Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sue's Birthday!

My Birthday was wildly successful. I wasn't able to have my usual Breakfast in Bed, because I had to take Michael to a Dr's appt. And, Ron regretted to tell me that the CD's he ordered for me were rerouted to our old address, so they wouldn't make it in time.

But none of that dampened my spirits. I was going to have a birthday party! The first in AT LEAST 20 years!

After much coordination with friends, here's what we ended up eating:

Pork Tenderloin's stuffed with an herb dressing and a Jalapeno Pecan Dressing
Asparagus with Feta Cheese
Broiled Tomatoes with cheese, olive oil and herbs
Spring Mix salad with dried cranberries and nuts
Onion rolls
Ice Cream Cake

The Pork Tenderloins were from Central Market and just needed to be cooked. Lisa, Claire and Laura all brought the rest. Baskin Robbins was in charge of the ice cream cake! YUM.

Now that the Writers' Strike is over, John was back and work. He wasn't able to make it to the party. But Laura did - and brought me a lovely pot of herbs and flowers for the table.

Lisa & Reed arrived with their 3 girls. We quickly fixed them some hot dogs and they raced upstairs to play video games and watch movies. Reed would be leaving soon for India, so I'm really happy that he was able to come.

Claire & Matt arrived - happy to report it only took 30 minutes to cross town in rush hour traffic. We chose to have the dinner ON my birthday, so that meant mid-week rush hour.

We had candles on the table and on the wall sconces. I'm not that crazy about my tiny dining room, but it was cozy and nice. Michael joined us for dinner and we talked about traveling and politics. I know, a tad dangerous,'s MY birthday! Laura explained how the Texas Two Step Caucus works. It was news to most of us. Michael was a little overly enthusiastic about his Pro-Obama campaign, but I'm glad he's involved.

I had told Claire a few weeks ago, that my ideal evening would be one like on The Big Chill. Everyone sitting around a big dining table, chatting, eating and drinking.

I got my birthday wish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Birthday Plans

T'is the Season, for our family. The season of Birthdays. Check this out:

2/20 - Sue is 47
2/26 - Alyssa is 14
2/28 - Katie is 17
3/08 - Ron is 57
3/22 - Michael is 19


Everytime I look at this, I take a deep breath, as if to brace myself!!

So here's the Plan:

Sue's Birthday - Instead of sitting around passively, wondering if it will be Breakfast in Bed or Dinner of my choice at a local restaurant, I've decided to take another approach. I'm going to host a Dinner Party in my honor!! LOL!
Well, not really "in my honor" so much as just a gift to myself.
When we returned to Austin, it was for a variety of reasons. And one of them was to be part of community that I enjoy. A community that my children could be part of. While I have friends all over the country, I have a few here too. And, asking them to come be with me for my birthday is all I really want.
So, for the Dinner Party - Potluck - with Lisa & Reed Vivatson from Temple, Claire & Matt Hyder, and Laura Derrick & John Pritchett, both couples from Austin.

Alyssa's Birthday - Alyssa wants 2 parties actually. She wants a sleepover with her cheerleading team - that's 20 girls! Go to the movies as a group. Eat pizza, cake and have a chocolate fountain.
After this, she wants to have a "regular" party with homeschoolers she knows. They haven't had a big get together in a while, so this might be fun. She *might* have the girls spend the night and the boys go home at midnight... or some plan like that.

Katie's Birthday - Katie also wants 2 parties. Party #1 would happen on the actual Birthday. She wants to go to the Psychic here in Pflugerville. Theres' a house on the edge of town with a sign that reads 'Palm and Card Reading, $5 or $10'. She has a few friends she'd like to invite to go too. Then afterwards, go out for dessert.
Her 2nd party would be an evening costume party. She wants to invite all her friends who love anime as well as any of them who just love dressing up.

Ron's Birthday - Poor Ron. Katie's party will actually fall on his real birthday. But he's never really been one to care about birthdays. Julie wants everyone to get together for dinner on the Sunday after his birthday, so that's what we'll do. We've already gotten him one of those Digital picture changers - you know the kind? You upload photos and it's a photo frame that rotates the pic's every couple of seconds.

Michael's Birthday - another hard one. He's thinking that he might just like to do a Bar-B-Q in the backyard. He has a few friends through work and outside work and thinks they'll come for free food!

So....that's The Plan.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Story Behind the Weight

or the Weight Behind the Story...or The Weight of My Behind, Story later....

I love food. That's the underlying issue. And, I think, because I've been on so many diets, my body is always afraid I'm going to decide to start another diet tomorrow, so let's party while we can! Truly, I'm recognizing my relationship to eating as somewhat of an addiction. I eat because it's there. Not because I'm hungry. Not because I'm depressed or happy or busy or bored - or maybe, yes!, because of ALL those reasons!

So, let's trace back early attempts at Weight Loss...

SlimFast Shakes were first available when I was in college. I felt like my 129 lb. body was getting pudgey. Yeah, right. I look at pictures that I really didn't think were flattering and only WISH I could look so unflattering.

MidTwenties, I tried Diet Pills....speed really. I didn't eat much. But I didn't like how it felt. Then I tried the Scarsdale Diet. Then the Atkins.

Then I got married and just ate out a lot. And had 3 babies. With each baby I gained 40 lbs. and with each delivery, I only lost 20lbs. So....that's a 60 lb. weight gain right there!

But in between, I did different things.

After Michael, but before Katie, I did Nutrisystem. I lost 20 lbs. But I really felt like it messed up my gall bladder. Or at least my gall bladder was deciding it had enough around that time. Because after I was done with Nutrisystem (or if cheated), I wouldn't even make it home from the restaurant without pulling over and finding a bathroom to explode in. Not fun.

After Katie, I don't remember trying a lot. But after Alyssa, I was back to trying all kinds of wacky fad diets. I did the Cabbage Soup diet, the 7 day diet, the Banana Diet, the South Beach Diet. None of them worked because I never could stay ON any of them. Not surprising, they're nuts!

Then in California, I tried Weight Watchers. At the same time, I joined a gym. The combo of eating right and exercising worked - imagine that!!! And I lost about 20 lbs.

But then we moved and the weight climbed again....because, remember, I LIKE to eat! And now I have 3 kids and husband to feed. At this point, I was frustrated. I was tired of trying. So I didn't. And my weight hit a record high - 263 lbs.

Let's talk a little about what 263 feels like:
  • my feet hurt when I get up in the morning
  • my shoe size increases
  • my back hurts
  • I can't sit comfortably in the stadium seats at sports events
  • I worry about whether I can fit through the turnstyles
  • When I'm on an airplane, my thighs are plastered against the stranger next to me.
  • My seatbelt in the car is really stretched out.
  • I have trouble reaching various parts of my body (you don't want me to elaborate!)
  • I can't run
  • I'm sweaty a lot
  • Cute clothes are out of the question - everything fits like a tent
  • My mom makes little comments about how I should think about losing weight
  • I start to have chest pain periodically
  • I have heartburn regularly
So, in January of '06, I started on the Metabolic Research Center Diet. High protein, lots of metabolism enhancers, vitamins, mood stabilizers, etc. I was determined to make it work. And I did. I lost over 60 lbs. by August WITHOUT exercise.
At that time, I went back to work - at the Girl Scout office. Interpret that to mean - all the nuts, chocolate, and Thin Mints you can stand. At first, I didn't have very much.But it crept in. I ate when I was too busy to pre-plan. The deathblow for this was when I quit work to move to Austin. I decided that I'd let the diet go for a little while and then get back to it. My kids were so happy that we didn't have to "be careful" around Mom with regards to food. We ate out again - YIPPEE!
WHAM....20 lbs. came back right away. Then, WHAM again - another 30!
So, I joined Curves and thought it would just fall off. It didn't. I also seemed to think that if I worked out, it gave me some free pass to eat whatever I wanted. But, you know, a 30 minute light to moderate workout cannot justify and Pancakes for breakfast, nachos for lunch, lots of snacks, and an Oreo Blast to top it off - FREQUENTLY.
No real results.
Ron bought me an exercise bike - I've used it 2 times in 2 months.
And I started Weight Watchers. I haven't really committed yet. I'm hoping I do soon.