I’m rouxined

I used to hate cooking. It was ONE MORE THING on my to-do list of a lot of other mom-things. It was just not an enjoyable task, wich is surprising, given how much I love to eat. And when I was trying to diet cooking was even worse because then I had to cook TWO dinners: one disappointing meal for myself and a tasty one for my family.

But then when I finally decided that I would liberate myself from the diet du jour, guess what?! I actually started to enjoy cooking. When I could cook whatever sounded good to me, that’s when cooking became fun.

What I love about cooking is learning how to make things from scratch that I would normally buy in a can. I’ve learned that the basis for a lot of these is starting with a roux.

If you don’t know, a roux is just oil or butter mixed with flour. From there you add your liquid of choice and voila – you have a delicous sauce and just saved yourself a chunk of change.

For example, not long ago I was making a casserole and needed a can of cream of chicken soup but I didn’t have one in my pantry. I Googled “diy cream of chicken soup” and found a recipe. Some butter and flour cooked until bubbly then I added some chicken broth and stirred until thick. Ta Da! Cream of chicken soup that was delicious and free of unpronounceable ingredients. And so quick and easy – I couldn’t believe how simple it was and it didn’t take much time at all – a few minutes at most.

I also found a dangerous homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe that starts with a roux. I say dangerous because this stuff is so easy and delicious…it might become a problem if I let it. A cup of milk is added to the roux then a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese is melted into the mix. Add a pinch of salt and chili powder…BOOM. Nacho cheese to fulfill all of your cheese dip dreams. So easy & delicious! And again, free of unrecognizable ingredients. I’ll be more than happy to never buy Velveeta again in my life.

As someone who has lived off of processed/convenience foods her whole life (Why so chubby Jill? It’s a mystery!) cooking from scratch is a novelty. I can’t believe I have relied on canned soups and sauces for so long when it’s almost just as easy to whip them up from ingredients in my own kitchen. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂




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Food reactions, by golly!

Ugh. Instead of going down the road of “I’m a failure” every time I mess up with food, I’m trying to learn from it. Here are some things I have learned about myself over the last few months:

  • 2 glazed donuts = I feel okay. Eating 3 (or more) donuts makes me feel like I’m gonna hurl.
  • Eating flour tortillas make me want to take a nap. Carb coma anyone?
  • I can’t get enough cereal. Any kind of cereal. One bowl is never enough, so it’s better if I just don’t eat it at all. (Hi I’m Jill and I’m a cereal junkie.)
  • Egg noodles are addictive and I don’t want to stop eating them. They make me feel sluggish and bloated.
  • I am at this point powerless against commercial birthday cakes. Buttercream icing makes me want to do bad things in a food porn kinda way.
  • PopTarts and milk at 10 o’clock at night are never a good idea. Waking up with a stomach ache is no way to start the day.

So basically what I’m learning is that simple carbs are not my friend. Duh. I never said I was the brightest bulb in the lamp.

I guess I’m the type that can read all the nutritional information in the world, but until I experience it myself first hand, I’m not going to believe it. At the beginning of this week for about 3 days most of my meals consisted of a lean protein and vegetables or fruit and nuts. I had tons of energy and felt almost…euphoric? I was nearly giddy – it was weird. As the week progressed and got busier, I opted for the old standby meals which are basically meat, starch, and a starchy vegetable. By last night I was so tired and had a stomach ache and just felt miserable – I don’t want to keep feeling that way.

Looking at my body as if it’s a big science experiment instead of judging myself for not being perfect is probably much healthier in the long run. It’s amazing what you can learn when you take away the judgement and self-flagellating thoughts, and instead observe how your body reacts to certain foods.

I may be 41 years old, but I’m still learning. I don’t know how long it will take me to get this figured out enough that I can be consistent enough to lose all the excess weight, but by golly I’m going to keep trying. (Yes. Yes I did just say “by golly”. Apparently I’m channeling my grandpa today.) 

Happy Weekend folks!! 🙂

The Trifecta, it eludes me.

Well here it is Friday again (finally!) and so that means weigh in day.


Oh….kay. It’s not a gain, which is good, but like last week, I’m not surprised that there wasn’t a big loss. I did all right with my food – not fantastic, but okay. I think the problem this week was in the form of not enough water and not enough exercise.  I worked out Monday by walking around the city lake, and then I had Zumba on Tuesday. Wednesday I had planned on using the elliptical once I got home from work, but I never got around to it (it’s SO hard for me to work out in the evenings if I don’t do it right when I get home), then on Thursday I wanted to walk around the city lake again (I even brought clothes with me to change into after work) but we had some pretty big storms rolling through yesterday afternoon, so I nixed that idea, and like Wednesday, didn’t make it to the elliptical. I set my alarm to get up early this morning to work out, but I did something wrong because my alarm never did come on. It’s a good thing I woke up when I did or I would have been late for work.  I brought my work out clothes with me so I could walk around the lake again, but it’s cloudy and cold and the wind is blowing hard today, and it’s usually twice as windy at the lake. So I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I’ve been packing an extra afternoon meal to take with me to work, so that I’m not ravenous when I get home and eat the refrigerator. It’s working out great so far. My after-work noshing has decreased considerably. Debby, you were right – I think I haven’t been eating enough during the day, and having this extra meal seems to be balancing things out.  🙂

Now, I just have to work on drinking enough water, and getting into a consistent exercise routine…why does it seem like it’s so hard to complete the weight loss trifecta?  If food is good, then water and workouts aren’t so great. If water is being guzzled regularly, then food and workouts are hard to manage. If I’m working out like a boss, then water and food are suffering. What’s up with that? Anyone else have that problem?

I’m realizing that losing weight isn’t going to be as easy as it was even just a couple of years ago. I’m going to have to fight hard for every pound I lose. Dang it.  Oh well, Eye of the Tiger, baby! Eye of the Tiger.

Hoo are you? Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo

Hey y’all!  How was your weekend?

Well, I don’t think we are quite ready for the Bass Pro circuit just yet, but Shawn and I did alright in the couples tourney on Saturday. We got 5th place out of 56 boats and won $400!  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. The weather was GORGEOUS. Just absolutely perfect.  Well, starting out it was pretty cold – it was 40 degrees when we put the boat in, and let me tell you, 40 degrees on the water is a lot different than 40 degrees snug and warm in my bed. It warmed up nicely though – I think it made it up to 80 degrees that afternoon. No lie, I had a little bag that I took with me and in this bag I had gloves and earmuffs along with flip flops and shorts! It was a really good day.  When we first got out on the water it was still dark, but as it started to get light I noticed the silhouette of an owl sitting at the very tip top of a tree. It would have made the coolest picture if a professional had been there with a fancy camera, but all I had was my crappy camera phone, so I didn’t even attempt a photo. It was an amazing sight though.

It was almost exactly like this. Isn't it pretty?


Debby said she thought that being in a boat all would lead to lots of snacking, but really the opposite is true, at least in a tournament setting. I had packed a small container of yogurt with honey and some string cheese for my breakfast, then I had a sandwich, some beef jerky, and a Kit Kat that afternoon and that was it while we were on the boat. It’s not easy to cast a reel and eat at the same time! And we fished hard the whole day, so there wasn’t much downtime at all. It was nice just to spend the day with my husband in such a relaxing setting. I highly recommend it.  🙂

After we got home, I realized how tired I was (we got up at 4:30 that morning – ugh) and that’s when the pandora’s box of all things processed opened up and flew into my gullet. I ate way more than I needed, but the momentum was going and it was so hard to stop. Eventually I did stop and finally made myself go take a nap. Sunday wasn’t much better on the food front – I was still tired and sort of in that I-have-so-much-to-do-but-I’m-bored kind of mood. I hate that. So hard to shake that feeling.

I didn’t sleep well last night at all. I felt like I just couldn’t get into a deep sleep, so when the alarm screamed at me this morning, I shut it up real quick and turned over and went back to sleep. Skipped my planned workout, which always makes me mad later. Oh well, there’s always a chance to do better tomorrow.

My food has been pretty good today, and I decided that one thing I used to do all the time that really helps me is to make a menu of dinners for the week. Since I always pack my lunch, I k now what I’m going to be eating during the day, but if I don’t plan the dinners too, I end up cooking whatever’s easiest and easy doesn’t always translate into healthy. I think it’s better for me to be able to look at a whole day’s worth of food because I can put it all into a tracker and “predict” where I’m going to end up for the day, calorie-wise. I used to do this quite a bit, and I remember that it seemed to help, so I’m going to try it again this week. I hope it really does help. I need all the help I can get.  🙂



Feeling a little beachy

Hey gang!

So I decided that enough is enough and I need to change the way I eat. I go for the lazy option too often and I need to experiment a little. So for my first experiment, I’m going old skool and bustin’ out the South Beach Diet book. I’ve done SB before and had success with it – it helped me lose 30 pounds and I felt great (disclaimer -I was also taking an appetite suppressant and working out daily), so I figured I would try it again. I may very well be the only person on the planet doing SBD right now, but oh well. I’m trying to find something that I can live with for the rest of my life, because let’s face it, my way hasn’t been working. Contrary to what a lot of folks believe, SBD is NOT a low carb diet. The first 2 weeks are low carb, yes, but after Phase 1 you get to add in some good healthy carbs and you build from there. Phase 1 is going to be the toughest for me because I’m a carb lovin gal the likes of which you’ve never seen before!

Here’s a rundown of how the first few days have gone:

Day 1 – Oh man, this is so easy! Why did I wait so long to do this? Phase 1 is going to be a piece of (sugar free) cake!

Day 2 – Note to self – woman cannot live on vegetables alone. Protein is your friend!!! Make sure you have enough with your salad at lunchtime or you will be STARVING CRANKY WENCH by dinner time.

Day 3 – Oh jeez what am I doing? I can’t handle this. I think I’m going through junk food withdrawal. Any why did I promise the kids we could go to CherryBerry? I feel anxious and I’m pretty sure I’ve way more pistachios than I should have. This sucks. Sucks Sucks Sucks!!!

Day 4 – Started the day with a minor indiscretion, but I’m not beating myself up for it. I’m just going to continue on as if nothing happened. I feel better today and the cravings have been easier to deal with. I also started my Lady Time today, so that could have been what was wrong with me yesterday.

Day 5 – Do you smell jet fuel? Because today I crashed and burned in a most spectacular way.  I won’t discuss the carnage, but I think it was the result of not eating breakfast until way late, plus I’ve been eating the same foods for the last 5 days and when the easy option presented itself, I went for it like a 12 year old girl goes for Justin Bieber. I’ve got new foods now, though, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Day 6 – Much better today. Feeling pretty good. I think I’m getting the handle of this.

Day 7 – I’m sick of Phase1!! Phase 1 sucks!! I want some carbs dammit!!!


So I’m halfway through Phase 1, and it cannot end soon enough. I’m so ready to start Phase 2 and start adding some stuff back in. There’s only so much you ( I ) can do with salad and meat. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost – not much I’m afraid. But really the point of doing this is to see if this (not Phase 1) is something I can do for most of the rest of my life. The plan is to give it a solid month and then see if I feel like it’s working or if I think I need to try something else.

So far I have learned that I love love love roasted vegetables! I love it when the broccoli gets cripsy and when the zuccini gets smoky. Mmmm so yummy! So if for no other reason than that, I consider this a success.

We’ll see how week 2 goes though – it’s going to be a challenge because week one has felt like it has been 28 days long. Learning how to eat differently is going to be harder than I thought!

The Pear, she is my first born after all…

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stay away.  I miss the Ol’ Pear and dissecting my weight-loss life, so here I am, again, starting over, again. Just like Laura.

So here’s the deal…after several months of NOT thinking about weight loss, I’ve had some time to sort through and rethink my plan of action and I’ve decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.  I’m going back to school.  I am in kindergarten in the Eternal School of Weight Loss…someone pass me a crayon.

And you know, it’s not even so much about weight loss as it is about controlling my overeating.  That to me is more painful than not being able to fit into my jeans anymore. I hate the way I feel after I eat too much. I hate the way I feel when I overeat junk food. I hate the way my energy plummets after a bowl of ice cream. I hate that my thinking gets cloudy and I forget simple things. These are the things I want to change, not necessarily the number on the scale, but I know that changing the former will result in a change in the latter.

In my previous attempts, I got a New!Food! Plan! And I went into it, guns blazing (for a few weeks anyway), and then I fizzled out. The proverbial crash and burn, if you will. I’ve done that so many times I should have a stripe to wear on my sleeve for each attempt, like a sergeant.  Anyway, since now I know what doesn’t work, I’m going to try and do things differently – step by step, leading with the head and heart, slow and steady as she goes.  Following in the footsteps of Pubsgal, by doing the opposite of what I tried to do in the past.  In the past, I tried to follow points, or count calories, or abide by food lists – this time around I’m not so much focusing on how much I eat, right now I’m focusing on phasing out the junk food and switching it out for healthier fare.  Instead of forcing myself to do boring cardio routines 5 days per week, I’m starting slow with one yoga class. At the end of the month I plan to add a Zumba class to the mix, and when the weather decides it’s tired of being 105* every damn day, I’m going to start running again. Adding things in slowly, instead of cannon-balling right into the middle of a Fitness! Plan! – that’s my goal.

One thing I’m working on right now is a course over at First Ourselves called Heal Overeating: Untangled.  It’s a 12 week course and I’m on week 2 right now. So far I love it, but I’ve always identified with Karly (the author) so I’m not surprised that I’m getting a lot out of this course.  I have also read Eating Less, which is a fabulous book about well…eating less.  These two books are brain food for me – dealing with the mental and emotional aspects of weight loss – which is something I really need right now.  I highly recommend both resources.

As far as food goes, I’m trying to not restrict or deprive myself of any foods, but I’m not having a free-for-all binge every day either. I’ve just noticed recently how certain foods can bring me up or send me crashing into a carb coma. I know Miz talks a lot about “food as fuel” – using food as the fuel to keep her engine going. For me, though, I like to think of it as “food as energy” – Miz’s engine is already revved up and going – she just needs the fuel to keep going. My engine has a cold dead battery and needs food that will jumpstart the engine and get it running!  I have noticed that when I eat a lot of fruit and less junk (duh) I have a lot of energy the next day. When I eat pizza and ice cream, I am super sluggish the next day. So whatever I eat today will directly affect how I feel tomorrow, but I don’t always remember that when I’m staring down a slice of Key Lime Pie or when the extended family wants to get together for a Saturday night feast that runs a close second to Thanksgiving. And during the day, I eat really well –it’s those hours between 5 and 8pm that I feel like I have to fill up with food, and I’m not talking strawberries and cantaloupe. I’m working on this – it’s my stuck-point:  the point where I feel like I am really “stuck” in my weight loss attempts.

One thing that has helped me is in Karly’s course, where she talks about the four seasons of growth:

Summer – the season where things are growing like crazy. You are active and growing and doing and learning and it’s All Good All the Time!

Fall – the harvest. You are reaping the benefits of all that activity and growing. It might be smaller pants, lowered cholesterol, more compliments from friends and family, more muscle definition. This is the time when you see your hard work come to fruition.

Winter – a time of rest. Maybe you have been going hard at your attempts for a couple of years now and you just want to scale back for awhile and marinate in everything you’ve learned. You aren’t actively trying to lose or anything. You’re just tired and you need to rest.  Being in winter doesn’t mean you have given up, it’s just a time of reflection and hibernation.

Spring – this is the time of growth where you might have new ideas or new questions you want to explore. You are thinking about taking new directions; you’re planning; you’re excited about your future growth. You are ready to plant some new seeds!

I love the idea of this.  I think for me, I just came out of my winter phase and am heading into spring. I think I needed to take a break for awhile, and since I did, I’m ready to start exploring. I’m ready to try new things and I like the possibility of doing things differently.  Spring is a good place to be.   🙂

Wowza. This has turned into a longer post than I intended!  I guess I still have a lot to say about health and weight loss, so I’ll continue to blog here and when I have something that’s not weight related, I’ll blog over at Unfolded Laundry.  It’s two Jill’s for the price of one – woohooo!!

Can you identify with the Seasons of Growth? Which season do you think you are in right now?

Then and now

via Google Images

Nearly a year ago , I wrote these words:

I really think that if I could learn to live without sugar, I’d be golden. But the thought of giving up sugar sends me into a near panic. I’m serious – whenever I read literature about giving up sugar entirely I can feel the anxiety rising in my chest and my pulse quickens. Cutting out sugar and sweets and junk food is almost a foreign concept to me – I can’t quite wrap my brain around it, and I’m not sure I really want to. This sounds weird to say, but I feel like sugar is part of my identity. Being a sugar-holic is a big part of who I am. Other people may not see it, but I know it. Sweets bring me more joy than I would care to admit. Isn’t that sad?

Yes, it is sad. But I think know that I am moving forward because I am ready to cut back on the sugar. I AM READY. I’ve downloaded this ebook and I’ve been keeping a log of sugar triggers.  I wrote about it over on iChange and this is what I wrote:

I’ve been keeping a log of things that trigger my sweet tooth and things that don’t. It’s interesting because I’ve discovered that regardless of how much sugar is in something, it’s the TASTE of sweetness that seems to affect me. For example, milk chocolate sends me straight into sugar orbit, but I’m totally fine with one piece of dark chocolate.  Peanut M&M’s make me want to dive into the bag and live there forever, but graham crackers are pretty safe for me.  The sweeter something tastes, the more I want it. This is one reason I don’t think artificial sweeteners work for me – the high level of sweet taste for me is the trigger.  I’m still working on my list, but I thought it was interesting that I’ve learned this already after just a few days of tracking.

This is really helping me also with learning to live in a balance. I’m such an all-or-nothing person – either I will eat all the sugar in the world, or I will let myself have none of it EVER!!  I’m such an extremist!! I think this is going to be a good exercise in moderation and learning to trust my body with what it can handle and what it can’t.

I’ve been laying the ground work for going sugarless (not sure if I need to be sugar-free yet) for awhile by doing the 10 Day Challenge last month and keeping this trigger log. I feel completely calm and really okay with letting go of the sugar, not like I felt last year at this time.  I think that’s a big step forward. Trying to take things slowly, and not jumping in with both feet I hope will make this change stick.  I’m ready to move forward.