Friday, December 31, 2010

YOU: On A Diet

Anyone ever read this book.  I did a couple years ago and it completely made sense to me and my weight problem.  Problem was I wasn't ready to do anything about it then.  Am I now?  I don't know.  It's difficult to be so successful in most areas of one's life, but to have one that is so out of control.  It really makes me wonder why do I let it be out of control?  When there is something in my life I want to change I take the bull by the horns and make it work.  I've taken the weight issue on SO many times and failed every time.  Not failed at losing weight.  I always lose weight.  I fail in keeping it off.  Ten years ago I struggled for 2 years in keeping it off.  Then slowly it started to creep up on me.  I felt like I had locked myself in a room and it was filling with water.  Very slowly week by week a little more water seeped in.  Until one day I was at the ceiling gasping for breath and I finally unlocked the door and let myself out.  I was so overwhelmed with disappointment.  I felt like watching what I ate had became so oppressive.  I was following the Weight Watcher plan.  I vowed about 5 years ago that I would never sign up with Weight Watchers again.  Not that their plan doesn't work, but that it doesn't work for me.

So, I've spent the last 5 years doing absolutely nothing about my weight.  I've just been living fat, dumb and basically happy.  What has happened to make me want to change my status yet again?  I'm going to be doing some flying in the next couple years.  I swore last time I flew I wouldn't be so big. 

I took a flight to visit some friends a couple years ago.  I'm sitting in coach on the aisle and I barely fit in my seat.  I wasn't lapping over into another's seat, but I was one piece of cheesecake away from it.  I felt like I had to fold my arms the entire flight to keep myself in my seat.  I literally had to hug myself to keep me in my seat. 

Even though the 6'4" man to my left felt no qualms about lapping over into my seat.  He was a normal weight for his size.  Just a big man.  I felt sorry for him having to sit next to me.  Had I been a normal weight he'd have been more comfortable.  Well, as more comfortable as a man can who has 6 foot long legs stuffed into coach seating.

I've never given up on myself.  I always had hope that I'll one day gain control of my weight problem.  And when I say I'll gain control I mean me, myself and I.  No one is going to help me.  I've talked to the doctor in depth about this issue and basically being overweight is looked at as easy as putting on a cast for a broken leg.  I get the "just don't eat so much" look all the time.  If only it were that easy!  I heard the other day that 1/3rd of the population is overweight.  So, if it were that easy don't you think it would be done.

I do a lot of difficult things in my life.  Why should this be any easier?  My doctor did say that I'm almost over weight enough to qualify to have my stomach stapled.  I looked at her quizzically... and said, "Are you saying I need to gain more weight to qualify to have my stomach stapled?!"  Wow is that the easy out?  I was shocked, dumbfounded and grateful that I didn't qualify.  I have 2 people close to me that have had their stomachs stapled.  One sailed through the surgery and weight loss.  She vomits a lot to this day though.  She actually looks great and feels great.  The other friend nearly died more than once after the surgery, because of the surgery.  He looks terrible.  He's my husband's friend and a man, so I don't feel like I can quiz him on why he looks terrible.  Some of it may have nothing to do with stomach stapling and other health issues.

I just feel like for myself stomach stapling is just not an option.  Not that I don't think I'll escape the melted candle look, but because I feel like why chance surgery and a possible life time of vomiting.  Yet, if I don't do something complications from being overweight may very well kill me.

Last summer I bought the new revised "You:  On A Diet."  I haven't even cracked it open.  I've wanted to many times, but just haven't.  So, I've decided to challenge myself to read the book every day for 30 minutes until it's finished.  I can read more if I feel like it, but a minimum of 30 minutes is required.  I will start today.

I'm not saying I'm going ON a diet.  I'm just going to read the book and see what happens from there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Meet George Jetson!

That is my text message ring tone.  I seldom hear it as I have my phone set up to vibrate twice before ringing.  It gives me a chance to pull my phone out and answer it before it makes a sound.  That all goes out the window if I'm asleep though.

Usually I turn my cell phone off at night.  I figure if anyone has an emergency in the middle of the night they can call my land line.  BUT if I have a family member, mainly my child, out of town I'll leave on the cell so they can call me... well you know teenagers... text me.

I didn't sleep well last night due to a creepy incident involving a light turning off by itself.  That's another story.  So, I was trying to sleep in today.  When at 7:30am I hear "Meet George Jetson!"  I roll over fumble around and look at my phone.  My dear daughter away on a skiing trip with friends has texted me "Are my snow pants in my room?"  I roll out of bed take a look and sure enough they are.  I also see her medical card laying on her bed I'm sure there to remind her to put it in her wallet.  Why was it out of her wallet?!  I just roll my eyes stumble back to bed and begin to text her back.  "Yes, you're snow pants are here."  I get a "Oh no!" response.  I don't respond with any solutions.  Why... I'm tired and really just want to go back to sleep.  Also she's on a trip with 6 friends and 2 grandparents.  I think they should figure this out themselves.  Really what can I do I'm 2 hours away if the weather is good.  4 if it isn't.  I get about 3 separate texts saying, "NOOOOOOO!!!" "I LAID THEM OUT AND EVERYTHING!" "I can't believe this!"  I figure she's fishing for a solution from me.  I finally text back "You'll figure something out."  I'm sure not what she wanted to hear.

Life is really about solving problems.  Staying calm and figuring out solutions.  This particular problem isn't serious.  Worst thing that can happen is she doesn't go skiing.  Or she does go and is cold.  Very very cold.  As a mother I'm good with that.  Lots of learning can come from this.  Learn how to pack.  She's always been a bad packer.  Leaves things behind nearly every trip.  Usually mundane things like PJs, underwear, tooth brush or hair brush to name a few.  This time she was going to have to solve a problem that could end her fun.

I remember being young and with a group of friends and having a problems.  Half the group thinks and says, "Sucks for you" and goes on with their day.  The other half helps to brain storm and we get it figured out.  That's exactly what happened with Dear Daughter.

I got a text "I'm going to have to rent some snow pants."  I sent her with plenty of money for contingencies.  A while later I receive a text "They don't rent snow pants."  30 minutes later "Snow pants are expensive here."  All the while I'm not answering.  I'm just imagining their brains ticking.  Thinking of solutions.  Then I get the final text "Found a pair of cheap snow pants."  I text back "That's my Deal Queen."  She's had a gift of getting things on sale for prices I'll never see ever since she made her first purchases at age 5.  I don't have the luck of the Deal Queen.

I figure she'll get some Christmas money and I'll have her reimburse me for the pants.  Another learning experience.  Mom will buy you only one pair of snow pants.  You pay for the rest.

At 10am I get this picture.  All must be right in the world again.  Now I can get some sleep!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Friend Kelli's Peanut Butter Balls

When Kelli and I first met online we decided to have a cookie exchange for Christmas that year. That was about 15 years ago. Everything she sent was good, but one item was a stand out and I had never had anything like it. It was the Peanut Butter Ball. So, creamy, so peanutty, with a slight crunch from the peanut pieces. I loved them and had to have the recipe. She gladly sent it. I've been making them for 15 years. I've made them for friends and also passed the recipe on to delighted recipients on the West Coast.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup butter
1 pound crunchy peanut butter
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 pound box of graham crackers, crushed (approx. 3 cups of crumbs)
dipping chocolate (milk or semi-sweet)

Combine butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and graham crackers until well mixed. Shape into balls. Melt chocolate and dip balls. Cool on waxed paper.  Makes about 80.

Lynne's note: I used 3 cups of semi sweet chocolate that is what I always have on hand. I add some grated paraffin wax to chocolate. About 1/8 of a stick. It's edible and smooths out the chocolate giving it a nice thin shiny coating. If that freaks you out try adding 1 T or so of shortening. Does a similar thing. I found not thinning out the chocolate gives the balls a thicker chocolate coating that overwhelms the flavor of the peanut butter filling. If you love chocolate and are thinking "thicker coating is a bad thing?!" Then leave it out and go for it.

Used cookie scoop for 1 inch ball size and rolled balls by hand to smooth out.

Dipped in chocolate that was melted in a double boiler.  If you don't have one melt chocolate in microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring after each 30 seconds until all chocolate is melted.  Reheat chocolate when it cools and doesn't cover peanut butter balls well.

Left over chocolate no problem throw in some pretzels, maraschino cherries, dried fruit.  Stir around until coated pour out on waxed paper to set.  Break up for another holiday treat.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Where Am I?

I've been busy machine knitting.  You can find me over at my machine knitting blog.  I did take the time last night to make up one of our favorite Christmas snacks.  It's very rich and sweet, so I like to make it when there are going to be a lot of people around to eat it.  That way we won't eat ourselves sick.  Yes, it's that good.

White Christmas Snack Mix

2 cups Chex® wheat, corn or rice cereal
2 cups broken graham crackers
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups broken rice cakes
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup craisins
1 cup slivered almonds
1 pound white chocolate baking pieces or baking bars, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a very large mixing bowl, mix together cereal, graham crackers, pretzels, rice cakes, marshmallows, raisins and nuts; set aside. Line a very large baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper; set aside. Place white chocolate, whipping cream and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted; remove from heat and stir gently until smooth. Stir in extract.
Pour warm chocolate mixture over cereal mixture. Toss gently until cereal mixture is coated. Immediately spread onto prepared baking sheet. Cool about 60 minutes or until chocolate is set. Let stand up to 12 hours. Seal in plastic bags for longer storage.
Lynne's note:  This I believe was a Chex recipe from the 90's.  This time though *looking over shoulder* I used Crispix cereal.  It has rice on one side and corn on the other.  I never can decided between corn or rice Chex.  The wheat is just too healthy for this mix.  I like to use Teddy Grahams instead of breaking up graham crackers.  When I bought the white chocolate it came in a 12 oz. bag, 4 oz. shy of what the recipe calls for.  I put a tad less cream in.  It worked out fine.  Just as rich and tasty.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crocheting My Little Heart Out

It's like I'm possessed.  My daughter asked if I could make her a beanie with a brim.  I said sure.  I asked her to go on Ravelry and "favorite" hats she liked.  I then looked over the ones she picked and started with the one that had a free pattern.  Why not.  Well, I need a lot of hand holding while following a pattern and this patterns lacked some important details like stitch counts.  How many stitches are supposed to be in that row.  So, I returned to Ravelry to look for a pattern to buy that would have more details.  I found one.  Problem is my daughter and I really liked the colors from the first pattern.  It had a yarn that was doubled.  Black yarn with red to get a kind of tweedy look.

Using my purchased pattern I finally reduced my hook from a J to a G to get a hat that would fit on my head.  After all was said and done it still was a bit big.

After she wore it a few times it got bigger and bigger.  Finally, I asked her if I could have it and use it for my felting experiments?  She said yes.  I said I'd make her another hat.  I threw the hat into the washer on hot and out came a felted hat.  I shaped it back into a hat shape and put it on my head.  To my amazment it had shrunk down to the perfect size to fit a head, but now it didn't cover the ears.  So, the experiments continue.  I want to make one big enough to cover the ears after it's felted.