blogging, emotional eating, enjoying family, Food Addiction, Having fun, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, New York City, optifast, organic food, photography, public relations, setting goals, Travel, weight loss journal, Writing

Changes are Coming my Way!

Guess What I’ve Been Eating?

This past weekend in New York, at my doctor’s suggestion, to avoid carrying around a cooler of shakes , I ate a small amount of real food for both lunch and dinner. I actually had no difficulty finding healthy food in Manhattan, as there seem to be places serving fresh, organic fare at every turn. From our last trip to the Museum of Modern Art, I knew that the Terrace Café on the 5th floor had some great healthy choices.  For lunch, I had the Miso Salad, sans dressing, with thinly sliced, grilled beef medallions, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, and radishes topping a bed of fresh arugula.  We also ordered an appetizer of Lemon Hummus served with a thin, crispy flatbread.

The avocado was to die for! (Photo by me)
The avocado was to die for! (Photo by me)

Of course, with a shrunken stomach, after four months of nothing but Optifast shakes, I certainly wasn’t able to chow down on the entire salad, but I did manage two pieces of beef and avocado, as well as about a cup of the other veggies.  I also had a teaspoon of the delicious lemon hummus.

After lunch, I had a refreshing cup of Mighty Leaf Tea’s,  Marrakesh Mint for dessert. This tea isn’t available in my area, and I’d never tried it.  The funny thing is,  when I ghost blogged for the organic restaurant, I had to do an entire post on this brand.  (This is why I’m always wary of the blogs of businesses! :))

My husband chose our dinner spot based on our pickup location. Harrington’s Bar and Grill on 31st Street. My choices here were a bit more limited, but it was pouring rain and really chilly, so I was very content to be inside. After much consideration, I chose the grilled herbed salmon salad. It feature grilled, sliced salmon on a bed of romaine, with tomatoes, cucumbers and red and green peppers. I ate one of the small pieces of salmon and about a cup of vegetables.  My salmon loving husband and daughter gladly polished of the rest of the salad for me.

My Grilled Salmon Salad.  The tomatoes were delish!  That's my daughter's grilled veggie sandwich in the background. (Photo by me)
My Grilled Salmon Salad. The tomatoes were delish! That’s my daughter’s grilled veggie sandwich in the background. (Photo by me)

Weight Loss News

I lost a whopping 2.8 pounds at Wednesday’s weigh-in! After a quick high-five celebration from my doctor and nurse, my doctor said she’s ready for me to start making the transition back to food.  This week I’ll be having 4 oz. of lean protein with 1-2 cups of non-starchy vegetables for one of my meals.  I ‘ll still be drinking my shakes, but I’ll have four instead of five. Instead of doing another 9 weeks of Optifast, after this 9 weeks ends in June, I’ll be switching  to a program  called  Weight  Wise.  I’ll have 2 balanced meals and 1 snack of regular food with 2 Optifast shakes per day.  I’ll stay on this plan for two months, seeing my doctor bi-weekly, and the behavior modification specialist the other two weeks of the month.  Then, if I still have more weight to lose, I’ll do another 9 week round of Optifast. At this point, I have 33 more pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight.  By switching up my program, my body won’t become complacent with Optifast.

It’s funny how my relationship with food had changed.  Being back on it, isn’t as thrilling as I’d imagined it would be months ago. I think it has a lot to do with having so many more things in my life to look forward to other than just a meal.  My weight loss has caused me to become more involved with activities and people and those are the things I’m enjoying more. Food is lovely, but it’s just the fuel that gives me the energy I need to embrace life.

 

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend with pretty weather~ It’s actually going to be in the high 60s here!  Hooray! 🙂 Anyone have exciting weekend plans?

blogging, Having fun, New York City, photography, Travel, Writing

I Spy with my Little Eye…

This past weekend we headed off to take a quick nibble of the Big Apple.  My youngest daughter finished college in December and graduates on May 10th.  All she wanted for a graduation present was a trip to the Museum of Modern Art with my husband and I.  What a jewel she is, because her desired destination is one of my favorite places to visit, as well.

Whenever we visit Manhattan, I always hope to spy a celebrity attempting to inconspicuously traverse the busy streets. My greatest hope is to see the lovely Hugh Jackman, who has been my number one celebrity crush for quite some time.

He's so very pretty.
He’s so very pretty.

I, also, wouldn’t be too disappointed if the very tall, blond, and handsome Alexander Skarsgard crossed my path.

Let's face it, Alex, you're the only reason that I still bother with the ill-written mess that is  True Blood.
Let’s face it, Alex, you’re the only reason that I still bother with the ill-written mess that is True Blood.

Fortunately, my adorable husband doesn’t mind my celebrity foolishness.  He even took me to see Hugh Jackman’s Back on Broadway show a few years ago.

This trip, my quick little eye didn’t spy Hugh or Alex, but I did surprise my daughter and husband by seeing Justin Jedlica sitting outside with his luggage, waiting for a friend.  Justin has been a guest on many talk shows and TV specials about plastic surgery.  He is touted as the “Human Ken Doll” because of his extensive plastic surgery.  I first saw him on TLC’s My Strange Addiction series.  While he is a surgical anomaly, he is also very intelligent.  He’s designed surgical implants and works as a surgical consultant.

According to my friends and family, I have fairly large cojones, and had no problem with politely approaching him.  He was so very sweet, and willingly chatted and took pictures with us.

I was all, "Hi, Justin!  Can I take a pic of you?"  And, thankfully, he was agreeable!
I was all, “Hi, Justin! Can I take a pic of you?” And, thankfully, he was agreeable!

My less bold daughter, sweetly introduced herself and I snapped this great shot:

My pretty daughter with Justin Jedlica.
My pretty daughter with Justin Jedlica.

I found out recently that my daughter reads my blog each day on her lunch break.  She kindly gave permission for me to post this picture of her with Justin.

Though I didn’t run into my celebrity crushes, meeting Justin was a lovely experience and I certainly wish him well in his endeavors.

Do you have a celebrity crush?  Have you ever met a celebrity? Tell me about it! 🙂  Have a great day everyone!

 

 

Awards, blogging, Building self-confidence, Exercise, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Fitness Week, Medical Weight Loss Program, New York City, optifast, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Will Exercise For Prizes

Prizes are always excellent exercise motivation!
Prizes are always excellent exercise motivation!

Did you know that this week is the 10th annual Medical Fitness Week? Wellness Centers all over the world will be celebrating the promotion of healthy fitness levels in people of all ages and abilities.  The wellness center that I belong to, has an entire week of exciting events planned; fitness walks, swims, health and fitness speakers, and daily prizes!  Yes, I said prizes!

Before I began my weight loss and fitness journey, the last thing I would have been interested in was an entire seven days celebrating fitness and health.  Now I feel completely jazzed to know that I’m feeling healthy enough to participate in this week’s main event: The Worldwide Walking Challenge , where I’ve pledged to walk 70,000 Steps in 7 Days, beginning tomorrow.

I normally tend to embrace most things I do with a fair amount of gusto, but when my chosen events include prizes, I amp things up to a whole other level!   So my gym bag is packed, my workout playlist is updated, and my water bottle is filled and waiting in the fridge.  My gas tank is full and I’ll be heading to the gym first thing in the morning to begin my day with a nice, brisk  10,000 step (approx. 5 miles) walk around their padded track.

In addition to getting in some excellent cardio, for every 10,000 steps I take, I’ll be entered into a drawing for fabulous fitness-themed prizes!  If I do all 70,000 steps, I’ll be entered into a drawing for a mystery grand prize.  Phrases like mystery grand prize tend to get me even more pumped up! 

The real truth is, I’d give this challenge my absolute all for zero prizes.  If my name doesn’t get pulled for a trinket of some kind, I’ll still end my week as a winner.  70,000 steps is guaranteed to strengthen my muscles and burn enough calories for me to lose another pound over these next 7 days, just from walking.

Anyone else up for the 70,000 step challenge this week?

Boy, do I ever wish that the challenge had started this weekend!  We did a ton of walking on our NYC trip!
Boy, do I ever wish that the challenge had started this weekend! We did a ton of walking on our NYC trip!

 

blogging, learning, New York City, setting goals, Wisdom, Wisdom Wednesdays, Writing

Wisdom Wednesday: The Wisdom of Slowing Down

The "Hugo" clock   Taken at MOMA (Photo by me)
The “Hugo” clock
Taken at MOMA
(Photo by me)

This week’s Wisdom Wednesday post is a message/ lecture/reminder to myself as well as the rest of my readers.  Normally my Wednesday post is written well ahead of time and scheduled for 7:00 AM EST every Wednesday morning.  As you can see, It’s a couple of hours late.  Being tardy isn’t like me. My kids used to get annoyed that I was always 20-30 minutes early for every appointment or event, but now, as adults, they’re the exact same way.  Actually, there are only two reasons that I would ever be late for something.  The first reason would be my untimely death (sorry to be morbid); the second, would be that I’ve completely over-extended myself. Fortunately, this late post is the result of the second.

Jam-packing too much into life has always been a problem of mine. Oddly, it’s not from lacking the ability to say “no” if someone is attempting to take advantage of my time; I worked that dilemma out in my 20s.  My over-extension has more to do with my high energy level, my general exuberance for life and the joy that I get from being with, and helping out, others. I love to have things to look forward to. I like my days to be full of activities and productivity. This may stem from the work ethic my parents taught me, or from watching their lives end too early and concluding, first-hand, that life truly is short, so cram in all you can.

I realize that being on-the-go and enjoying life  isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a thing I need to manage it better. Time has a way of zooming by when you’re closing down Target with a friend, or staying up hours past bedtime drinking decaf tea and chatting with your adult daughter.  Every weekend doesn’t need to be filled with home improvement chores, or activities and social events (often ones that I’ve created).  Sometimes the person I need to say “no” to most often is myself.  Busily enjoying the moment is fabulous, but so is rest and reflection.  Time management isn’t about being early for everything; it’s about finding a balance so that you’re able to live peacefully.

Are you a master at managing your time?  If so, please share your secrets in the comments below.  🙂

***If you would like to participate in Wisdom Wednesdays, please email me at clares1964@yahoo.com. I’d love to read stories of how life’s situations have helped you gain personal wisdom.  I welcome writers of all ages and experiences.******   (I could really use a few posts. :))

blogging, Guest post, learning, memories, New York City, problem solving, setting goals, Thankfulness, thoughtfulness, Wisdom, Wisdom Wednesdays

I know it’s Tuesday, but I’m thinking Wednesday

What have life's reflections taught you? Picasso's "Girl Before Mirror" (Photo by me)
What have life’s reflections taught you?
Picasso’s “Girl Before Mirror” (Photo by me)

My morning’s shower seems to be my greatest time of reflecting.  I often think that world problems could be solved if all national leaders would put on their bathing suits and jumped into a gigantic shower room together to talk it out.  There’s something about soothing,  steamy, hot water pulsing on your head that stimulates good thoughts and great ideas.  It probably won’t surprise you to know that many of my posting ideas are born in my bathroom.  This morning was no exception. Somewhere between conditioning my hair and washing my toes, I had an idea for Wednesdays.

Since I began this blog almost a month ago,  I’ve been brainstorming ways that I can enhance my blog and keep with my overall theme of self-improvement.  Since I’m only two months away from hitting the half century mark, I was pondering on what I’ve learned from my nearly 50 years on this beautiful planet.  I spent my entire time of putting on make up and drying my hair reflecting on my life’s experiences and what I’ve learned from them; basically, the wisdom I’ve acquired in these past five decades.  That’s when an epiphany struck me like a burn from a raging hot flat-iron (actually, I really did burn my finger this morning with my raging hot flat-iron–ouch!).  If I’ve learned a few things in my short life, imagine how many wise things my blogging buddies have learned with their array of experiences! This revelation is causing me to create Wisdom Wednesdays and I’ll need your help!

I’m seeking volunteers of all ages and experiences,  who would be willing to write a guest post about a life experience that has made them gain wisdom.  The subject matter can be anything you wish, because I believe we can learn from the smallest of happenings or encounters.  If you would like to include a picture with your post, that would be wonderful.

Please indicate in the comments below if you would be willing to participate in Wisdom Wednesdays!  I’ll start it with my post tomorrow.  I look so, so forward to reading your posts, and I hope you’ll participate.  Posts and pictures may be sent to the email address on my contact page.  Thank you! 🙂

 

blogging, enjoying family, memories, New York City, photography, Travel

Slow on Memories & Odd Things

At least once or twice a year, my husband and I make a trek to Manhattan to just hang out. My hubby grew up right outside of the city and visiting is very nostalgic for him. In addition to meeting up with friends or relatives, still in the area, we sometimes  go to a play, visit a museum, or go shopping. I usually take a ton of pictures when we see or do something new, but the problem is, I don’t get around loading the pics on my computer. Don’t even ask me about the discovered roll of film I developed a few years ago that revealed my now 26 & 23 year-old daughters at ages 10 & 7 at the Washington Zoo. Yep, I’m slow with taking care of my memories. Last night I finally got around to putting the pictures from our November journey on my computer.

During our last trip, we had some time to kill in between planned activities, so we made a quick visit to Obscura, the shop where the Science Channel’s show Oddities is filmed.

Wow!  Just like on TV! (Photo by me)
Wow! Just like on TV !(Photo by me)

I imagined that Obscura would be chocked full of all of the wacky artifacts and people who I’d seen on television. I pictured that we’d kill a few hours checking the droves of antiquities out.   I imagined wrong.  It had some great stuff inside, but the place was only about as big as a one car garage inside! Still, I saw some familiar faces.

Like this guy:

Hmm...He looks familiar. (Photo by me)
Hmm…He looks familiar. I sure wouldn’t want to find him in a dark closet or corner!
(Photo by me)

 

I recognized this dude, too!

He could certainly haunt your dreams!  (Photo by me)
I’ve seen him somewhere before, too!
(Photo by me)

 

And this one made me sad.  Poor little thing! 😦

How mooooving!  (Photo by me)
I’m not a fan of stuffed creatures.
(Photo by me)

And then there were these guys:

Creepy! (Photo by me)
Creepy!
(Photo by me)

And this very nice lady:

No, it's not Evan, but this kind lady was more than happy to show us around! (Photo by me)
No, it’s not Evan, but this kind lady was more than happy to show us around! (Photo by me)

Though the shop was small, and didn’t contain as many oddities as we imagined, it was still quite an interesting little stop on our journey.

Are you timely when it comes to developing or downloading your photographs?  What’s an interesting place that you’ve visited lately?