Whoops! Who else is seeing the numbers go up?

by Christine on May 24th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I knew this would happen at some point, but 6 months after reaching my goal weight, I have finally seen the scale go UP.  Really, 6 months in “maintenance” wasn’t too bad, but I also know a warning sign when I see it.

Today I weighed in at 131.0. My “goal weight” is 125, although I’ve been comfortably at 127 for most of the last 6 months.

Oh, it’s easy to chalk up the 6 pounds to a variety of things. What are the excuses I’ve used in the past?

It’s just salt bloating. Drink more water and it’ll go away.

It’s my period. It’ll go down when I’m done.

It has been more humid outside; surely it’s from the humidity.

But you know what? Excuses don’t get you very far in life. And I’m well aware of knowing when I need to get my head back into the game.

I’m not the only one that has experienced a weight gain lately. So have these wonderful, fantastic bloggers that I follow:

Oh yes. I just called you all out. And there are more of you out there, too. Are you courageous enough to step up, admit your failings, and commit yourself to getting back on track?

What am I doing to try to get back on track?

  1. Calorie-counting and food journaling every day.
  2. Pre-planning my meals every day.
  3. Cutting back on the chocolates at night, which have gotten a little out of hand.
  4. Watching portion sizes, which means weighing and measuring.
  5. Making a point to exercise more.

So far, so good. But the weight didn’t come on overnight, and I can’t expect it all to come off overnight either.


Roasted Red Saffron Peppers Recipe

by Christine on May 23rd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Works Cited: I found this recipe here.

I made this the other night. It was really delicious! The red peppers were sweet, and the mint was a perfect complement. I made this version without olives and replaced the oil for Pam.

  • Prep Time 25 Minutes
  • Total Time 1 Hour
  • Yield Serves 8


  • 4 red bell peppers, (about 2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  1. Heat the broiler. Broil peppers 4 inches from the heat, turning them as their skins begin to blister and blacken, until peppers have blackened all over in a slightly mottled pattern, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; cover with a towel or plastic wrap. When cool enough to be handled, rub off their skins with your fingers. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and remove seeds, stem, and membrane. Slice into 1-inch-wide strips. If not using immediately, refrigerate in a glass container.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes, and saffron, and cook 2 minutes. Add peppers, vinegar, and olives. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in mint. Serve.
If you replace the oil for PAM, here is your nutritional facts:
PER SERVING (1/4 of the above recipe)
Calories: 105
Saturated Fat: 0.25
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 301.75
Carbs: 13.8
Fiber: 3.85
Sugar: 8.825
Protein: 7.9
If you ate the whole dish (all 4 red peppers) yourself, it’s 423 calories.

Some wine tour pictures

by Christine on May 22nd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I had a fun time on our little wine tour yesterday. We hit about 11 wineries, distilleries, and breweries. We used the list I created (you can find it on the left hand side of this page) but I have a few amendments to make to the list. All in all, we had a very good time. I consumed too many freaking calories between the alcohol and the munchies, so I will need to cut back the next few days.


My garden is blooming!

by Christine on May 18th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

I love this time of year! Every time I walk outside I see new flowers blooming and new little biddies emerging from the soil. I love it! Let me take you on a journey around the house.  Let’s start in the back yard!

In the back of the house I have my vegetable garden. It’s only about 2 feet deep, but it’s about 30 feet long. It doesn’t look like much in the spring, but by the autumn it is very impressive! This year I have the following veggies growing: cucumbers, corn, sunflowers, carrots, black beans, edamame beans, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, green onions, green peppers, red bell peppers, various types of lettuce, as well as my herb garden with plenty of dill, cilantro, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and mint.

Top left: My cucumbers sprouted! Top right: My beans sprouted!

Top left: green peppers with some mystery plant sprouting up next to it! What could that be?? Top right: Lettuce ready to eat!

Top left: more beans sprouting, in a nice little line!  Top right: Another mystery plant growing in my asparagus. What could it be?

Top: My herb garden. That’s thyme on the left, oregano in the middle, mint in the back, and rosemary in the front. I have a whole separate box growing nothing but cilantro and dill–my favorite summertime herbs!

When we bought our house, there were no plants here at all. I had a lot of work to do! I planted about 30 lilac twigs the first year, and they really have grown into great big bushes!  Tonight I went out and picked some lilacs for the house and my office.

That’s the basket I carry around with me in the evenings. I use it to pick veggies, herbs, and flowers for the house.

In the front of my house, I have more flower gardens. It’s actually a lot of square footage of flower bed space, and I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in the past five years planting bushes and perrenials to fill out the space.

Above is to the left of my front door.

Above, to the right of my front door, Part 1.

Above: More garden space, to the right of my front door.

Irises are some of my favorite, and the little ones are blooming already! I have a whole area in my back yard with lilacs and big purple irises that I didn’t even take pictures of. Those irises are not blooming yet.

Now, I have a wrap-around driveway, since I live on the corner of two streets. In the middle I have an “island” that is really quite sad. That is  my next project: in the next few weeks I am going to order some bricks to build a mini retaining wall. I want to expand this section, give it some definition, and clean it up so it doesn’t look quite so haphazard. Unfortunately I have a nasty little vine growing in the midst of this mess that is choking the hell out of my crab apple tree. I keep cutting it down and trying to pull the roots up, but it is more than I can handle.

I have some really pretty flowers blooming in my “island” as well!

So there you go…there are a few pictures of my garden. I’m sure I’ll post more  pictures in the coming weeks, especially as my vegetable garden takes off! I love watching my garden grow!


A case of the headcase.

by Christine on May 17th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Today I was browsing through some three-year-old journal posts (for those of you that don’t know, I have an online forum here if you’re interested in joining) and came across this lovely “before” picture. This is about three years old now.

Look at that sad little fatty face of mine! And I remember that pink shirt, too. I liked it so much. It was a 1XL and it was tight on me. I also remember when I could finally throw that one in the “too big” bin.  Here’s another picture, more recent, this time wearing a Size 2 dress. What a difference with my chin! Oh, that laser eye surgery sure made a difference, too.

A case of the headcase

One thing that struck me as I was re-reading my old posts is that…well, I frequently suffer from a case of being a headcase. I have a tendency to over-exaggerate problems, create problems based on getting stressed out and worse-case-scenario-fearing, which just leads to more stress and fear, which leads to more stress and fear…

It’s a really rotten cycle. And I have no doubt that it has an impact on my weight, relationship with food, not to mention my mental health.

I’ve been in a real headcase cycle lately, and it is well past time to snap out of that. Instead of fearing the worst, I’m going to celebrate all the good things in life that exist CURRENTLY. Instead of exaggerating problems I’ll think of solutions. Instead of lamenting past problems, I will look to a bright and happy future. Starting now.

Do you ever work yourself into a headcase tizzy? How do you get yourself out of it?

How my eating has changed!

A review of my old posts were interesting from a food point of view now, too. Before, three years ago, when I was gaining weight at a rate of 5-10 pounds per week, I would:

  • Starve or have limited calories (500, say) one day, and have a lot of calories (2200, say) the next, for a wildly inconsistent eating pattern.
  • Drink a lot of alcohol. Every day, and perhaps 3-6 drinks a day.
  • Ate more carbs than I do now, which is quite a bit I suppose.
  • Ate a lot of healthy, full-of-vegetable meals.
  • I drank diet soda like it was water.

These days my eating could use improvement in terms of adding more healthy vegetables into my choices, but overall my new eating differs from my old eating because:

  • I eat a consistent amount of calories, every day, usually 800-1000 calories per day.
  • I still enjoy alcohol, but I drink a lot less apparently. Instead of 3-6 drinks every day, I might have 1-2 drinks, maybe 2 times a week. A drink a lot more beer now, too, as opposed to martinis.
  • I eat a lot fewer carbs because of my gastric band. I eat a lot more high-fat foods like fish, almonds, avocados, and even a limited amount of chocolate. However, I seriously limit my portion sizes with these high-fat foods.
  • I drink water like water, and drink diet soda as a special treat, maybe once per week.

I just thought the differences were interesting.

If Current Christine could meet Past Christine and share these differences with her….would it have helped Past Christine lose weight?  Could I have prevented the need for gastric banding surgery?

Honestly, I don’t know that I would want to change me. I’m so glad I had the surgery, and I’m so pleased for all it has done for me. I wouldn’t want to take that away from me, no matter what. Aside from marrying my husband and moving far, far away from home, getting the gastric band is one of the best things I ever did for myself.

What are the three best things you have ever done for yourself? If you could go back in time knowing what you know now, what would you tell your past self? Would you want to share your secrets with your past self and change the future?

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