak, green beans and baked potato and one glass skim milk
7-8         5 purple grapes
8-9         nothing
9-10       felt like eating something so I had one glass of water
10-11     nothing
11-12 The day is over and I made it.

I saw the movie "Good Night and Good Luck" about Edward R. Murrow the other night.  When television was a fairly new invention, he said that television could be a positive instrument in our society, but also warned that it should not just be used to entertain, amuse and insulate Americans from the world.  I could say the same regarding junk food.  I must not use it to amuse, entertain, and insulate me from relating to the world and connecting to others.  Food has a purpose, to keep me healthy.  And I am thankful that it is delicious and colorful, satisfying and flavorful, even fragrant and comes in different textures and consistencies useful in sauces, and on and on.  Food is glorious and tasty.  I love it.  As a matter of fact, I never realized just how much I love it until I tried to lose weight and tried to stay away from it.  It was very difficult, especially to get started. 
A life-saving vaccine for polio, or a drug like penicillin, could have stayed in the minds of their creators and thus remained useless to anyone.  It was first an idea.  The men who developed them put their ideas onto paper and then into a form that could be useful to the body.   When the knowledge was applied, then the idea was able to be useful and save lives.  I have been learning lots of things, but if I do nothing with the information, it is useless to me and anyone else!   Application of the information is a key factor.  What good is knowledge if I don't use it?
     I was talking to a woman the other day who told me that her son recently lost 100 pounds and is now in the Air Force ROTC program and is now also able to be in training to be a pilot.  She said that she used to keep a lot of junk food that he liked and save it for him for when he'd come home from college.  She'd stuff it in the freezer so that it wouldn't spoil.  But, now and then she said that she'd get rid of it.   Since she couldn't throw it away, she said that she felt like she was a garbage can, because she'd have to eat it in an effort to "clean up" around the house.  
     I had that same thinking, which said I couldn't throw it out because it would be WASTING. But, I erroneously thought that it was OK to waste myself.   
     As I've opened up and been honest with other people, they've felt it's OK to be honest with me, too.
Losing weight is a choice and eating right is a choice.  The flip side of that is that my picking up junk is a choice also.  And, it is MY choice.  I am in charge here, maybe not always in control, but in charge, yes.
Some people like to drink dark colas.  But I have to remember that the sugar in a cola goes right into my blood stream.  I might as well be pouring it right into my veins.  The sugar in a cola is in the form of refined sugar and so my body does not have to put it through the normal digestive process.  It is readily accessible to go into my bloodstream as soon as I swallow it. 
Just one tiny little m & m piece of candy has enough calories that I will have to walk the length of one football field in order to burn them off.  And, a big problem is that if I eat one little tiny m & m I will definitely want more.  It will set up a pattern of craving and need that hard to stop.
Some people love coffee from coffee shops.  That's great, but if I had been investing the dollars in their companies instead of ingesting their coffee, I'd probably have $2000 at the end of the year.   $2000 equals the value of my purchases, plus interest plus the growth of the company's stock, which I could have if I choose to spend my money for investing rather than ingesting.
Writing makes weight loss fun and keeps me focused on my goal.  As I have let you into my life and thoughts the seemingly hopeless grip of bondage to junk has loosened and I am becoming free.  The truth of the statement found in the Scriptures, "The truth will set you free,"  is true for food too.  And, the whole statement reads, "Then you will know the truth,  and the truth will set you free."  (John 8:32)

It doesn't matter where I've been.  But, what matters is where I am right now.  Eating junk and taking it into my precious body can be a part of my past and does not have to be part of this present moment.  This present moment is really all I have anyway.   Today is a new day and I can choose nutritious food instead of junk.  I must remember this, because the junk was causing me harm not health.
Being accountable to another human being for how I choose to treat myself has been very healing for me.  I knew that someone else could step up and ask me, "What are you doing?  What in the world are you doing?"  They could see that I wanted to be accountable, and they were willing to help me.  What more could I ask for? 
What is this junk all about anyway?  Why did I keep eating it?  Although it seemed to taste good, was it worth the price I paid?  I have to admit that it was not worth the discontent that it created within myself.  I would love to start a war on junk.  It's kind of an insidious enemy, because it looks so good and so enticing all dressed up, wearing colorful uniforms of icing and sugar.  Just because it tastes good and looks great, doesn't mean the enemy is on my side.
I can write a new page in MyDiet story, and in my life and health story if I apply what I know today.  Yesterday is already written and cannot be changed.  What I have eaten in the past can be forgotten except to learn from it.  But, what I am doing today to improve my overall health can   move me in the right direction to ensure a healthy tomorrow?  If I am driving my car to a certain destination and find that I am driving in the wrong direction, won't I stop the car, get the right directions, turn my car around and start driving in the right direction?  If I keep going in the wrong direction, I will wind up where I'm headed, but it won't be where I want to be. 
     So, if I stop and get the facts and the direction I need, I can always start again.  I can ask myself, "Am I going in the direction I want to go?"

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Sometimes the healthiest thing I can do for myself is to admit that I make mistakes.  I am human and I am not perfect, for this is exactly what has given me the power to change.  I have admitted my crazy, even insane, thoughts regarding food.  I have seen for myself the devastation that is wrought through my tinkering with temptation.  I have had to let go of the idea that I can bring temptation into the house and then be able to leave it alone.  I have woken up to the fact that this is not true.  I can't even let the Edy's Dibs remain in the freezer untouched.  No, not me.  I have to have one or two even though, when I eat it, I will want more.  That is probably why the box suggests that the "serving size" is twenty-six little Dibs, thinking that that will be enough to satisfy me.  Three-hundred-ninety calories should satisfy me, shouldn't they?
I am happy to report that yesterday I passed my own test and had just two.  So, perhaps I'll try having none today.  I'm sure I'll live.  And, if I happen to think that I cannot live without them, then I'd better go back to step one and begin again to examine the pros, cons, price and motives of my obsession with junk.
I can either love it or leave it.  What has it given me in return for my devotion to it?   Has it made me beautiful or loved me back?  Has it enhanced my life, or given me hope, or was it slowly destroying it?  Giving it up has freed me from the frustration and burden of the weight and given me a healthy start to each day and a better-looking body.  The benefits have far exceeded my expectations, and have given me more than I have given up.
Just as I practice my guitar every day, my playing style improves.  And, my eating style improves as I practice eating in a healthy way day by day.  Practice, practice, practice!  If I don't practice, neither my health, my body, nor my style will improve.
Bar the door to anger and bitterness.  I will be sad but refuse to be mad.  What good does it do to be mad at somebody?  Resentment is like taking poison to kill someone else, for resentment eats its own container.  Resentment is like tying a rock to my neck with a rope and jumping in the river.  I can choose to cut the rope of resentment by choosing to forgive in order to free myself from the pain or anguish of the past.  God is the best example for me in the area of forgiveness.  Knowing that He loves me just the way I am is very freeing.  He is willing to forgive my huge debt and let me go, if I ask Him- to live freely, no longer sinking and bogged down by the weight of resentment.  By forgiving me, He has shown me how to forgive others.  Isn't this also all in my mind?  Resentments let others live rent-free in my brain.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

I can only live my life one day at a time.  If my temptation becomes too great, then I can take it one hour at a time, or even one minute at a time, reminding myself that I have authority over my choices this minute, and over each and every bite that I put into my mouth and every ounce of a drink that I swallow.  I decide what to prepare and what to pour.   Can I choose sugar snap peas today instead of cookies?  If I can see my problem for what it is, then I can make choices, which will help my body stay healthy. 
Although one cookie is not going to kill me, a dozen cookies week in and week out may.  And, even though they won't literally kill me this month, they will kill my spirit each day as I
1) realize I have no self-control when it comes to junk
2)  see myself growing larger instead of smaller
3) am disappointed in my lack of progress toward my goal of losing weight
4) gaze at my overweight body in the mirror. 
Even though my body has not died, I am killing my joy, contentment and happiness a little with each bite.  So, the very contentment and pleasure I wish to give myself with each mouthful, I actually kill.  Oh, that I could see this with crystal-clear clarity before I put it into my mouth.  I am destroying the very thing I am hoping to receive.  I have been deceived.  I have been duped.  The junk is not going to give me the joy and contentment that I really long for.  But, not eating junk today, this hour, will give me health and even hope for a better tomorrow.
At 7AM I will say "I do not have to eat junk from 7-8AM.  I will choose healthy food."  At 8AM I will say it again for that hour.  I only have to do this one hour at a time.  At the end of each hour I will say, "Terry, that is great that you didn't eat junk for that hour and you can do it the next hour too."  Not eating junk doesn't mean that I don't get to eat.  It means that I will take better care of myself.  Although I am not perfect and don't do it perfectly, I am excellent.
What if I had a choice today to choose either a strand of pearls or a strand of plastic toy beads?  Or, who in their right mind would choose a rhinestone ring instead of a diamond?  Who would I be kidding when people saw the imitation?  Everyone, but me, can see that I'm not eating just healthy food.  The empty calories are only an imitation of real happiness.  Truthfully, am I happy looking in the mirror and seeing cookie and muffin rolls around my waist?  Junk does not buy happiness.  My junky choices are showing.  Choosing amino acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals are the right choices that will show up on me as a dazzling display of body beautiful as I trim down and tone up for the health I was made to enjoy.  Away with the junk and onward to excellence.
Another version of my prayer might be:
God, grant me a Desire for healthy food
Courage to give up the junk, for I can live without it, and will live better without it
And Wisdom to stop myself and see what I am doing.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

AOL is advertising, "1175 HOURS FREE for 50 days!"  In order to grab me and get me hooked they tell me it's FREE.  When I am hooked, they'll take the money.  A weight-loss program advertised on TV "Lose 8 pounds the first week!"  But, I know what is under it all, they'll try and change the way I eat and make me pay for their food.  And I know that for FREE.  But, what I didn't know was how to resist and say "NO" to junk or what healthy foods to eat.  These things I am learning.  There is plenty of good food right in the grocery stores. I noticed a very famous weight loss program advertisement today on television with a beautiful woman who has lost a lot of weight, indulging in all of their delicious food.  Of course, it makes me want to eat all of the beautifully prepared and wonderfully lit foods that they are showing on the screen.  I want to be just like her and be able to stuff myself and still lose.  She even talks with her mouth full as she says at the end of the ad, "Have you called ________yet?!"  It is very appealing to think that I can look just like her and eat all I want.  Who am I kidding?
Today I noticed in my bathroom linen cabinet that I had a habit of collecting empty cream jars, either because I thought it was a shame to throw out such beautiful bottles or that there might be a use for them later.  Today I took them out of the cabinet and threw them away and I noticed something, I now have a lot more room for the things I really need and use.  I was doing the same thing with the empty calories every day.  I took them in and my body was storing and stuffing them into tiny little storage containers, called fat cell, which were taking up entirely too much room under my skin, around my organs and even squeezing my heart and lungs.  As I have let go of these little storage containers, I have room for me-the real me.  I'm not perfect, but I'm all I have and it feels so good to be honest and real.
As long as I am thinking about this in relation to the bathroom linen cabinet, I noticed the toothpaste tube and saw how the principle of getting rid of a little every day works.  I just got a new tube of toothpaste out to use this morning and my husband's is nearly empty.  (Yes, I guess we like different kinds of toothpaste.) So, I noticed that a toothpaste tube starts out plump, but winds up skinny as I remove a little every day. Today I try and keep healthy and delicious snacks on the kitchen counter, like red seedless grapes, which are easy to eat, because I don't even have to peel them.  They're colorful, sweet and even contain loads of antioxidants.  Removing a few calories each day will get me slim again.
Every day is like Day1 to me.   I could be back to square one with my weight unless I am working to stay focused on the solution and taking care of myself. 

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

     I have a confession to make.  The Ginger Souffle Body Cream that I bought to reward myself with, I haven't started using it yet.  I've been saving it, just like I save so many things.  But today I am going to open it and use it.  Why wait until tomorrow when I can enjoy it today?  And, why wait 'til tomorrow to apply the new knowledge that I've gained, because I've noticed also that tomorrow never comes, just like the Hank Williams song says, "Tomorrow Never Comes". 
     If sugar has become one of my best friends, I'd better find new friends.
     If I want to lose one pound each week, then I have to think about the best way to do it one day at a time.  To lose one pound I need to somehow have 3500 less calories each week than I need.  I either have to eat 3500 less or burn 3500 more, or a combination thereof.  Anyway, it has to happen daily with 500-calorie segments.  If I miss a day, then the next day do I really want to have to work on getting rid of 1000 calories in one day?  Burning 1000 calories in one day is a lot to accomplish.  Eating 1000 calories less in one day is starvation.  But, by working on just 500 calories each day, it is doable.  I can even make the increments smaller by burning 250 more and eating 250 less in one day.  There is no way that I can somehow get rid of 3500 calories in one day, even if I fasted.  I don't even need 3500 calories in one day.  And I surely don't want to work off 3500 calories in one day at the gym or health club.  This is why it is so important for me to stay on target each and every day.  And, if I do, I will reap the rewards of being healthier and happier with how I look and feel.  It is so totally worth the little effort that it takes to walk 30-40 minutes each day and to eat 200-300 calories less each day.
     I'll either burn or earn the calories that I eat.  If I burn them, they're gone.  Poof!  If I earn them, they are stored for life like a reward I can use later.  It's just like the reward certificates I get from Nordstrom when I have purchased a lot a the Nordstrom store.  I store them up and can use them when I need them.  The trouble with storing fat is that I usually don't need it, so there it sits as useless rewards for my overeating.  I have packed it away and packed it away like a pack rat.  The only way to get rid of it is to either burn it off or to eat less, so that my body can use what I've already stored and saved for later.  Now is the time.
     Today for breakfast I had a low-calorie Yoplait yogurt, for lunch I ate some delicious Tomato Basil Soup which I bought yesterday at the hospital cafeteria, some soda crackers with Smart Balance margarine, a bowl of Oregon Blackberries, Splenda and skim milk, and an 8 oz glass of low-fat chocolate milk for a treat, because we had several of the small containers in the fridge.  For a snack I had several pistacio nuts.  I later moved the bag from the counter to inside the kitchen cabinet.  They were too tempting and I found that I was eating them every time I went to that area of the kitchen.    For dinner I had a venison burger on a bun with low-fat mayo, ketchup and mustard, lettuce and tomato, some potato chips, and skim milk.  That's all.

Unless I see unmanageability in my life, I won't change and don't want to change.
I had lost the power of choice over sugar and junk.
Direction and Action are Key components of MyDiet.
I didn't become able to touch my toes, with legs straight, by touching them 3650 times the last day of the year.  I do it by touching my toes ten times each morning.  I didn't learn to do 50 sit-ups each day by waiting 'til the last day of the year and then trying to do 18,250 sit-ups all in one day.  It adds up one day at a time for a healthier me. 
If I eat one cookie each day for one year, then 365 X 100 calorie cookies= 36,500 calories of cookies in a year, and if that cookie is more than I will use in each day, then that equals an additional  10 pounds of weight by year's end.  If each cookie is worth 200 calories of unused energy, then I will add 20 pounds of weight in a year.  This is not a pretty story.  I can see by simple multiplication how it adds up.  Even though I don't like this picture, it is making more and more sense.
My definition of junk is-useless stuff that weights me down and keeps me from being who I want to be, keeps me from doing what I want to do and going where I want to go in my life.
If I eat one junk food item, then it's so much harder for me not to eat the second helping or cookie or piece of junk food, than if I had not eaten any of it at all.  Once I eat one cookie, it's almost impossible for me to think about anything else, but the next cookie.   So, I can't take the first bite.
Throw it away.  There is no need for me to feel like I have to eat it just because I bought it.  What do I really want to spend my life doing?  Do I want to agonize over the spending and wasting the $5 in food that I didn't eat, or having to burn off those unnecessary calories over time.  If I can enjoy a little of it and then throw the rest away, I'll then forget about it.   But, if I eat all of it, I can never forget about it if it is still in the house or my purse.  I'll have a daily reminder of its presence in my life, because I'll be able to see it in the mirror, because it's stuck to my rear.  If I'm wondering where my 75¢ Snickers bar went, I can look in the mirror.  I can see all of the food that I had to have and couldn't throw away.  There it is in full living color right there all over me.
Why do I buy cookies, one reason may be that I've gone to the grocery store hungry.  But, when I am not really that hungry, then I can pass by the cookies without a thought.  Does anyone who is full and has just gone to the gym have trouble bypassing the junk food aisles at the grocery store?
My daughter Catherine told me today that I have been saying that I have been trying to lose 15 pounds for 10 or 15 years.  I am a regular person, like everyone else, no one thought I'd ever do it and never expected me to show up skinny one day.  I had given up hope that I would ever lose.  Why would anyone think that I'd ever really do it.   But, I have so much to lose by not losing.  I can lose my health and my life by not losing.  I have so much to lose by not losing and so much to gain by losing. 
Let's say I'm parking in the parking lot for $20, if you take the bus, I'll give you the $20, I'd take the bus.  So, therefore, if someone told me if you don't eat the doughnut I'll give you another year to live.  Would I still continue to eat this garbage and not exercise?   If I started out with a life expectancy of 75 years, then in just a couple of years I could easily be down to age 54 or less, just by eating junk and adding weight.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved

Today I stopped at the health club after I dropped my daughter at school early.  It took me 11 1/2 minutes on the elliptical to burn 100 calories, which is 10 calories more than my usual serving of French Vanilla Creamer for my coffee, which is 90 calories per 2 Tbsp.  That was a lot of time and effort that I had to put in to lose/burn 100 calories.  When I got home I made some decaf coffee and today I only put 1 Tbsp of a new creamer that has only 30 calories per Tbsp.  This makes more sense than the way I used to pour it into my coffee never paying any attention to how many calories I was adding to my hot drink.
They both have the same number of calories per tsp or Tbsp.   I believe that what has happened here is that they are just suggesting that I use only 1 1/3 Tbsp  (4 tsp) in my coffee rather than 2 Tbsp.  They have only made the suggested serving size smaller, but no less calories per tsp.  But, I never actually measured a Tbsp before, I just poured it in, and probably was using 3 or perhaps 4 Tbsp.  I really like it to taste like French vanilla.  I am addicted to the good taste.  I can't get enough of it.  But now I am paying attention to these little details and noticing how easily and quickly the calories add up to WEIGHT GAIN.  Today I measured out 1 Tbsp of creamer and so only added 45 calories to my coffee.  Although last week I had switched to tea to reduce my creamer calories, this week I am treating myself with the reward of decaf coffee creamer, but now it's not out of control.   I am giving myself a manageable amount of calories.  I am deciding how much creamer and, therefore, how many calories, I will add to my coffee.  Yes, I actually measured my creamer this morning.

Junk food is really only a mirage just like a mirage on the desert-- nothing there to really satisfy my thirst.  Sweets, carbs, junk never really satisfy my hunger.  They bring pleasure only for a moment, then when I gain weight, I'm more miserable than ever and go to get more-it's a vicious cycle that is never ever satisfied.  It seems that there are really only two types of foods:  mid-rift-control foods and mid-rift-out-of-control foods.  Choose the food today that makes me look good, not just feel good.
One big reason it is difficult to stop this insanity is that it had become a habit.  So, I have asked myself in the past, "Why should I even try?  It doesn't work.  It won't work.  I've tried and it doesn't work.  I can't lose weight."  What a horrible attitude!  Get with it and learn what does work.  It is possible to lose weight and gain self and to win at losing. 
The biggest change I have made is cutting out the junk food.  I need to remind myself how I used to eat.  3 mini dove bars, cashews, cookies, now only 1 / wk, but not 3 a day.  Not a lean cuisine.  Eat things my body can use and not just put into storage into fat.  Not about developing an eating disorder, but about cutting out the junk.  Real issue about real corn carbohydrates, is that body has to burn those carbohydrates before it can burn anything else.  Just eating healthy carbohydrates, it metabolizes it.  But there's no 200 lb person out there that is just eating corn.  It's seems probably that they're eating some junk along with it.  The body metabolizes I won't get fat eating only corn, because I won't eat enough corn to get fat.  Uses corn to But, I would eat enough cookies or cookie dough all day if I could because I love it and can never seem to get enough of it once I start eating it, but nobody does that with corn.   I have put logical thinking into practice regarding MyDiet. 
What's more fun, buying a new shirt that looks on you or eating a pizza or a brownie? Or have people think, she could stand to eat one less piece of pizza?  People can tell what I'm doing even if I think they don't.  But I thought if I ate in secret that they won't see.
"O" magazine says that one change you can do today to help you lose weight-"Stop drinking your calories."

     We just received The Harvard Medical School Guide called Foods That Heal.  On the cover it says, "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life".   I am interested in what it has to say.  On page two it says, "About 25% of cancers in the United States and other Western countries can be prevented by eating a healthy diet.  A healthy diet also has the power to prevent heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, some forms of blindness, and birth defects.  It does matter whether your breakfast is a doughnut or a bowl of oatmeal, whether your sandwich is ham and cheese or hummus and tomato, and whether dinner is steak or salmon."  So, food choices can affect how long and how well I will live.
One of the local hospitals is advertising a weight-loss program.  The brochure says, "Nutritional Services include a registered dietitian who will train you to limit calories while adding a variety of flavorful foods that provide your body the proper nutrients it needs during weight loss and beyond.  The process begins with a nutritional evaluation, which includes discussion of your diet and eating history, current food choices and meal schedule, exercise lifestyle habits and eating behaviors that may play a role in your weight-loss success.  You will be given a journal to track the foods you eat and your exercise activity."
     That sounds very nice, but I really never wanted to let anyone know what I ate and how erratic I was in my meals and exercise.  It's called "Sugar Secrets to Die For", and it will kill me.  I have changed from a diabetic-producing diet to a "Diabetes-Prevention Diet".  All of those calories and carbs are bound to stress my body, blood vessels, heart, pancreas, etc.  I was made aware this week that the body is a Utility System.  It utilizes the food, which I take into my body, and it is amazing how this is done. 
     Since sugar is my main addiction, I want to move away from sugar every day and to clean my system of this killer.
I saw a package of OREOS and I didn't even want it.  I am making progress!  I am finding that I am not so tempted by candy as I was 60 days ago.  Staying away from junk is making me want to stay away from junk.  Choosing healthy food yesterday is making me want to choose healthy food today.  Having a history of good choices has given me confidence to say no to junk today.  I am kind of shocked.  I've always had a hard time saying no to cookies, candy, any kind of sweets.  But I am learning just how bad it is for me.
I read a little of the Sugar Busters book and found some interesting info that I need to remember.  It says on p. 4 that when Americans shifted to a "low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, the rate of obesity increased even more!"  And it explains that low fat is usually synonymous with high sugar.  And it continutes, "according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 65 percent of Americans are overweight, and 30.5 percent of us are obese...and obesity is now claiming 15 percent of our children."  It says that there has been a tremendous rise in the consumption of refined sugar in the last thirty to fifty years.
     The producers of refined sugar products, which I love, are getting a fat wallet while I get a fat body.  I will give them this, they do make it all look pretty good.  But, the products' nice packaging is ruining my packaging.
I need new glasses, because I don't see junk and the empty calories for what they are.  In the blurry fog of my vision, they seem beautiful and tasty and to be just what I have to have.  New glasses could give me better vision to see beyond the present outer enticing, but deceptive, façade and into the next day when I am sorry that I ate it.  They would help me see that it is not so beautiful after all. 
What if I piled up on a platter all of the things that I wanted to eat throughout the day but did not eat?  Then at the end of the day I'd be able to look at what I didn't eat and be thankful that I had been saved from ingesting all those calories. 
I made a commitment to go to the health club today after I dropped my daughter at school, and I did it.  I worked out on 9 machines, two times each, and did 7 minutes on the elliptical machine and found that it took 16 strides to burn ONE calorie.  I stayed on long enough to burn 50 calories, which is equal to one half of my breakfast Yoplait Light Low-Fat Yogurt.  That will make me think twice before I chow down a 100-calorie item.  Whew!  What a lot of work for the equivalent of a cookie!  Fifteen minutes on the elliptical for a couple of bites.  Come on!  Who put all those calories into one single little cookie!  Who would have ever thought I'd have to work out and walk on that machine for fifteen to thirty minutes in order to pay for the calories in a cookie?  Depending on the cookie, it could be a little less or a lot more.  Cookies are expensive little things, aren't they!  And to think how easily I used to gobble them up!

"Being real is what fine art is all about. " Barry Manilow paraphrase.
Thankfully, I had become tired and weary of the bondage and slavery to junk and excessive calories.
Something else I realize regarding unhealthy junk food and becoming willing to give it up is that first I must be ready to be willing to give it up and then to give it up.  The only question for me was "Am I ready?"  Was I still unwilling to give it up?
There was so much I was still unwilling to give up.  I'd give up just enough to get by and lose a pound or two.  Perhaps in some things I still said, "This I cannot give up yet."  But I should not ever say to myself, "This I will never give up."  I do need to give up that which is hazardous to my health.  I must become entirely willing to be good to myself and to take proper care of myself, both inside and out.  I might have thought that I could postpone giving up the junk.  But, why not take action in its removal as quickly as I can?  Why delay in being healthy? 
As long as I continued to believe the notion that I could hang onto some of the junk food, I could not attain the weight loss that I so wanted.  I had to become ready to give it up, willing to give it up and then really truly and entirely give it up.  My belief that it didn't matter what I ate had to go.  I did not become ready to let go of it quickly or easily.  But the difference between success and failure is in knowing that I must give it up, admitting it, becoming ready and willing to give it up entirely.  Carrying through on this step of giving it up entirely is a worthy goal and may seem impossible, but it is not impossible.  I was only fooled into believing that it was impossible.  What I truly believed was that I could not live without it.  But the truth was that I would not live with it.  It kills and zaps life and energy one day at a time.  What a lie I believed!
I had to become ready and willing to learn a new way of life and to see the misery that junk really brought me.  It added nothing to my life except a temporary reprieve.  It only brought my mouth happiness but more and more misery to the rest of me.
At one point in my life I remember thinking, "Please don't ask me to give up candy, cookies and such, because I couldn't do it."  I knew that if I was ever diagnosed with diabetes that I'd be told that I have to give it up.  Then I thought, "I'd never be able to do it!"  But, then one day I became able to see how out of control my consumption of junk was.  As I became ready to open my eyes to the truth, I gained understanding of what I, all by my little ole self, was doing and the role junk played in my life.  It played a big part.  Perhaps there'd be nothing left of me if I gave it up.  It had been such a friend, always there for me, always there ready to cheer me up.  Although it may have tried to fulfill my needs, I was always left empty.  When I ran to it for comfort, the comfort it gave was not lasting.  It was soon gone, and the comfort disappeared and I wanted and needed more.  What a disappointment, for in the end it did not satisfy!  How could this be?
     My (food) friends and I walked along life's journey together,
     Pausing to enjoy each other's company.
     I'd look for them and be surprised to find them no longer near.
     I'd go to the store to gather more friends around me.
     I'd place my friends in my kitchen cabinets,
     In the fridge, in the freezer, in my drawers,
     Then I'd be able to find them whenever I needed them. 
     If, for a moment, I'd forget about them,
     They'd call to me, and we'd be together, for a moment. they'd be consumed (I'd consume them) and they'd disappear.
     Those friends would vanish, never to return again.
     And I'd go and find more friends and bring them home.
     And there I'd be, just me and my friends and happy to be with them again.

Now, I sit reading what I just wrote, just staring into space in shock, and thinking of the absurdity of it all.  What drove me into such insane thinking, believing that all this junk and food, which I loved so much and could not imagine giving up, was my friend?  My mind came back to reality and snapped out of denial, and I could see clearly as my friend shockingly changed right before my eyes into my enemy.  The fog lifted and the veil fell from my eyes and I saw the truth.  May I continue to see with clarity that junk, and too many calories, is not my friend but an enemy to my life and health.

Copyright © Terry Tasche - All Rights Reserved



2/27/12_Day One_Starting Over_

Here's the email I sent out today to three friends
who are joining me in this adventure--
Today I am restarting the My Diet My Life
reduction process—reducing the fat, the muffin top,
and the weight. They’re not as bad as six years ago,
but I’ve gained back a bit, so it’s definitely time
to start writing again and telling someone what I’m eating. 

If you'd like to join in, please go to www.mydietmylife.com
and click on My Blog at the top of the Home page, then on
the Previous Articles link in the second paragraph on the
blog page, and read the first article on the previous
articles page to get started. We’ll read one article each
week to help us stay motivated.

Get a journal and call it My Diet My Life or start a
Word document and write down three things that jump out
as you read article #1, and write down something that you think
can help you stay focused throughout week #1. Put a star
next to it. It’s your diet and your life.
I want to begin with a way to gauge my success by calculating
my BMI, recording my weight, taking my waist and hip
measurements (the largest part of each), and divide the
waist measurement by the hip measurement. The calculation
and significance of the values of the BMI and waist/hip
ratio are at the end of articles #41 and 42 on the Previous
Articles page. So record your weight, your waist and hip
measurements tomorrow morning. Weigh yourself every
Wednesday-W-O-W--Weigh On Wednesday, or any day you
choose--Weigh Once a Week. WOW!
Just take the measurements, and you can always do the
calculations later. Write them in the journal. 

Today after dinner I’ll write and tell you what I ate.
Thanks for coming along for the ride to reduction
(of weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.)  
With great power comes great responsibility. Our great
power is in our ability to be healthy, and it is our
responsibility to point ourselves in the right direction,
to eat healthy food and to strengthen our bodies with proper
exercise. We are responsible adults who can do this.
So, if you're on board with me, let’s get started.  :)
Healthy eating and Happy living,

Here I am, my first day back, starting again and
telling someone what I'm eating:

4 oz Activia yogurt with 2 tsp ground flax seed
2" square homemade banana-cranberry bread with margarine
3" square leftover ham from yesterday's brkt at the
      White Gull in Door County
2 strawberries, 1/2 glass O.J.
regular coffee with skim milk with 1 tsp sugar

10 green seedless grapes
1/2 banana/peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat
2 grape tomatoes

3 oz O.J. with 3 oz red wine (I call it Sangria)
2 multigrain Tostitos Scoops chips
2 dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds

ham sandwich on whole wheat with low fat mayo with
lettuce, tomato, & slice of cheddar cheese
(no potato chips like I used to do)
1 glass of skim milk
I haven't been hungry all day. :)

At 4pm I went to the dermatologist in Hinsdale to
check my top lip that’s been crusting and peeling
for a few weeks ago, and had a biopsy taken. On my
way home I stopped near Ashland and Washington to take
a photo with my Canon S90 point-and-shoot camera of the
city reflecting the golden sunset. It's attached.
I look forward to reading what you ate and what jumped
out at you in article #1.
It's a good start on the first day of the MyDietMyLife
road-to-reduction process.
Healthy eating and happy living,

Sears Tower Golden Sunset Reflections Willus Tower  Golden Sunset Reflections

"Chicago Golden Sunset Reflections" ©Terry Tasche

10:00pm--I just got back from tap class.
Here’s DayTwo_
I did some exercises and stretching before breakfast and practiced my tap dancing.
Glass of water
4 oz Activia yogurt with 2 tsp flax seed
1 cup regular coffee with 1 tsp sugar + skim milk + 1 tsp vanilla sugar free creamer
4 grapes, 2 strawberries

3 stalks of celery, 4 grape tomatoes, 4 pistacios
1 glass (6 oz) Homemade smoothie with banana, baby spinach, strawberries, Activia
yogurt, O.J., skim milk, vanilla-flavored Whey protein. There’s still a lot left in the
blender for tomorrow.

Glass of water
string cheese & 4 Wheat Thins

3 oz O.J. + 3 oz red wine (faux sangria) before dinner
Grilled salmon salad with baby spinach, tomato, red pepper and green olives.   
Glass of skim milk

Golden Sunset Reflection Chicago

"Chicago Reflections of Gold" ©Terry Tasche





In my original Day 12 of mdml (see above), I wrote that I started “following my daughter
Catherine's suggestion: I need more protein so that I am not always hungry. We'll see
if this works.
Otherwise I noticed that I was in a constant state of hunger.”
I must say that
it does work and it did work! That’s why adding the protein powder to the
smoothie makes
it more satisfying and stops the craving. (I buy 100% Whey Protein, vanilla,
by Biochem at the Vitamin Shoppe. It’s wheat and gluten free.)

If I need more motivation to keep me going, I can remember that the last time I did this I
was able to lose 20 pounds, and my cholesterol went down 20 points!

Important information: A friend recently shared two things a physical therapist told her
will help keep people out of the nursing home:
1) leg strength and 2) balance.
And, a personal trainer told her to strengthen legs by sitting on the edge of a kitchen chair,
with knees at a 90º angle and thighs parallel to the floor, then standing, doing this ten
times each day.  

Yesterday I took a before-picture of myself, from the side, in my underwear!
This will be a clear vision of where I was, and don’t want to be again!
And, I will eventually, one day, enjoy seeing the before-and-after photos.

Today I ate:
1 cup regular coffee with skim milk, sugar, and French vanilla powder creamer
5 seedless green grapes

4 oz Activia yogurt by Dannon





"Golden Sunset Reflections of Sears Tower Willus Tower"

"Sears Tower Willus Tower Golden Reflections" © Terry Tasche









Lyrics at http://www.stlyrics.com | - They Call The Wind Maria lyrics