29 December 2011

My list...

I saw a post of a blog and she got the idea from one of her friends, and I loved it! For every pound lost, give a reason to have lost that pound! I looked over her list and I agreed with 85% of her list. But I will give you my list, the first 48 of the journey! I look forward when I can list 50, but until then. I start with the this year’s progress!
  1. Sit on the floor comfortably without pinching my nerve in my hip.
  2. Walk through the pew at church without having to side step
  3. Lose the double chin
  4. Rediscover my jaw bone
  5. To shop at any store!
  6. Paint my toenails without having to put my foot up on the counter!
  7. Being able to see what color it is without having to bend over!!
  8. Hold a plank position for more than 1 minute
  9. Do more than 1 real push up at a time
  10. Fit in narrow seats
  11. Not have back fat
  12. Not have my legs touch in the middle
  13. Go jogging for fun, not for a fitness test (high school=nightmares)!
  14. Get to a healthy weight so I can see my future grandchildren!
  15. Find my collarbone and show it off
  16. Not just wear jeans & t-shirts!
  17. Run a 5k
  18. Train for a half marathon
  19. Train for a century bike ride (100 miles)
  20. Have tall boots fit over my calves
  21. Wear heals and not complain the minute they are put on!
  22. Not have my arms wave back at you when I wave
  23. Prove that I wasn’t meant to be FAT!
  24. Earn a Black Belt in Taekwondo
  25. Be smaller than I was as a Freshman in High school (271 lb)
  26. Feel good in my exercise clothes
  27. Have a healthy glow
  28. See my toes from a standing position (I suppose that goes with toenail polish).
  29. Make healthy changes to my favorite recipes because I want to, not because I have to
  30. Wake up ready to go, and not want more sleep
  31. Have more flexibility mentally and physically
  32. Prevent knee surgery
  33. Not be ashamed of myself
  34. Enjoy looking in the mirror
  35. Shop in the "regular" section of department stores
  36. Have positive things to say about myself
  37. Increase stamina
  38. Fit comfortably in chairs at events (ie: giants games,convention center, etc.)
  39. Feel like a legitimate athlete when I am out exercising 
  40. Look like a legitimate athlete when I am out exercising
  41. Inspire people
  42. Take joy in taking care of myself
  43. Try things I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t due to weight.
  44. Know that I'm worth it 
  45. Finally know I DESERVE it
  46. I no longer qualify to be a contestant on the Biggest Loser!!
  47. Be able to be a bone marrow donor on Be the Match
  48. Feel good about donating all the fat clothes! See ya!

So there you have it! The first 48 things in *my list* of reasons to lose this weight! I will try to keep adding to it as I lose. As I close on 2011, and reflect on where I was when I rang in 2011, and where I am now, on the cusp of 2012. I am in awe of myself. For example, when I began in Taekwondo in July, I began learning how to balance on a ball on all fours. I could hardly do it. Now I can do it for 1-2 minutes! Now I am working on getting on just my knees. By the time I test for Black Belt I will need to last 20 seconds. Last week, I was able to do it for 5 seconds! Progress!!! I look forward to sharing more progress in 2012! And in April, I should be moving into the Blue Belt program! So progress continues! Have a very Happy New Year! Much love,

28 November 2011

Thanksgiving success

This week we had a beautiful Thanksgiving meal with Rob's family. I made all the dishes that I would eat, and the things I don't eat (stuffing, yams, pumpkin pie, etc) I didn't make. So everything I made was low in fat, sodium (if possible), and calories. I must say it all turned out delish! I didn't track at all, didn't exercise much (TKD once), and still managed to loose 2.4 to hit 45 lb lost on the nose! I was very excited to see that number. I know my goal was to hit 50 by next week, and I know that's most likely not going to happen, but I will be close! :) That makes me happy.

This week will be busy, and I suspect I'll be able to be good. I will be down at the Keller Auditorum for the Singing Christmas Tree. Starting tonight and through Sunday, I will be singing and having a blast with my TREE friends! I am amazed by how many people I know (women) are doing Weight Watchers or counting calories. It's just another support group and it really does help to have more friends to check in with. I will be sad next Monday when I won't be able to check in (in person) with Jo-Netta, Pattie, Gwen, Karen or Stacey. But  my motivation is still there in email and facebook.

Next week I'd like to see a drop of 2, and that will be without TKD all week, since it won't fit into the schedule. But I might try and squeeze in a couple gym runs.


25 November 2011


For the last 4-5 years, Mom,Michelle and I hit Lane Bryant's 50% Black Friday Sale. This year, I knew I was going to need to get some clothes after this year's weight loss. When we finally made it to LB this afternoon, I was grabbing jeans to see what size I was. I figured a 20, since I had been in 22s for a while. Nope! I fit into size 18! HOLY SMOKES! Granted they are tight, but with another 5 lb I am sure they will fit like butter. So by the time I get the jeans for Christmas (Thanks Mom!), they should fit! I am so excited!!!


21 November 2011

I love surprises!

This last week, I was OK. I did hit the gym once, which hadn't occurred since the summer. It was a great workout, and I plan on making it back this week a couple times, since the Dojang will be closed Wed-Sun. But I weighed in and was down 1.8 lb! So I was presently surprised, even after Rob (Mr. Insensitive, in this case) brought home two dozen Krispy Kremes yesterday. I have decided that my will power to junk/rich/decadent foods are going to be very hard this holiday season. But I am going in with a plan. If I can try and make it to the gym more than I have been, then I should be OK. Thanksgiving is going to be a good test, but I think leftovers are going to be harder. :) I am looking forward to the challenge, but would really love to see another 1.5-2 lb next week. Time to get ready for Taekwondo (after I pick up Chandler at the bus stop)! Have a great Thanksgiving!!


14 November 2011

Seriously!? Plus Thanksgiving recipe ideas!

This week, I was doing/trying so hard to be good...only to have a bad day yesterday and blow my weigh in. I know it's a journey and not an overnight thing, but hell, you can kill progress overnight. Up 1.6 this week. Grr.

Today we planned out Thanksgiving. So it got me in the mood to look around for some skinny reciepes for the day. I have found plenty. Besides our Shelton's Free Range (no antibiotics/hormone) turkey breast we'll bake. Here are some things that caught my eye. Of course, you all know how much I love Skinny Taste, so all but one are from her site. Thanks Gina!
Cranberry-Pineapple Sauce
Skinny Apple Cobbler
Skinny Scalloped Potato Gratin
Baked Turkey Croquettes (for leftovers)
Low Fat Green Bean Casserole

So I have a good idea of the plan-so I can just have my meal (since that's all it is) and not worry. Granted it's obviously WAY easier said than done. But I am still trying to have a miracle and hit that blasted 50 by December 1. Today's weigh in didn't help one bit, well it gave me the needed boost to plan my schedule with the gym and Taekwondo in mind. They are appointments-period. I need to make it a priority. I think if I were to do 3 days in the gym  (30-45 minutes of cardio), I could pull off a nice loss next week. I'd love to see 3-4 lb. Until next time,

09 November 2011

Weigh in & measurement progress

This week I weighed in, down 2.6; total of 42.4 lb! Sweetness! I am now officially 7.6 away from my December 1 goal of 50 lb! So I am trying *not* to focus on the numbers... but it's SO hard! I decided to do my measurements, since it had been a few months since I did them. That was a surprise! I have lost 42.5 inches! That's 3 and a 1/2 feet!!!! HOLY COW! So I took a snip it from the WW etools. I thought the graph was pretty cool to see...going down! You can see my August "vacation", but still, very happy to see. Now, to get to the purple line (50#).

I realize this might seem a bit "toot your own horn" but hell, it's my blog & journey! And I am very proud of sticking with this for 11 months! I have never ever stuck with a diet this long, and I think it's because I am looking at it as a lifestyle and not a diet. I am having my cake and ice cream at parties and I don't feel bad! If only I could remember to track more often. I know this is a key to success, so I don't know why I sabotage myself by not tracking... and I suppose I should add more exercise to that as well. But that's ok.

I am still kicking it (literally) at Taekwondo, and I am even more proud on the balance ball! When I began in July, I could barely balance on that damn thing (on all 4's). Now I can hang out on all 4's for a good 1-1.5 minutes! I am even starting to try and get up on my knees only (a requirement for Black Belt testing in 2 years). I managed 5 seconds on Monday! Proof my core is getting stronger! Oh, and even cooler-I did a jump roundhouse kick on Monday! Holy smokes, jumping and kicking! I never thought I'd be able to do that! So I am very proud of where I have come. And I can't wait to see where I am in 6 months!

I did make the Lentil Soup in the slow cooker yesterday that was a recipe from the Weight Watcher Weekly. It was delish! Recipe here Give it a try! Very filling and satisfying! Until Monday (or so), Have a great week!!!

03 November 2011

Weigh in & Halloween

Last week, I had a good plan, tracking and being good. I was! I weighed in on Monday and was down 1.6 (back to 40.0 total loss). I was a tad worried since Mom and I went to the beach for the weekend. I had a plan for that too. Clam Chowder once, be healthy the rest of the time. Well I failed on that front, but succeeded on another. I had clam chowder at Mo's and then at another cafe in Garibaldi, plus a hamburger & homemade fries. BUT when I am in Cannon Beach for Retreat (Singing Christmas Tree) I normally hit the CB bakery for my morning latte and 1-2 amazing maple bars. Yep, skipped the maple bars-both mornings! NSV (Non-scale victory)! But the real victory is that I was not at a house where I could grab various junk or snack foods! So I think that helped in the loss for the week. So really it came down to the fact that I was recording a CD all day Saturday, so I wasn't just lounging eating without thinking. :)

I had a plan for Halloween-no treats in the house to give out! I had McDonald's coupons that I handed out to the 5 (!) kids that came to the door. Now I knew the kids would bring candy home, but I didn't think it would be so much. I suppose I should have known when we went to downtown Tigard's Trick-or-Treat party AND around the neighborhood, that we'd have a plethora of junk... First a picture of my cuties in their gear.
Chandler as Thor and Lincoln as a race car driver.
After going to my weigh in Monday morning, we were reminded that we can bring candy in to send to the troops. SOLD! So yesterday, after having way to may encounters with their loot, I bagged up a bunch to take back to WW on Friday leaving the kids with just a bit of chocolate (their fave) to enjoy. Let's just hope my lack of will doesn't kill me on the scale on Monday! I have 10 lb to loose in 1 month-a very steep goal. So let's hope for a good Monday weigh in. Until then, have a great week!


24 October 2011

The Bermuda Triangle!

Today at Weight Watchers we were introduced to the worst thing ever (in diet land), the Bermuda Triangle! It's not in the Caribbean either, it's the trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas (Winter holidays). Yep, it's here, in Portland, Oregon! Who would have thought to look here. :) So after last weeks disastrous weight gain of 4.6 (thank you fat jeans & taco night on Sunday), this week was better with a loss of 2.0. So I still need to loose 2.6 to get back to my lowest of 40.8 lb lost. Can we say difficult with Halloween coming up next Monday?

This year instead of buying candy a week before the dreaded night, I haven't purchased a single piece. I am sure Rob is missing the opportunity of munch on the junk, and I know Chandler would be trying to sneak it, but oh well! After hearing ideas in our meeting today, I decided I will not buy anything until that afternoon-who cares if all the good stuff is gone?! I don't! But as I was stopping by McDonald's to grab a $1 Large Diet Coke, I saw that they have 12 coupons for $2 to give as treats! Perfect! Nothing to eat!!!! So I grabbed one of those. We had NO kids last year-which sucked-so I am not planning for a huge amount of kids.

The hard part will be not eating what the kids are bringing home that night!
So Weight Watchers, at least our location, is collecting it to send to the troops! How cool is that!? So the kids will get a small baggie, and the rest will be dropped off on Tuesday! Done and gone! :)

This weekend I will be heading to Cannon Beach & Rockaway Beach for the Singing Christmas Tree Retreat! I am very excited to have 2 nights away with just mom and myself. There will be a lot of singing and work to do, but it will be so nice. I am hoping to have some time to do some walking around Cannon Beach, getting in some needed exercise. I am hoping to be able to keep on plan while I am away for the weekend, and keep myself in check. I probably should stay away from Mo's clam chowder! But I'm a sucker for that yummy warm goodness. Moderation!

No touching candy!
Walk around the beach while at the retreat
Stay on plan
Map out the week's menu


11 October 2011

Time for soup!

As the weather has turned, I have changed my lunches to more soup and sandwiches versus tortillia pizzas, etc. So when I saw on Skinnytaste a recipe for Pasta and Bean Soup, AKA Pasta Fagioli, I had to add it to the list to try. Anyone who goes to Olive Garden and has tried their Pasta Fagioli soup, knows how great it is. And OG's version is actually a great choice, if you do it without cheese!
For a large cup: 130 Calories 2.5 Fat  9 Protein 17 Carb 6 Fiber

Well this recipe was a great knock off and can be done vegetarian style, unlike OG's! Gina has out done herself once again.
From www.skinnytaste.com

 Pasta Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 5 large bowls • Serving Size: about 2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 254.5 • Fat: 3.4 g • Protein: 10.3 g • Carb: 47.5 g • Fiber: 6.8 g

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 (14 oz each) cans fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) dry Ditalini pasta or other small pasta
  • Grated Parmigiano or Romano (optional)
In a deep pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.

Blend the can of beans with one can water in electric blender until almost smooth.

Add blended beans to pan then add the can of tomato sauce, celery, carrots, chicken broth, basil, bay leaf, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water and bring to slow boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente, according to pasta directions.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese (extra pts).

*+*+My Notes*+*+
+You can use either Red or white kidney beans, or mix it up and do both, just adjust your nutirtion and liquids.
*I think you could add some hamburger (extra lean), which would raise calories/points.
+Try using 1 each of beef and chicken broth.
*Beans and pasta will soak up the liquid, so if you are having leftovers, plan to have extra broth handy, unless you like a more stew style soup. Both are delish though!
+Freezes well! I made a double batch and froze half in Ziploc bags.

Enjoy, I sure did, and so did Chandler! Score!!!

10 October 2011

A goal hit!

A while ago, I made a goal to hit 40 lb. If I hadn't been a slacker in August, I would have hit it in September, but alas, I was. So I hit it today! I am down 40.8 lb since Jan 2! Sweet! I lost 3.4 lb this last week, which was great. I know I haven't really posted much, but I am working on it.

This week, Chandler & I will belt test in Taekwondo. I am hoping to try for a double belt promotion, but only if Chandler will be able to do the same. He's confident he's ready to try, so I let him lead (as well as Master Null). We just need to practice our Korean terminology and Q&A portion of the test. I had a goal (in addition to) to be able to Ax Kick at my head level by this week. I accomplished that goal two weeks ago! Who would have known a 290.4 lb woman could do that! I did! :)

I have been also working on eating more homemade food, less junk. I think I have been doing pretty good with that. A lot of soup and sandwiches for lunch. I will try and put some recipes up this week. I tried a Pasta Fegioli soup from Skinnytaste that was great! And I made some PB Banana Muffins that were good too-needed some mini chocolate chips, though.

Team Warriors 4 Alex, 2011
 The Brown family also participated in the Light the Night walk on Oct. 1. It was a great moment for the Warriors 4 Alex, even though Alex was still at the hospital recovering from his Bone Marrow Transplant.  We had over 60 Warriors walk with us and it was a very moving evening, even with a little bit of a sprinkle. So far our team has raised over $9,300! We have two more fundraisers coming up, Dutch Bros Beaverton on Monday Oct 24, and Zumba at Hardcore Training Studio on Nov 5! If you can come, check out our facebook page www.facebook.com/warriors4alex.
The Browns

In the mean time, check out the pages below! More progress and notes!

Progress page
Taekwondo Diary

13 September 2011

On track!

The last couple weeks have been tough to get back on track. But I did! Last week (post Labor Day) I was really ready to get back on track, and go figure I did! I was down 3.8 lb! So almost all the damage I did for the [whole] month of August was undone last week. I am now 1 lb up from my lowest point. So as of this week, I am down 36.0 lb total. I am still using my body bugg, but frankly their interface for entering food SUCKS! So I am now using My Fitness Pal for tracking and I am much happier. And the app for Android seems to be awesome! Woot!

As far as a brief update on the Taekwondo exercise! This is awesome! I am loving it. I cannot.get.enough! I am a yellow w/ green stripe belt. I plan on testing for my green belt in about a month, along with Chandler. We will also be going to Sisters, forr for a tournament! I think Chandler and I will both be competing in Forms, most likely doing Taeguek 3, Sam Jang. And I might compete in board breaking. We'll see about the latter. :)

Over the course of the summer though I have been doing some recipe exploring and plan on sharing with you soon! Until then, cheers!

22 August 2011


This summer has been tough on the diet, I've maintained (within 2 lb) of where I was down the most (37 lb). But I need to get back on the bandwagon. Summer break is (essentially) over and it's time to get my head into the game.

Today I went into Weight Watchers and weighed in, surprisingly I was down .2 lb. One thing I am proud to say, even though I knew the scale wouldn't be happy, I still went to my weigh in. Period, no cheating! I would tell myself, that I need to know the number and it was my own doing. Today I even mentioned that to the person who was weighing me in, and she said that was 1/2 the battle. Woo!

Today my leader, Jeannine, spoke about getting un-stuck! Talk about a perfect meeting for me. Why, Melissa, are you not loosing, you might ask? Well, I am not tracking, working out as much as I should, eating crap food that I shouldn't be eating, not measuring my portions, and not tracking! Oh wait I said that already, well, it's that damn important, so I hear.

Today I tracked all that I ate (Calorie wise). I should enter it into WW and see what the points come in at, just for shits and giggles. I'd be curious. I also did my exercise, 45 minutes of Taekwondo and 27 minutes of Walking (at home with Leslie). So I can check off the 2 goals I had for today.
Today's Calorie intake: 1829 (goal 1800)
Fat: 38 g
Protein: 115 g
Carbs: 232 g
Fiber: 19 g

Weight Watchers info:
 Daily Pts+: 45 allowed
Weekly Pts+: 45 (43 left)
Pts+ used: 47 (2 WPs used)
Activity Points earned: 12

Don't be surprised, if I blog every day this week, just to get back on track. Track(ing) right, must track! LOL. Until next time (and maybe I'll share some Taekwondo and biking goodies),


18 July 2011

Plateau #2, busted!

I know it's been a while. But hey I am back. I busted through a plateau, and I am now down a total of 36.6, with a loss today of 2.8 lb. So I am happy. It's been a bit frustrating. I know I haven't been working out as much, but I am back.

I also signed up to do Taekwondo with Chandler at Family Kicks, and I start today as a white belt. I'll be blogging about this new adventure. It's helped Chandler so much, I know it will help me! So in addition to doing the TKD, I'll be working on training for the Providence Bridge Pedal on August 14th, and walking. I should go to the gym, but I don't want to. I'd rather do things around the house. I guess it's good that I am not paying membership fees right now (Costco's flat rate 24 hr membership for 2 years=awesome).

Maybe I should do measurements today and see where I am at before I start the TKD training. :) Then I'd have another tool to see how I am doing.

01 July 2011

God Bless America!

I remember way back at Charles F Tigard Elementary School, in the spring we'd sing patriotic songs, and do a small concert. If my memory serves correctly, it was the odd grades that did the spring concert (so I think this is 5th grade, I am reminiscing about). Flash forward a couple decades, and I am in the truck with the boys today and listening to one of the two country stations in Portland. And on comes Lee Greenwood's God Bless America, a song we sang in choir, along with America the Beautiful and Your a Grand Old Flag.

Now in 1994, I was able to go to Nashville with the family for a convention. On Saturday night, they do a big dinner and have entertainment. That year Lee Greenwood did a concert. I remember it vividly, not quite as much as the year Elvis sat on my lap and used my napkin to wipe sweat off his brow, but I remember it. LOL.

So today when that song came on the radio, I turned it up and belted out the tune. Remembering when I sang it in school and when I saw Greenwood perform it in Nashville. As I was singing it, I was paying close attention to the lyrics. What an amazing song. It's truly beautiful.
If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
When the station I was listening to went to commercial, I switched to the other, and within two songs, they played God Bless The USA again. 

Now, I know separation of church and state, and that many do not believe in God, but boil these lyrics down to the nitty gritty: "‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,and they can't take that away... I'm proud to be and American, where at least I know I'm free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me." There are so many places where they cannot say those things without fear. We are truly lucky and blessed to live in the United States of America. Have a very safe and fun 4th of July! 

20 June 2011

10%, woo!

Jeannine and I with my 10% ring!
Today was a great day, and it's only noon! On Friday I did my weigh in at Weight Watchers to find out that I had already hit 10%, loosing 3.8 lb since Monday. So today when I went in, I was hoping last night's dinner at John's didn't kill that 3.8 lb that I had already lost. It didn't! Today I was down 5.2 lb, for a total loss of 34.6 lb!

A few things helped in getting me to this point this week. I didn't step on the scale at home. I only stepped on the WW scale and my doctor's scale last week. I counted and tracked! I made wise choices, salad with chicken instead of pasta at Ernesto's, and at John's, I went with salad first then had the pizza... Filled up on the healthy, before the "junk." And I used Sharon's advice, trying Walk of the Pounds DVD. I did it 4 times last week, and man was covered in sweat. In 15 minutes, I burned 300 calories, just walking in place (some sideways, forward & backwards included)! I was sold. So I moved! Plus I didn't sit on my butt as much! I was busy doing things, gearing up for Linc's birthday party on Sunday (gasp).

Bodybugg Stats:
Calories burned: 3314
Calorie Consumed: 1870
Calorie Deficit: 1444
Activity time: 1 hr 7 min
Steps taken: 6861
Hours slept: 7 hrs 39 minutes

Not too bad! Goal for this coming week, continue with the Walk off the Pounds DVDs, track, and try one new recipe (Skinnytaste.com has some that I am going to try), and be good on Linc's birthday!

Here's a picture of Jean

Have a great week! Much love,


13 June 2011

Mexican Feast in a slow cooker!

Tonight's dinner was fabulous! I got the main course's recipe off of Friend's For Weight Loss and I tweaked it a bit to fit our tastes.
Crockpot Chicken Bake
  • 1 cup of Enchilada Sauce (red)
  • 1 cup of Fage 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic (in the jar, or 1 clove)
  • 1.5 tablespoon of cilantro (or 1/3 C fresh)
  • 8 Mission Extra Thin Corn Tortillas
  • 2 Cups of cooked chicken breast, shredded (equals 11.7 ounces)
  • 1 cup of 2% Mexican cheese mix, shredded

  1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Prep crock pot with Pam cooking spray if yours tends to have a sticking issue (mine doesn't). 
  3. Place 2-3 tortillas, over lapping and tearing if needed to fit them in the bottom.
  4. Add 1/4 (about half cup) of the salsa mixture, 1/2 the chicken, and 1/4 cup of cheese. 
  5. Top with 2-3 tortillas and spoon in 1/4 salsa mixture, rest of chiken and 1/4 cup of cheese.
  6. Put the last of the tortillas on top, top with the rest of the salsa mixture and then cheese.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. 
Serving size is 1/4 of the casserole.
Calories: 375
Fat: 12.2
Protein: 40
Carbs: 24

Now of course you could call it good there, but why not add some sort of side. So I had canned black beans in the pantry. I've never actually cooked them up as a side, only in chili or something like that. So I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com and it was great. Here it is with my tweaks.
Easy Black Beans
  • 1 can of black beans (not drained)
  • 1 t minced onion
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t dried cilantro
  • 2 t of lime juice

Combine and simmer for 5 minutes. Makes 4 1/2 cup servings.

Fat: .4
Protein: 7.1
Carbs: 20.8

Total dinner calories: 484 and it was tasty!
Chandler loved it. So it's now in rotation! And the beans were so easy, I see us adding those into the side dish rotation! Enjoy!

Ugh...This sucks!

Today was weigh in day, and I should have stayed home... I thought I was doing well, I wasn't sitting on my ass like I tend to, I walked 3.5 miles wednesday, cleaned the heck out of the garage on Thursday, but I guess I just wasn't active enough. I even tracked! And I am up 1.8 this week. I am devistated about it. Really feel like I am hitting a wall.

Yesterday I think I finally figured out what the hell my deal is. I am scared. The things on my mind:

  • Fear of loosing so much weight and looking like a saggy piece of shit.
  • Fear of loosing the layers that have protected me (all mental). 
  • Fear of not being happy when it's gone.
  • Cannot get to the gym like I'd like to. 
  • Chandler getting out of school and messing up the routine I am in. 
  • Lincoln needing to learn to potty train so he can go to school next year and thus give me 2 hrs alone twice a week.
And I think the first thing that is blocking me (mentally) is getting into the 200's. I mean that's a HUGE step! To step on the scale and see 299... And then to hit 298 and be at 10%. I think I have been mentally sabotaging myself because I am nervous about hitting that step. I mean really 30 lb is awesome and all, but the first real hurdle was getting to the 200's. And now that I am knocking on the door, I can't fucking get through the door.

I am so frustrated!!!! I just want to do this. I HAVE to do this, not only for myself, but for my family! And I feel like I am letting them down. I know the kids have *no* clue what I am doing and why (although Chandler created a recipe for a Banana Split shake and it was "only 14 calories, Mom!"-Honey, I wish). But I just need to figure this out. I am tempted to call my old therapist and ask for help. I know a lot of this is self esteem related and fear. I am ready to loose it, and I can't let my head screw it up.

So this week, I am only going to step on the scale at WW (Today & Friday). Not doing it at home! My goal is to track (I did ok last week-5 days), and to loose .5 lb. That's what my leader suggested at my meeting today. Don't get hung up on the numbers. So there it is. Thanks for reading this week's novel. I will reward you with a recipe in a couple minutes. It was dinner tonight, and yummy. Thanks for the support. Much love,


06 June 2011

Reflections, 1 year later, Part 2

Chandler testing out the mask
So we had a tour with the Child Life person at the hospital and was given a bag with things to get Chandler mentally ready for surgery. They gave us bandaids, alcohol swabs, gloves, mask, a doll with a hospital gown on as well as a couple beanie babies and even a mask that they will use for administering anesthesia. Since both Chandler & Lincoln were there for the tour they both got a bag. It was so awesome. We played with those things, Chandler liked talking like Darth Vader with the anesthesia mask on. And he was comfortable with it. Whew.

Chandler & Dad in pre-op
The morning of his surgery we went to the hospital, he was going to be having surgery around 9 am, he was pushed back due to an emergency. So we got to the hospital, and were all checked in. He got changed into his outfit and we waited. He was all smiles as we waited. He was nervous when they finally gave him some meds to make him calm and loopy (see video in link below-it's funny). 

Watching Star Wars
We waited for him to come out of surgery with his preschool teachers. Our pastor offered to come as well, and it was so sweet. Grandma Brown had Lincoln at the house, but she knew we'd be well taken care of since Chandler would be under her friend, Jane's, care. Jane was such a blessing to Pat, and was there right after Lincoln was born. So when Dr. Wheby came out to give us the scoop of how his surgery went, we were in great company. Turns out Chandler's spine had an unusually thick filum terminale, which is a cord that anchors the cord to the tail bone area. Normally it's about 1mm thick and acts like a rubber band. Chandlers, however, was 5 mm thick and was more like a rope; thus the spinal cord didn't have room to move freely or be elastic. She just cut it, so he has a dangling spinal cord. :)

Dad surprises Chandler in the garden
Chandler had to lay flat for 24 hrs, and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. But man, the bed sucked for me. I totally couldn't imagine having to be there for more than 1 night. He had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia, couldn't calm down, had the shakes really bad...nothing a mama wants to see! Once we got to this room, Jane got him some Morphine, and he was much better, asking for his DVD player and Star Wars toy that was in the car (for post surgery fun). He was good having the IV in his hand, and was brave when they pulled it out.
Once he was cleared to be more vertical, the next morning, he got to go in the wagon and see the garden,and then it was time to be discharged and head home! 24 hrs in the hospital! Amazing!

Recovering at home on the couch.
When we got home, he did a full Star Wars (originals) marathon! We had to keep Lincoln off him, which was a hard one to do.

Dr. Monica Wheby & Chandler at his Post-Op check, cleared for activity!
After 4 weeks, Chandler was enrolled in Taekwondo at Family Kicks Martial Arts. When he began TKD: he couldn't bunny hop, balance longer than 3 seconds on 1 foot, his run was really choppy/spastic, His kick was about 8 inches off the ground. Needless to say, he was like a 3 year old (per his PT eval).

Ax Kick, when he began 7/11
Now, 1 year later (11 months since starting TKD), he is a yellow belt! He's confident, has balance, jumping capabilities (he jumps from the 2nd step at the house!), his gait is much more fluid, he has more range of motion in his kicks. It's truly amazing where he is now. I never (ever) regret the decision to do the surgery. I regret that I didn't listen to my mother in law, who suspected he has a tethered cord when he was 8 months old. I am so grateful to all those doctors who helped us help Chandler. I feel like our family was so blessed to be able to help Chandler. I know there are so many out there who are not either as lucky or cannot afford medical care.

So, I am thankful for all those who prayed for us, who visited Chandler, and have been helping us work with him to become the young boy he's meant to be. I am so thankful to his Speech teacher (Mr. Minear) and his Kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Bacos) and especially Master Jim Null & Master Adrienne Null. They have made Taekwondo a form of physical therapy that he loves. Watch out world, Chandler's got plans to be a black belt! And if he's anything like his parents, he'll be determined to do it!

Training w/ Uncle Vino, check out the height 3/11

Link to many photos related to his surgery 

Reflections, 1 year later, part 1

Today, I begin this post to reflect on the last year. June 7th, 2010 was the date Chandler had surgery for his Tethered Spinal Cord.

What Is a Tethered Spinal Cord?

A tethered spinal cord is a disorder in which a child's spinal cord is pulled down and stuck, or fixed, to the spinal canal. The spinal cord normally floats free inside the spinal canal.
As a child grows, the spinal cord must be able to move freely inside the spinal canal. If the spinal cord is stuck, it will stretch like a rubber band as a child grows. This can permanently damage the spinal nerves. Seattle Children's Hospital
 For Chandler, he had symptoms from the time he was 3-4 months old, he didn't crawl until 12 1/2 months, or walk until he was 18 1/2 months. Once he was walking, he ran with an odd gait, nothing that would signal "get him to the dr," he couldn't walk up the stairs or down-he'd crawl. His balance was off. But again, his Dr. wasn't worried and took the "wait and see" approach. Fine with me. I wasn't worried.

When we started looking into additional speech therapy for his Childhood Apraxia of Speech, we decided to have him evaluated by a developmental pediatrician. Since our insurance wouldn't cover speech unless it was due to an accident or birth defect (think Cleft Palate). So we were going to try and have it diagnosed as a Neurological Disorder, which it is!

After meeting with the Dev. Ped. she suggested having a Physical Therapy Evaluation, since he was behind in gross motor skills for an approximate 5 year old. Ok, great. We had the PT eval done at Legacy Emanuel Children's Hospital, and we got a great PT (a friend of Grandma Brown's). She found that Chandler was at least 2-3 years BEHIND where he should be. She also saw that he was very weak in his lower body, but great in his upper body. She suggested seeing Dr. Mark Shih, a Neurologist (who also is a friend of Grandma Brown). We saw Dr. Shih, and he noticed Chandler's reflexes were hyper, meaning they bounced way too much. He was leaning when he bent over at the waist (one side lower than the other). With the PT eval, his constipation history, developmental delays, he ordered an MRI.
Chandler's brain. Pretty cool!

The arrow points to the thickened part of the tether.
We did the MRI, where Chandler was sedated. He was a trooper! And very brave! After reading the MRI, Dr. Shih, confirmed what we suspected. Chandler was born with Spina Bifida Occulta. He had a birth defect. But this was nothing compared to what my friends' son, Christopher, was born with. Or another friend, Gina, who's son has to be in a wheelchair most of the time. Chandler can walk, run, and jump (not very well). He referred us to a woman who would eventually do surgery on Chandler's spine.

Dr. Monica Wheby, a pediatric Neurosurgeon at Emanuel Children's Hospital, met with us after Grandma Brown called in a huge favor to have him seen a month later (normal waiting time was 5-6 months). When we met with Dr. Wheby, she did another physical exam, checking the same things that Dr. Shih did. She concurred with his diagnosis, and checked Chandler's MRI and showed us what was causing the problem. Of course, we'd know more when she was in there, fixing the problem. But she scheduled surgery 10 days later, after Rob's last final for the term.

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

This week I was a "non-tracker." I admit it. I have been really lacking in the writing it down habit. And I know that is causing my loss to be less. This week I was down .6 (again). That's fine, at least it's a loss. :) But I know after speaking to my WW leader, tracking really is the key. So I am going to be extra diligent and write it all down (hey I just remembered some nuts I had earlier that I forgot to track, opps)! So I am going to make a note on the mirror in the bathroom to remind me to track! I have 2 lb to loose to hit my first real goal, I can do this! And 2 lb is very doable. So that's it for the week. I will have a couple other (random) posts this week. Other things going on that I need to reflect on. So please check back. Thanks for the support! I will post on Friday how the week is going. Until then,

31 May 2011

It's still a loss!

Since Monday was Memorial Day (Thank you to our troops) I got to weigh in a day late. Honestly, I was not looking forward to this weigh in. I totally blew last week. I didn't log any meals (crap) but I did wear my bodybugg, so I do know what my burn was. Granted it doens't mean much when you eat too much shit food! But damn, it did taste good. :)

But alas, I did calculate my averages for the last week:
Worn: 18.3 hrs/day
Burn: 2977
Steps: 4209
Activity: 42 min
Sleep: 6:19 hrs
BMI 48.52
Lost .6 lb

So for having a *very* long weekend with the kids and Rob working his 4 day shift week, I am surprised I did as well as I did! I totally figured it was a gain of 2-3. But I kicked it into diet mode on Saturday, so maybe that saved me.

Honestly, cheating like that, just cheats myself. I know it's totally cheesy, corny or cliche, but still. I can only answer to one person, myself. So who's to blame? Me. But on the flip side of the coin, who's to blame for the loss? ME! So, this week, I need to recommit to being on plan. I want to loose 2.5 lb this week, so I can get my 10% key ring (again, those darn tokens)!

I hit the gym yesterday, and I am going to go in a few minutes. Tomorrow morning Rob will take Lincoln to speech and my plan is to hit Bodypump class at 24 hr. It's been ages since I've been able to go to that class. So I look forward to it. I should do my measurements next week to see where I am at on the tape measure. I know that is really the true victory, smaller clothes. :) All I know my arms are sore from yesterday's lifting. So today will be just some fun on the elliptical.

Here's to a good week and some sun this weekend (I am going to prep the hot tub for this weekend)!


23 May 2011

30 lb gone forever!!!!!

Last week when I did my mid week weigh in, I was in a good spot, both mentally and in terms of lbs down. Over the weekend, I didn't go crazy, especially since I was still a bit stiff from doing my 5k on Thursday. So when I weighed in today, I was hoping to have a -2 show up, boy was I happy when it was -3.2! Which means I get to add my 30 lb down star to the post! Woot!!!!

I am now onto the same goal I've been attempting to hit for the last few weeks, 10% loss. I am still 3 lbs away from that. If all goes well this week, I will hit it next Tuesday (no WW on Monday since it's Memorial Day). I am hoping I get to get that blasted keyring!!! I have 3 charms to put on it, my 25 lb charm, 16 week key to success, and now my 5k charm!

For this week, I want to make it outside and do some more walking. I think I burn more when I do that. But good ol' Oregon weather will make it officially "weather permitting." I know that's an excuse. Of course that's what we talked about in our meeting this week. But hey, walking with a (almost) 3 year old in a stroller, isn't easy, and I can't imagine doing it with rain... Maybe I hit the weights in the basement, and do some Zumba on the Wii. It's been a lot harder getting to the gym with Rob's new schedule (again, an excuse! Damn it!). But here's hoping!!! Have a great week!!!

20 May 2011


I hit WW this morning to do a mid week weigh in... Good news, down 1.8 so far this week! Woot!!!

So that was great! Yesterday I walked my own 5K! I had driven the route to see if it would work, milage wise, and it did!! So I loaded Lincoln into the jogger and we walked Chandler to the bus stop. Once he was on his merry way to school, Lincoln and I were off on our 3.1 mile walk. I was very happy, and I am sore today. The hamstrings are a bit tight, as are my calves. No worries. I'll be back to normal in no time. But I was very proud of my acomplishment. I had a goal to do a 5K by May 21st, and I did it! Even if it wasn't an "official" 5K that you have to pay $20-50 to do, it still counts in my book. Now to keep it up!

Then today I was reading a friend's blog, looking for something to cook for dinner, and I found this funny flow chart on how to find food:
Here's the orignal source of the photo: Funny Flow Chart and here is her blog Cooking Claire
Check out her blog it's got some great recipes. I will be adding it to the blog roll soon! :)

I hope on Monday the weigh in goes well, and I can mark this plateau as BUSTED! Have a great weekend. Hope you get to enjoy the sun!

17 May 2011


Well I think after 5+ months of dieting I finally hit my first plateau. I gained .4 this week (after last week's gain of .2), so I am calling this what it is...sucky. That's an official term, deal with it. :) I hit the weights last week, and had a blast at Zumba on Saturday with my friends Amy, Vera & Amy. I danced for about an hour and a half, and I burned 900 calories. It was a ton of fun and a great benefit for Kidtalk, Chandler & Lincolns' speech clinic.
Amy Echols and I after our Zumba fun!
I had a great time dancing and I was even feeling uber comfortable with the moves! A  huge improvement over 3 months ago.

This week I am changing up the diet a bit, to try and break the plateau. Monday night I threw the "plan" out the window and enjoyed some awesome Italian food from Ernesto's. It was so yummy! If I am going to blow a meal, I might as well eat something that is outstanding, right?

Today I am back on plan, but I didn't hit the gym. I will be doing that tomorrow. Since it's going to be nice (knock on wood) for a couple days this week, Lincoln and I will hit the pavement and walk a bit. I am still trying to hit 3.1 miles, so I can say I did a 5K. I don't see why I can't hit that this week! I'd love to get the 5K charm for my 10% keychain from WW (that I haven't gotten yet, feh). Yeah, I like getting little dinky shit to keep me interested. I'll keep you posted if that happens this week! Toodles!!

13 May 2011

Why did I even bother?

Since Blogger is back up and running, a Friday post!

I went to WW this morning with Lincoln to do a mid week weight check... How the hell did I gain 1.8? I mean seriously?! I have worked out 3 times this week already, my shoulder is so sore, I can hardly lift Lincoln to the changing table. Ouchie. So, I must have had too much sodium, since the calories have been right on target. Right? That would make sense right? I don't know why I went, maybe to see if all the work I had done during the week had paid off. But I guess not yet. I know I still have 4 days (essentially) to loose at least 1.8. I know I can do it. But this weekend is jammed packed!

Tomorrow, I am going to a Zumba fundraiser for Kidtalk, Chandler & Lincoln's speech therapy clinic. It's 2 hours, and I am planning on doing at least 1 hour of it. I am looking forward to it. Afterwards we are hitting Chandler's school carnival. I am sure that will be a hit.

Sunday...I cannot wait for Sunday! Rob will have a day off and we'll be able to have dinner as a family. I miss it. I know the boys miss seeing Daddy. Lincoln hasn't seen him since Tuesday afternoon. :(  I have plenty of things that we can do, but it looks like it's going to rain, again. Boo. But at least we can have some family time together!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

09 May 2011

What's the worst?

After last week's long list of emotions and changes I was prepped for a gain... How much was the big question. Sure enough at the weigh in this morning I was up .2. On Friday I was up 1.4, so I was fine with the .2! So I am 6 pounds away from my 10% goal.

I already hit the gym this afternoon, getting back to the weights and cardio. Tomorrow, I'll do the same. Now the challenge comes in! Rob starts working in the Fab on Wednesday. Do I take Lincoln with me to the gym and go for an hour or do I wait and go at night (around 9)? Hell, I suppose I could just figure out some sort of cardio and do the weights at the house since I have a bench and a set of dumbbells. Hmmm.

I just see myself using that as an excuse!!! I don't want to do that. I need to prep my body for my 2 hour Zumba class/benefit on Sunday! So I have to hit the gym. I am excited though that my sister will be coming to the benefit for Chandler & Lincoln's speech clinic (Kidtalk).

I am also realizing that Rob will be home for Sunday night and every other Wednesday night for dinner. That's a bit of a bummer, and it also kills my being able to blame him for not knowing what to do for dinner! Doh! So tonight I sat down with Chandler and we came up with a 2 week dinner plan, or I should say 12 days worth since Rob will get the nights he's home! LOL.

The other thing I need to come clean on is that I haven't been tracking! I jumped back online today and started tracking again. I know that is 50% of this thing, knowing what goes in the mouth!

So this week: TRACK TRACK TRACK and hit the gym!