Sunday, June 3, 2012

My goal is set

Before I turn into Skeletor; I will now set my weight loss goal.  I am looking at a weight of 140.  I want to maintain a five pound range...up or down.  So now I would like to weigh anywhere between 135 through 145.

My biggest dilemma are tops.  I'm not used to wearing anything clingy.  This is a fear I will conquer. In due time.  I have a long torso and have an extremely difficult time. I just don't feel comfortable in short polo tops. I have resigned myself to shop in the mens' department to purchase size small in polo tops. This should not be. I wish someone out there would send my name into one of those make-over shows to help me get adjusted to my new body.  I'm not lying here, I have having such a horrible time.  I am not used to being thinner. My mind has not caught up with my body.

All the years of being overweight has ruined my body.  I did this to myself. No one force fed me.  I have probably twenty pounds if not more of lose skin that will never go away.  I am working my butt off in the gym five days a week and with the help of my trainer; Drake from SNAP I am determined to succeed to reach my goal.

There are some days I wish I could magically remove this loose skin. I have health insurance but this is considered cosmetic and not covered. Never mind that I have rid myself of diabetes. Never mind that I now cost my health insurance less in outlays. I'm not doing this to try to look like I am twenty years old...not going to happen. It's going to get hot soon and I am concerned about skin problems and basically friction and chaffing. I call it as it is.  There is no other nice way to describe this.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I've lost weight!

It has been a struggle to lose weight this past month. So many obstacles to overcome. But I have lost weight and now I can hug myself for the job well done.

My daughter and I went shopping yesterday; albeit raging snowstorm and hormones! We had a buffet lunch where I was able to enjoy my weekly "cheat" meal without totally going off the wagon.

I felt pretty guilty so I worked out last night at the gym and then again this morning. Now I feel better or is it those endorphins talking to me?

I have done some tweaking to my diet to make sure I an getting enough protein on a daily basis.

How many more weeks until spring?

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day

Usually when I have a day off from work I try to schedule appointments so I don't have to use sick or vacation time. I scheduled my yearly dilated eye exam and also planned to visit Trade Joe's and Whole "paycheck" Foods, as they are nearby to my doctor's office. I didn't plan on it being a very sunny day and with dilated eyes; painful! But the good news, my eyes are fine and haven't changed in two years. Plus I did a little shopping at both stores. I wish that Trader Joe's would open up a store somewhere in Lake County. They have such great products and excellent customer service.

I arrived home sooner than I thought and called my trainer; Drake at SNAP to see if he had an earlier time today as I was originally scheduled for 7pm. Yeppers....he saw me at 1:30pm. I arrived early and did 25 minutes on the treadmill to warm up. Drake had me doing core and working with the giant ball...well my balance isn't the best, but improving. I was also working out with weights. He stated he can tell I look like I am losing weight...I was all smiles!

Tomorrow will be a test as it is my departments monthly breakfast...a table loaded with goodies and such. Of course I'm bringing in two treats, one good; calorie controlled snacks and one very naughty: balaclava.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weights...sweat...and chocolate!

I started a fixed routine on the weight resistance machines last night at SNAP with my trainer; Drake. I have many areas for improvement; all in due time.
My custom blend whey cold-processed isolate protein powder arrived from yesterday and I must say it is double chocolate, sweetened with stevia...and very delicious. It has about 100 calories per serving, 2g of carbs, and about 30g of protein. It is affordable, tastes good, and does not give me any "bloat"; which is a plus. It was very easy to work in my meal plan.
Tomorrow I'll attend the boot camp.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Time to Shop?

Shopping....a favorite pastime of mine...especially shoes. Imelda Marcos I'm not...even a size eight! But, I do have aspirations!
I have decided in my best interest to work out every other day. My body isn't twenty anymore and I can't make myself look like Madonna...although I can try. She has lots more
Drake at SNAP has been working me pretty hard and really for the first time in my life appreciate the efforts. Years of trying crazy diets have taken their toll and I have learned my lesson. I am now eating pretty healthy and it is starting to show. I have lost a lot of inches, more than pounds at this state. I can barely keep my trousers up...and that's a good thing!
Sticking to a plan is not takes sheer will power and determination. I am doing this to save my life first and foremost..that is my goal. I push myself and then I push myself more. I should buy stock in Advil and Ben Gay!
When it comes to meal planning I have some hints. If you are a member of Sam's Club...try Jennie-O 95/5 white meat turkey burgers. They also have frozen wild caught salmon burgers. You can cook the burgers from their frozen state on a grill and they are delicious. I do my best to eat wild caught seafood when available. I found that Heinens has very fresh wild caught fish at a reasonable price. Remember you can always buy what you need, don't feel obligated to buy more. My average meal portion of seafood is 6-8 ounces per meal. I was previously sticking to four ounces, but was not satisfied. As my weight decreases, I will adjust. I do have red meat once per week. Last night for dinner I made mini sirloin burgers with a slice of fat free cheese on my George Foreman grill. The total amount of meat was six ounces. The two slices of fat free cheeses added ten carbs. Well worth the meal; plus I added veggies. I had 1/2 cup of 1% fat sodium free Giant Eagle cottage cheese before bed. This helps me with my blood sugar levels as my numbers are in the 70-80s all day long. I have avoided the fat free cottage cheese as it is too salty for me. I will be going to Trader Joe's and Whole "paycheck" Foods this coming Monday to see what they offer.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's Going to be a Great Weekend!

I'm going to be pampered this weekend as it's my birthday Sunday! My BF took me out to dinner last night at Stadium Grill and I had a prime rib with veggies and three diet Cokes. The prime rib was very fatty so I did a surgical number on it and only ate half...the rest came home. The left over veggies made it into my egg white omelet this morning. Jim had sirloin and two sides as well. Stadium Grill does make a pretty nice dinner salad...I was starved!

Today I went to SNAP and did about 45 minutes on the treadmill as my knee was pretty sore. I also checked out the video classes in their gym..they are pretty fast paced..

This is not an excuse, but the roads were pretty bad early this morning so I didn't make it out to the boot camp...maybe next week.

Tomorrow there is a little party planned for me so that will be my weekly "cheat" meal...and I have earned it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Popeye the Sailor Man I Am!

Well, woman that is. I am getting stronger everyday. Drake at SNAP Fitness is working me pretty hard and I am now aware of all my inner and outer strength. I am concentrating on many reps with a lower weight to burn the fat and tone the muscles. I am watching like a hawk what I consume making sure I have the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat grams in my diet. I also have great news on the status of my blood sugar. My average readings are in the 80s for the past two weeks. I have never seen such low numbers. Dr. Doshi is very pleased with my progress. I'm just a bit bummed out as the doctor wanted me to see the registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic to manage my diabetes and tweak my caloric intake, but those services are not covered under my insurance plan. However, I belong to Medical Mutual's Disease Management Program and I will have access to a registered dietitian over the phone and am expecting a call sometime tonight after five pm. I need to make sure I am consuming the right amount of protein per kilo of body weight and have to take in account that I work out in a gym and also take classes. I don't want to lose muscle mass. I am a very visual person so I will also look into any community resources that offer diabetes education.

This Saturday I will attend my first boot camp at Slim and Fit. I will continue to attend classes at Pulse as well. My dance card is pretty full right now!

I am vowing to only weigh myself once per week, as my weight greatly fluctuates; something I quite don't understand.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Another Combat Class Completed

I completed the Combat class at Pulse Fitness Center this morning. I am really proud of myself today as this is my second class. I know I am pretty out of shape and it's going to take a long time on my road to health. Coordination is not my strongest suit; but I'm getting the hang of it. I managed to go to the gym after doing a bit of grocery shopping. 20 minutes on the elliptical and various weight machine were all my body could handle today. Sunday will be my day of rest.

I have a really nice piece of fish for dinner tonight; Hoke. Its related to Cod, but a but milder. I'm in the middle of doing laundry right now...boring! I also did a little shopping today, bought two pair of work-out pants and a top, plus some fiber supplements. At Sam's Club I scored the deal of the day: I bought two London Fog raincoats marked down to $14.91. One red and the other khaki. Sam's also has a case of 24 count of Poweraid Zero for $12.48, which comes to .51 cents each and a lot cheaper than buying it individually.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Doing The Happy Dance Now!

Today started out with Cosmo; my JRT waking me up at 7am for his morning constitution. (BTW I had requested the day off from work) Then I was off to SNAP Fitness for a 20 minute workout on the elliptical and then weight work. I spent about 1.5 hours and then I had to go home and get ready for my quarterly visit to my Cleveland Clinic Endocrinologist Dr. Doshi. All my tests came back within normal parameters. My average blood glucose readings for the past three weeks were excellent. I still am on Byetta plus metformin extended release to combat some unpleasant side effects. I continue to check my blood sugar 5-6 times a day but Dr. Doshi said I can cut back a bit. I am scheduled for a bone density test and will have another visit with the dietitian to make sure I am on track.

I told my doctor about the Lighten Up contest and will send her a link to the NH article. She is encouraging me to lose more weight.

I managed to visit Starbucks for a skinny Latte and had a small salad at the Clinic.

It is a long road they say "Rome was not built in a day"!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some pain is worth having, just saying.

OK, the abs hurt...a lot...SNAP will save me!

Last night I did a hard twenty minutes of the elliptical followed by trying out multiple weight machines. I primarily focused on my arms, but I managed to test out the "ab eliminator"...aka the pain in my belly today!

After an hour I called it quits and went home.

I can tell you something is happening here. My black slacks that were pretty tight two weeks ago and pretty loose right now. A certain undergarment of mine can be placed on a smaller hook. Like I said adding the workouts to my diet regime is working. Soon...goodby muffin top!

Tomorrow I am off from work as I have medical appt at Cleveland Clinic with my Endocrinologist. I am hoping all my blood work is within normal parameters.

This weekend I will attend the group classes at Pulse. I really want to try out TRX and the boot camp. As a rank beginner I'll take it easy.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I made it through the first training session at SNAP!

I can do this! Starting off with twenty minutes on the elliptical, 45 minutes training with Drake, and then twenty minutes on the treadmill. I am turning into a fat-burning machine before my own eyes!

Finding out I had muscles where I didn't think they existed was a real surprise. Drake worked me hard doing core exercises with weights and a six pound medicine ball...something new to me. I did floor work as well. He pushed me and I complied. You should have seen me doing all the fancy leg work, I felt like a superstar!

Other members working out at the gym actually cheered me on for making it through the session and that really boosted my confidence.

Needless to say I slept like a baby last night!

My next training session is this Friday.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Best is Yet To Come!

I know now I am not alone anymore into my journey to become well and whole again. Myself and many others met today at Slim and Fit for the introduction into The News Herald's 2012 Lighten Up contest. We were interviewed, photographed, weighed and measured. I currently work out at Snap Fitness in Mentor-on-the-Lake with trainer Drake Delande who has faith in me and will assist me to reach my personal goals. I have started doing nearly an hour of cardio on a daily basis. I am using the Octane elliptical and Matrix treadmill. Tomorrow I am meeting with Drake for my first training session.

A bonus of this contest is the participation from Slim and Fit in Concord and Pulse Group Fitness Studio Center in Painesville Twp which have offered a series of classes gratis. The Lake County General health District is also participating with nutritional support.

I will continue to work with my endocrinologist and the nutrition department of the Cleveland Clinic to manage my health issues.

Today I weighed 185. My goal is in the 140s. I have a long way to go. Wish me luck!

Today is the big day!

I woke up at 7am, or should I say Cosmo woke me up. I took him outside, fed and watered him and then put my gym clothes on and headed off to SNAP FITNESS for a quick work-out. Ten minutes on level four of the Octane elliptical and 30 minutes on the Matrix treadmill was all I had planned to do so far.

I'm home now and will start to get ready for my noon appointment at Slim and Fit Center in Concord, OH. I will be weighed and measured for the News Herald "Lighten Up 2012" contest. I will visit Slim and Fit once per month for a weigh-in and to record my progress.

I purchased a few gym clothes yesterday. I would have bought another pair of pants, however they were out of my size. No more XXL or XL for me!!! It feels good to be able to fit in regular sized clothes again. For such a long time, really for several years I could only squeeze in plus sized clothes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

It is totally amazing!

I was really looking forward to my fitness test/evaluation at SNAP Fitness 24/7 today. Feeling pretty motivated I arrived early and completed a 15 minute program on the elliptical at level two.

Now comes the hard part and I had no idea what this evaluation encompassed. Well, I was worried about nothing!

I passed my fitness test with flying colors. My heart rate after one mile on a treadmill going 3.5-3.7 was 124. I did thirty sit-ups in one minute, and my stretch test was good. My strength test was normal. My blood pressure was normal. My BMI states I am "overweight", not "obese". I did weigh however 2 pounds more than this morning, but I was fully clothed and of course had food in my system, but I'm not going to worry about that. Now my fat level was pretty bad, and I have a lot to work on if I want to reach my goal of 135 pounds in six months. I have 52 pounds to lose!

Drake did an excellent job of testing me. On Monday I start training after work.

Tomorrow morning I will have blood work done at Cleveland Clinic. The quarterly A1C, Vitamin D level, and urinalysis. I have to fast after midnight, but in all reality I finished my dinner at 8:00pm, and the only thing else I'll consume is water. My left knee was a bit sore as I have a past injury, so I took some over the counter pain pills.

Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The time is now!

I am a contestant in the News Herald's "Lighten Up" contest which starts February 1st, 2012. I am currently training at SNAP FITNESS 24/7 Gym in Mentor-on-the-Lake. My trainer's name is Drake Delande,ACSM and the manager is Brian Salvatore,ACSM. I am following a revised weight-loss program from The Cleveland Clinic nutrition/dietary department which will provide me with everything I need to manage Type II diabetes. I am also under the care of a CCF Endocrinologist. I have quarterly blood work. I take the following supplements: Potassium Rx, multiple vit tab, Vit D, MegaRed, and calcium.

For the past week or so I have been doing cardio on the treadmill and elliptical only until I start training. it has been a long time since I have been in a gym and I am ashamed I have been such a slacker. I have a health assessment at the gym tomorrow. I have four sessions scheduled for training over the next two weeks.

I weigh in and have another assessment at Slim & Fit Personal Weight Loss & Fitness this Sunday. I will be required to weigh in once a month. I believe the contest ends sometime in August.

I am determined not only to lose weight, get fit, and to rid the scourge of diabetes from my body. I am planning on winning the contest as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Crash Test Dummy, part 2

I weighed myself this morning, lost 3.5 pounds. Now I don't know why, but I drank a lot of water. Think: Niagara Falls. Maybe the stack helped, but it is not the supplement for me. Today I am taking the NewChapter Organics every woman's ONE DAILY multi vitamin and later in the day a serving of Optimum Nutrition (ON) Platinum Hydro Whey Turbo Chocolate protein shake. This I know I will love, as it's chocolate! In the past I have had ON's protein shakes and found them satisfying. This shake has 140 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 30 grams of protein. Just the ticket for me!

These products and many more can be found on:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crash Test Dummy.....

Well, I am testing products now to see if they will help me lose the last amount of weight that has been driving me nuts the past several months. I literally have tried everything short of starvation and spending hours chained to the gym. I have had several transgressions, so I am at fault here, but basically I have been watching what I eat. I am striving to rid myself of Type II diabetes. The Rx meds I take are: Byetta 2x a day, metformin (if I commit carbocide), enalapril/hctz (water pill), Vit D 50k (once per month), and a few vitamins.

The first product is a "stack", a fat burner called RoxyLean.

I followed the instructions and took one cap on an empty stomach this morning at 5:45am. By 6:30am I was rushed! Jittery is more like it. Also feeling a bit flushed due to the 25mg of niacin. The instructions state not to take anything with caffeine, and I listened. I had my jumbo decaff today along with three whole eggs and two whites, a diet caffeine free pop and another decaff coffee. At 9:00am, my body settled down, and not jittery anymore.

I have no appetite as I write. The Byetta usually curbs my appetite but lately it has not been working and I maybe immune to the med although my blood sugar is excellent. My last A1C was 6.

I have been following (not closely) the Dukan Diet for the past several months and since last August have lost a lot of weight. The Dukan diet is very difficult and you may need a doctor to follow and maybe the help of a registered dietitian.

What I learned is to take this supplement on a full stomach at breakfast to minimize the side effects. I'm not sure at this time if this is the right supplement for me as I have a long way to go.

The rest of the day...

I had a salmon burger for lunch with a decaf coffee and a diet pop. I drank water throughout the day. I was pretty tired the rest of the day, more like a truck hit me. I went home and had a five egg white omelet and a plate of cauliflower plus more water. I really was too tired to even go to the gym and my dog needed attention.

In conclusion this product is not for me. Maybe if I was twenty years younger and had no other health problems it may work, but I can't risk any more side effects.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weight Loss Update

I am now down 12 pounds. I feel great. My MD stopped my blood pressure meds and I have cut back my insulin by 85%. This Dukan diet really works!

I had to buy another scale this past Friday, mine went south. There was a slight difference in weights, not to my advantage.

I'm not very happy with my George Foreman grill. The plates don't stay attached and it seems it takes a lot longer lately to cook anything. Right now I can't afford to buy a new grill and this one is pretty much out of warranty. I paid a big chunk of change for this George Foreman grill and I expected it to last longer than a year.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm down 8.2 pounds as of today!

I remained the same weight as yesterday...and am pleased I did not gain anything. I'm on the attack phase for one more day. But I had some tomatoes and green beans so I guess I am officially on the "cruise" phase. I was hungry today for the first time.

My only problem so far is the dreaded constipation! I have been taking Citrucel since Friday evening and nothing so far. I'm drinking a ton of water and even had a bottle of sparkling mineral water as well.

I have chicken breasts grilling in my George Foreman grill with a little Mrs. Dash and low sodium soy sauce. Boy, do they smell great!

For the second time on a months time, my a/c broke. First it was the compressor, not I believe it is the blower motor. I can here the a/c make noise but no air comes out of the vents. The units here are over 25 years old and they just keep taking them from the vacant units without any regard to disrepair! I made them aware of this situation yesterday when it happened but they won't do anything until tomorrow. In the mean time it is 83 degrees inside and I am roasting alive!

The couple on the first floor with a small child had to wait one week for theirs to become fix. If I have to wait anyone that a day, I am not renewing my lease which is due at the end of September.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seven is a lucky number!

Yeppers, hopped on the digital scale this pounds lost!

I didn't think I would lose anything because I was making the Dukan diet recipe for "fake mayo", which contained 2 hard boiled eggs, a bit of mustard, and a type of creamy cheese which isn't sold in the US, so I used the equivalent of non-fat plain yogurt. I did some tasting and also had about a cup and a half of the plain yogurt with a bit of cinnamon and Splenda. And I still lost weight! This program is working!

I don't miss the carbs at all.

I did a brisk walk of about 30 minutes, yes, in this heat we are currently experiencing...I was exhausted.

It was my second walk of the day, the first being with Cosmo for his afternoon delight.

We had thunderstorms last night and Cosmo became pretty scared. He went to his usual hiding place and then crawled into bed with his mommy. I didn't want to give him any Xanax because the weather has been pretty stormy and I don't want home to become an addict.

I can see it now... Cosmo addicted to Xanax selling my goods to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas for a fix! Anything for a Chumlee fix!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dukan weight loss update

I have lost five pounds as of 7/27/10. I started the program on 7/24/10. I am very proud of myself. I am not any more tired that if I was not on this program. My job is stressful which triggers binges. Especially chocolate!

If I can only find more ways to inhale the oat bran I need on a daily basis. 1.5-2T a day. I have made them into "pancakes" with Splenda, egg white, and 2T of fat free plain yogurt and they taste OK. I make them the night before and take them in a baggie to work to eat at breakfast with my protein choice, which for the past two days have been chicken breast I grilled using my George Foreman grill.

I have an appointment with my Cleveland Clinic endocrinologist on August 12th. I am hoping I show some signs of improvement.

I have been able to lower my insulin doses and my blood glucose readings have headed south....I am thrilled about this. It is because I am eating less to 20 carbs or less a day, I estimate. The oat bran does have carbs, but not many. My blood pressure is also lower to the point of getting a tad dizzy, so not I don't rush to stand up.I check for ketones, but have only had a trace so far.

I'm going to be on the "attack" phase #1 for a total of ten days, I have six more days to go. Then I will transition to the "cruise" phase where I will alternate protein days with veggies and then pure protein days. But, only a limited choice of veggies are allowed. Out are the high starch and high sugar veggies like potato, corn, beets. Basically I'll stick with salad stuff, asparagus, green beans, and the like. I have to use common sense.

According the the Dukan website I should be at my "ideal" weight by the end of the year. They said my ideal weight for s female who is 5 foot 8 inches is 161 pounds. I want to be at least twenty pounds lower than I have my work cut out!

One disclaimer...I did not join the program as it is very expensive and you have to pay via PayPal which I do not use. I have researched this program on-line and what I have found is what the Dukan website is selling. I don't need "coaching", just the outline of the program which I already have and the recipes are readily available.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks

How the Dukan Diet works – The French diet that is supposed to end the obesity epidemic – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks

The Dukan Diet

The diet I have been on has been pretty boring and I'm tired of all the protein shakes. I just found about this program. For the next seven days I eat nothing but protein and 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran a day. If I can handle protein shakes and a salad per day I can handle eating chicken and fish, maybe an egg. I can also have fat free cottage cheese and whatever is on the list. Actually I can eat as much protein as I want. I also have to drink lots of water and other liquids. Just ZERO carbs! I can do that. I start tomorrow. I have everything I need in the fridge. I know I'll lose a lot of water weight. Pishing all night long is not something I'll look forward too!

On my present program since 7/12/10 I'm down five pounds...that was two weeks ago! OK, I didn't do so well. I promised myself I would lose ten pounds before my next endocrinologist appointment at The Cleveland Clinic on August 12th. I go for blood work on the 7th. I am hoping my A1C has lowered. She is also doing a CBC as well.

The Vulture aka Giant Eagle had my favorite tuna and salmon in cans on sale...$1.00 each. I have frozen chicken breast and shrimp in the freezer. I'm hoping my daughter Chelsea eats up the rest of my salad green, or they will go bad. She is supposed to stay the weekend but has not arrived yet. There have been massive thunderstorms all night long, that is maybe holding her up. On the other side, Cosmo has been terrified I had to dose him a doggie Xanax in peanut butter.

One last note, my soul-mate is on a jet to Europe tonight and I dearly miss him!

Friday, June 25, 2010

News Flash....

The Senate failed to pass an extension of unemployment benefits yesterday. Then why, can't they let unemployed people withdraw funds from their 401 and 403(b) and IRA accounts without a tax or penalty?

Lets face it. Jobs are gone. Even Micky D's isn't hiring. College education men and women will be homeless as well as the unskilled without a source of income to support them.

Mr. Obama I know you are not happy the extension was not passed, so why not take away the penalties and taxes for those who have no way to support themselves?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Trip To Paris Part Five

Part Five. 6March2010

I awoke quite early this day and managed a quick “street food” breakfast and a coffee on my way to the Metro.

Finally, it’s Saturday and the Salon International de L’Agriculture fair is here and I can’t wait to be there. I have been waiting several months to attend. If you have ever been to Cleveland’s’ IX Center, well it’s about five times larger. Imagine a state fair, but for an entire country plus other countries represented as well. Every region of France was there. Food, livestock, machinery, solar, you name it, it was there. I came for the wine and I left very happy. The fair is very, very French. It is also very cultural. Roving musicians, youth groups, and representatives from all over France with their goods for sale and sample. There were very few English speakers in attendance and many vendors were quite surprised to see “outsiders” such as myself. I had a blast! I have never seen so many varieties of cattle and ducks. There was a working dog demonstration and loads of goats. Dannon yogurt had a large interactive display, but that was it for anything American. I was able to sample fine French yogurt and cheese in the dairy area along with several varieties of milk. I wish I would have been able to take some cheese home, but it all needed to be kept cool.

The next pavilion contained smaller animals and hard goods for sale such as clothing and western wear. I bought a heave fleece jacket from Norway for 29Euros. Many different kinds of tractors and solar equipment were on display. Many other “green” energy ideas were also on display along with ways to recycle.

I made my way to the food and wine pavilion which was held on two floors. I could not believe my eyes when I walked into the huge space. Wine, cheese, bread, pastries, many sit down places to eat. Sausage, meat, caviar, and even Russian vodka were all on display. I don’t think I have ever had that much wine in my entire life! I spoke to a few vineyard owners to see if their wine was available in the States, and sadly to say French export law is difficult and many wines can’t be purchased in the USA. In fact one owner told me the good wine stays in France. I truly believed him.

I probably spent about five hours in attendance with about half the population of France that day, as it was packed to the rafters. I really picked the wrong day to go as I had no idea this show was that popular. Next time I’ll try for a weekday. Stuffed and a bit buzzed, I made my way back to the metro and to my hotel to drop off what I purchased. I rested a bit and made my way to a bistro for some dinner, late in the evening.

Stay tuned for my final entry!



Posted by Picasa



Posted by Picasa

Photos From Paris 3March2010-7March2010

I need techinal assistance with my blog!

OK, I'm not an expert, newsflash. Why can't my links show up right as listed in previous blog post? I am still working on editing pictures, well, will be when I get home from work. I'll open up an on-line photo account like Flicker, or if anyone out there has a better idea. I also need help with editing a short movie of Cosmo at the dog park and to put in the music Wagner's' Flight of the Valkyrie's, did I spell that right?

I am using a photo editing program what is pure crap. I'll need to go back to photoshop.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Trip to Paris Part Four

Part Four 5March2010

I set my sights high today. I planned to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Musee national de la Marine, The Arch d’Triumph, and the Louvre. I also managed to get some shopping in and visit some small art galleries. In between all those places I managed to have a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Eiffel Tower is a magnificent fete of human ingenuity. This thing is massive. The crowds no doubt were massive as well. Listening to the many voices present it sounded like a mini UN. What amazed me were the reactions of the hundreds of children. There was an abundance of Italian, Israeli, and Northern European visitors that day. I spent at least two hours in line to purchase my ticket to waiting for the elevator. I bought a ticket for 13 Euros to the second floor. Once up to that floor I was freezing. Although the temperatures were in the mid 40s, it was very windy and I don’t think I would have made it up to the top. The height even from the second floor is pretty dizzying, and I took some amazing pictures. I then made my way to the elevator back to the ground packed in like sardines. Manners were quite lacking that day.

I walked back again towards the metro, but I stumbled upon the Museum of the French Marines (Navy). It was listed on my museum pass and thus no admission fee. This museum was not crowded at all. It is in an older building made of stone. The history of the French Navy is displayed in chronological order along with a few special exhibits. I liked how the models of the ships were displayed and the abundance of cannons. The museum had a very nice bookstore where I made a few purchases.

I walked across the bridge over the Seine on my way to the metro to stop at the Arch d’Triumph. Since it is located in the middle of a round-a-bout, one must enter via an underground passage. What can I say about the Arch? It is a monument. It is where the French Unknown Soldier is buried from WWI. There is an eternal flame that has been lit ever since the Unknown Soldier was buried, even Hitler didn’t extinguish the flame. My knee was hurting a bit so I was able to take the elevator for part of the way. There is very good security at the Arch with police carrying big guns.

I made my way to the top of the Arch and had an unobstructed 360 degree views of Paris. I was in total awe. It was a very beautiful day and the sun was starting to warm the air. I couldn’t stay there all day, so I made my way down and through the tunnel to walk along the Champs-Elysee, an amazing and beautiful boulevard. I stopped to visit a few shops and had a coffee at one of the cafes. I started to get a bit hungry and had a craving for a crepe, and I just had too much stuff to carry, so I entered the metro and made my way back to the hotel to rest my feet and grab a crepe. I ended up taking a short nap after lunch, I guess I needed more caffeine or maybe it was the wine?

The Louvre is open late on Friday night, so that was my plan. You know, it is hard for me to see Paris on my own. It is pretty lonely and I have no one to share my thoughts with. It’s not like I can go up to a total stranger and start a conversation. Even getting lost is an adventure. My broken French is just getting me by and not everyone speaks English. That is when I feel most alone is when I am lost on the streets in Paris. I have wondered into some areas in Paris that I didn’t know existed, like a street with nothing but Anime shops and hard core music stores. I was in heaven. Also mixed in on the street were second hand clothing and kitsch stores.

I don’t have anything written about the Louvre as it was pretty crowded, especially the Mona Lisa. I knew it is a small painting, but it is roped off from the public and hard to view. It is almost like visiting Disney world. There is a large upscale shopping mall attached and it is pretty crowded and takes away from the beauty of the museum. Having never been there I had high expectations and was sorely disappointed.

Stay tuned for Part Five.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Trip to Paris Part Three

Part Three 4March2010

I slept like a baby and didn’t hear any sounds at all throughout the night. My alarm went off at 8:30am. I collected my thoughts, turned on the TV to CNN World and hopped into the shower. I was out of my room within the hour. I decided at the last minute to purchase the continental breakfast the hotel offered for 8 Euros. I had about three cups of coffee, a croissant and a baguette with some butter and jam. Also offered was juice and tea. Cereal and cold milk was offered but I declined.

My plans for the day included visiting Les Invalides, The Rodin Museum, Musee d’Orsay, visiting an internet café, some shopping, and catching bus #69.

What can I say about Les Invalides otherwise known as Musee de L’Armee Hotel National des Invalides? Napoleon is entombed in the Eglise du Dome. It is so amazing to see three floors of WWI and WWII and modern and ancient war relicts. Historic Saint-Louis des Invalides Cathedral is beautiful. Museums of Liberation and of Deportation are so detailed and yet so sad. What amazed me are some of the guards I came across sound asleep in their chairs, and this was before 12 noon! I spent three hours looking at the exhibits and decided to pay a visit to the on-site cafeteria which did not disappoint. Also on site is a working hospital for veterans. I had a small single serving of onion quiche, a delicious slice of apple pie, and red wine, plus a Coke Light. After lunch I visited the bookstore to make a few purchases.

My next stop was the Rodin Museum which was a short walk away. The famous “Thinker” statue is displayed on the grounds. The museum was very crowded that day with tourists and school groups. There is some very amazing artwork in this small museum, I was in total awe. There are early and later works by Rodin and other artists. The grounds were lovely even though they suffered through a harsh winter. I spent about 90 minutes looking at the sculptures.

My next adventure was to catch the #69 bus that was mentioned in Rick Steve’s travel book on Paris. The bus cost one ticket and did not disappoint. I needed a break off of my feet and nearly road it to the end of the line, but I spotted an internet café so I hopped off at the next stop. I still curse myself for not having a laptop with me! The busses in Paris are quite modern with comfortable seats and stops are announced; however they can become quite crowded during rush hour. Bus #69 rambles down many very narrow one-way side streets and it amazing how narrow these streets really are. The bus also travels adjacent to the Seine and I saw some amazing views.

After spending about an hour at the internet café I made my way to the nearest metro stop towards my hotel, as I was a bit tired. I arrived at my hotel and rested a bit. I consulted with the owner; Tomas and he mentioned that the Musee d’Orsay was open this night. He really had some great advice for me. So after dinner at a local café I headed out to the Musee d’Orsay for a night of magic. I was not the only one who had the idea of visiting that evening, and yet it was crowded. Even though they were completing some major renovations, much of their collection was available to view. Security was also tight and the guard looked in bag which went through a metal detector. The artwork was very beautiful. Huge paintings of the masters and huge sculptures as well filled every space. I can’t name everything, but I managed to take some great pictures; albeit without a flash. I also visited the bookstore; known as a library and made some small purchases. I’m glad now that I purchased a museum pass.

I spent about 2.5 hours at the museum and then it was time to head back to the hotel. The metro was nearby and not complicated at all. The museum is in a very nice area and I felt completely safe all on my own. It was about 10pm when I arrived at my hotel and I was exhausted, but before I went to bed I had a small snack and drank about a liter of water.

Stay tuned for part four.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Trip To Paris. Part Two.

Part Two.

There is nothing more amazing than sunrise over the Atlantic. I had no idea what the time was when that orange ball showed up, I was draggled-eyed anyway, but it looked amazing.

About one hour before landing; breakfast was served. Nothing special, but I must have had four cups of coffee. We landed on time and I made my way to the ground transportation area. I stopped by the information booth to purchase a one-way ticket on the Air France bus, bought a 2 day museum pass, and collected a metro map. The service at the kiosk was pretty good and I noticed a supervisor taking notes and observations on the staff servicing the public.

The bus ride was eye opening. I could not believe the amount of graffiti on just about everything. We made our way on a freeway and through congested city streets and finally arrived at the Invalides metro stop. At first I thought that I would never understand the metro system, but I was wrong. This system is easy, you just have to know the lines and everything is marked well and color-coded. I purchased via machine a 10 pack (carnet) of metro tickets each good for a metro or bus ride including a transfer, but not metro to bus transfer. I collected another metro map, this one a bit bigger and easier to read.

I made my way to line 8, and exited at Grands Blvd to my hotel; Monte Carlo in the 9e. This hotel is a 2 star hotel only because it has rooms on the top floor that share a bath and shower; otherwise it would be a three star.

I spent a lot of time researching hotel and located this hotel on trip adviser (TA). TA is a very useful tool for all aspects of travel. I utilized the travel forums and was able to obtain very useful information.

I arrive at Hotel Monte Carlo pretty early as check-in is at 3:00pm. I was able to drop off my luggage, use the restroom, and was offered a coffee by the owner; Tomas who was very helpful. This is a small family owned hotel in the middle of everything. Stores, eateries, and the like are in the area as well as two close metro stations. There is a post office and internet café nearby as well. Sad to say I have no laptop with me on this trip. The hotel offers free wifi.

I think I must have arrived at the hotel by 11:00am and was getting hungry. I was a bit in a fog as I didn’t sleep well on the flight. Armed with a map and Euros in my purse I was set to explore the area. My first stop was a grocery store to purchase a liter of water. I didn’t have the energy to visit museums just yet, so I walked and walked. I took a few pictures of unusual sights. I entered the metro and headed off to the center of the city just for fun. Mind you, I was in a fog so I really watched what I did and I declined to drink any wine. That decision didn’t last too long. I eventually made my way to Galleries Lafayette. One entire floor with nothing but shoes, I was in heaven. After putzing around, basically doing nothing I made my back to the hotel to check in.

All hotel rooms in Paris are small by American standards. I was upgraded at check-in to a room facing the courtyard. The bathroom was small but was fine for me. The fixtures were very modern, the bed big enough (similar to a full size) for me and very comfortable. The bedding and towels were like new and soft. The pillows were firm. There was an electronic safe. Key cards were used for the door locks which made me feel safe. The curtains kept out the light so I slept well. There was a flat screen TV and had three English channels (CNN, BBC, and BBC 4), one French, Spanish, Italian, and a Russian channel. I believe I paid 74 Euros a night, about $414 USD total. I could be off a little.

I went to a bistro for dinner and then walked around the area until I was tired enough to go back to the hotel. I eventually crashed for the night.

Stay tuned for Part Three.

My Trip To Paris. Part One.

My Trip To Paris Part One


Where to begin! On Monday 1March2010 I left work at 2:00pm and arrived home. I packed up Cosmo, my JRT to take him to A1 Bed and Biscuit Kennel in Chardon.

He really loves that place which will be his home for the next week.

I went home and finished packing. I resolved to fit everything in my eBags weekender carry-on. My clothes fit the carry on without a problem. I also needed to see if I could go stand-by on an earlier American Airlines (AA) flight, as my flight to Paris from JFK was switched to leave from Newark and of course I had already purchased non-refundable tickets. Oh well. I spoke with a “customer rep” from AA who said the flight I wanted was pretty full and that for $50.00 I could get a guaranteed seat, so I took the bait and forked over my credit card number. I went to bed about 10:00pm after watching the latest episode of “24”.

Damn, it’s about 4:30am in the morning and I am finally out of bed about to hit the shower. No human should be up at this time. I manage to complete my tasks, have some breakfast, and load the car. I make my way to CLE airport on a deserted freeway. Could I be the only idiot out here?

I drop off my car at Park Place. It’s only $5.00 a day and they provide a very reliable shuttle to the airport, about a 3 minute ride. I make my way to the self service kiosk and I print out my boarding pass. This flight to LGA lasts about an hour on a small jet; Embraer ERJ-3. Then it’s on toward security screening and of course I set off the scanner and then have to subject myself to a physical pat down by a power hungry smurf. I make my way to an empty gate. I finally realize that this flight is empty. The GA states there is only seven PAX on board today, and states that Tuesdays are pretty light. I was pretty pissed off as I was lead to believe that this flight was nearly full, $50.00 just was flushed down the toilet.

The FA said we could sit anywhere; however the exit rows were taken, so I just took a seat after I stored my carry on in the overhead bin. The flight was pretty smooth except for a small bit of turbulence. I was offered an entire can of Diet Coke. BOB snacks were for sale, but I declined. We landed on time and I made my way to the ground transportation to the lower east side and the WTC area.

I had great directions using public transportation into NYC. Thanks Blumie! I managed to walk around the public areas around the WTC construction site. I visited the memorial, took some pictures and spoke with a few LEOs . I stopped for lunch at the Stage Deli, visited the Century 21 store, and a few others before making my way to EWR for my early evening flight.

I arrive at EWR already to check in at the OpenSkies (EC) counters; adjacent to British Airways, but they are not open. The BA agent told me that EC does not open until about 2.5 hours before the flight leaves. How inconvenient! There were several other PAX also waiting to check-in and drop off their luggage and they were none too happy. One of the PAX, a French woman living in the US wonders how EC stays in business. Also, EC has a lounge that is shared with Jet Airways, which is also only opened 2.5 hours before the flight. Not a good way to run an airline.

So I take a seat and wait, and wait, and finally a spark of life. I check in and receive my boarding pass and make my way to the lounge; tucked into a corner of EWR airport. The lounge is average in size and does not have adjacent bathrooms. There are local newspapers and some magazines. The beverages consist of wine, champagne, alcohol, pop, water, and juice. They have sandwiches, cheese crackers, and a variety of dips. Nothing hot was available. About 30 minutes before takeoff we made our way to the gate and boarding was pretty easy.

The plane was a Boeing 757-200; a former L’Avion plane that was converted with 12 lie-flat seats and the rest “old school” style reclining seats that reclined to about 140 degrees. The seats are not the seats pictured on EC’s website. Upon arriving to our seats we were given a choice of champagne or juice. The FA gave the usually safety demonstration in English and French, and soon we were off to Orly, a smaller airport near to Paris, France. Soon, hand held video players with recent movie releases, some TV shows, music, and games were given out to the PAX. The only problem I had was the sound was horrible.

About an hour into the flight dinner service was offered. I realize I should have ordered the diabetic special meal. I managed to request the special meal on my journey home. The food looked good, but was loaded with calories and fat. Well, I’m on vacation; aren’t I?

I did try to sleep but it was impossible to get comfortable as the controls for the seat were all manual and hard to operate. The foot rest was metal and my long legs and big feet just did not fit. Somewhere over the Atlantic one of the PAX sustained a medical emergency; passing out and splitting her chin open and requiring a butterfly bandage, oxygen and immediate medical attention. An announcement was made for a doctor on board and the woman in the seat ahead of me answered the call. I really never knew what happened and soon after we landed in Paris, the paramedics and police boarded the plane to assist.

We landed on time and I made my way to the ground transportation area. I bought a ticket on the Air France bus to the Metro station “Invalides”, which was very easy.

Stay tuned to part two.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I've been a bad girl!

I haven't exactly followed my diet the past few months. My dear daughter and my work have greatly stressed me out.

But...wait there's more...I have won a trip to Paris, so I am stoked and have a new goal... 30 pounds by the date of my trip.. I'm down four already, and it has not been too easy, I struggle everyday. Last night at my cousins' home in Solon for my mothers' 75th BD party. I ate way too much, but not any dessert. Today my BF is coming to stay with me through the New Years and I'll be Julia Child in the kitchen. Right now I have Cowboy Stew cooking in the crock pot and it smelly delicious! Hopefully I can get some serious walking in with the BF and Cosmo. I plan on visiting the art museum, the West Side Market and area, and various parks, albeit if the weather is good. Snow is expected all week long with cold temps.

I'm just happy to have BF here and a week+ off of work.

About my trip to Paris....I'll be there for five days. Due to security I won't post when I am going, but will have a wonderful trip report. I plan to see the Mona Lisa, many of the museums (I'll buy a pass), shopping, all the great stuff! Really.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Great Geauga County Fair

2009 Cleveland National Air Show

New weight loss total!!!

30 pounds total. I had some slip-ups, poor decisions on the weekends, eating out, ect. But I am back on tract. I want to lose 5 more pounds by Monday, when I see my doctor. But...this weekend is Rosh Hashana and dinner at my parents. I'll just drink a gallon of water before dinner!

I have the results of my blood tests from The Cleveland Clinic.
A1C went from 9.8 to 7.4. This is very, very good. I need it lower than 6. Give me three more months.
Cholesterol went from 175 to 168.
I now have normal levels of Vit D.
All the other tests were in normal range.

My endocrinologist will be very pleased!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Weight Loss Update!

The Nectar and suffering are working!!! I have lost 4 pounds this week!!! Whoopeeee!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weight Loss Update

Lost 3 more pounds! I just started on the nectar protein powder on 8/24/09. I didn't follow the program on this past weekend, but I didn't over indulge either.

I haven't been to the gym as well, as my knee is really bothering me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In

It was a tough week. I managed to lose one pound. It is better than gaining one pound. I hit a brick wall, so I am cutting back on the carbs (will be less than 30 grams a day) and going high protein for the next week to see what happens. I still am following the Rice Diet; no added salt and quantity limits of food, but in Phase II. I will have for breakfast a 5 egg white (one yolk included) omelet and one small carb portion. Lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks will be shakes or chicken breast or fish/seafood. One small carb portion in the late day as well.

The trainer at the gym, "James", whose muscular arms are the size of my thighs (not too happy about that), told me about "Nectar" protein powder. It has no carbs, no sugar and very high in protein, and very low calorie. I can use it as a meal replacement. I just ordered some plus a sample pack of their flavors. It was a lot cheaper than buying it local, a huge savings; even with modest shipping, I saved a lot. Locally the price was $34.99, on-line it is $24.75. Sample pack of 11 flavors is $16.50.

2.21 Lbs.
Chocolate Truffle
Supplement Facts
Serving Size1Level Scoop(28g)
Servings Per Container36
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories From Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Other Ingredients
Whey Protein Isolate (A Milk-Derived Protein; Promina Brand; Ultrafiltered And Undenatured; Includes Beta Protease Peptone, Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose
Directions For Syntrax Nectar Sweets: Mix one scoop per 8 ounces of water or milk. For those with lower protein needs, one half scoop may consumed with 4 ounces of water or milk. Consume Nectar Sweets two to three times per day to satisfy your protein requirements. Remember the best times to supplementing protein are immediately upon rising in the morning, after intense physical activity such as weight training and prior to sleep.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weigh In 8/12/09

I lost another 2 pounds. It was a rough weekend for me. Food was everywhere I turned, so I did my best to avoid temptation. I ate a bit more, but in moderation. I am proud of myself.