Monday, March 30, 2009


And so, we enter week two of Big Daddy's transformation into Lean, Mean, Daddy Machine.

Big Daddy has done very well this past week. He's trying to keep his daily caloric intake at around 1800. Since he's limiting his calories, he wants to make sure that every calorie counts; so, he's trying to eat the most nutritious food he can that fits our budget and time constraints.

For the most part, Big Daddy continues to eat pre-portioned meals for lunch and supper, with a carefully thought-out breakfast. Occasionally, he will eat the same supper as the rest of the family, Googling the foods we are eating to find the exact portion size and calorie count of each food item. He hasn't really deprived himself of anything. If he wants dessert (which isn't often, as he doesn't have nearly the sweet tooth of yours truly), he carefully counts his calories throughout the day and indulges in a small but satisfying portion of sweetness.

We went out to eat, and Big Daddy picked out the healthiest choices on the menu, double-checking with the servers for calorie count.

Big Daddy also likes to gather as much information as possible about living a healthy lifestyle. This past week, we watched the Discovery Channel Special "What's Making You Fat?" Bob Greene laid out ten myths of weight loss:

10. You overeat because you love food.

Now, for me, that is absolutely the case, but for most people (Big Daddy included), eating is more of a self-soothing reaction to stress, boredom, etc.

9. Exercise makes you bulk up.

8. No more snacking!

Actually, eating healthy snacks and small meals at regular intervals (three small meals and two small snacks are what our GP recommended) can stave off hunger and boost metabolism.

7. Carbs are bad.

I've never gone in for the Atkins diet. I believe in all things in moderation, not in a lifestyle of deprivation. Choosing healthy carbs (e.g. whole grains, veggies, potatoes) provides necessary nutrients to the body.

6. Cardio is key; strength training is secondary.

Muscle requires four times the calories to maintain as fat. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

5. You have to drastically cut calories.

Cutting calories too quickly actually makes your body think you're starving. So, your body automatically goes into self-preservation mode and holds onto all its fat stores. The best way is to cut calories a little at a time, increasing the calorie cuts as the weight comes off.

4. Avoid fats entirely.

The body needs fat to survive. The important thing is to eat the right kinds of fat, especially Omega-3 fatty acids.

3. You can't lose weight eating out.

We've already seen that it's possible to lose weight and eat out. It's all about making good choices as far as food and portion sizes.

2. Food alone is what's making you fat.


1. You'll be happy if you lose weight.

Skinny or not, you'll still be you. You need to be happy with who God made you to be on the inside, and do your best to take care of yourself both inside and out.

So, here's the rundown for the week:

Starting weight = 312 pounds

Ending weight this week = 299 pounds

Weight loss this week = 6 pounds

Total weight loss = 13 pounds

Friday, March 27, 2009


Big Daddy likes to roll around on the floor with the cherubs, tossing them in the air like bags of flour. Bean is a big fan; Cakes can take it or leave it.

The other day, Big Daddy was rough-housing with Bean. She suddenly stopped and said, "Daddy, you smell bad!" After a short pause, she continued, "But, you're really handsome!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The special guests are rolling out fast and furious at Barnes and Noble lately. Although nothing has yet to compare with the crowds drawn by Curious George (he even beat out the city's opera company performing a kiddie version of "The Magic Flute"), we had strain our necks for the appearance of Winnie-the-Pooh this past weekend.

Miss Ruthie, the lucky Barnes and Noble employee who is in charge of Story Time and other reading groups for kids from toddler through high school, picked the shortest Pooh story she could find. She began reading at the top of her lungs about Pooh visiting Rabbit and getting stuck in Rabbit's hole. But, the electricity running through those little toddler and pre-school bodies was too much competition for her; she glossed over the end of the story and brought out Pooh.

We waited (not so) patiently in line for our chance to get our picture taken with Pooh. Bean kept lamenting, "It's taking such a long time!" That always prompts me to sing "Have Patience" from that great 70's album "The Music Machine." I usually only have to sing it once, and my kids stop complaining so they don't have to hear me sing it again.

As an aside, I never thought I would live to see the day that I would belt out toddler music in very public and crowded venues without a care for who was listening. As it is, you can hear me at any given moment singing the Alphabet Song at the top of my lungs in the supermarket.

So, after a rousing chorus of "Have Patience," it was finally our turn to pose with Pooh. Surprisingly, Cakes didn't scream in abject terror. She was even willing to pose without a parental figure close at hand in case of emergency.

As you can see, she still kept her distance. But, there was no screaming, and she was so proud of herself for being so brave!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Big Daddy has a family history of being overweight. So, weight is something that he has struggled with since his teens. Now, he doesn't eat unhealthy things; he just eats a lot of healthy things. And he's a stress eater. And, owning your own business is pretty stressful.

We've tried several different weight loss strategies with limited success. We tried Nutrisystem for men, which was effective, but the food tasted terrible and it got pretty expensive. You have to buy the meals, but then you have to buy a bunch of supplemental food to go with the meals. The commercials say the plan costs about $10 per meal, but it ends up costing more than that in the long run.

We tried the Zone, but the strict eating schedule and menus provided were difficult for Big Daddy to implement in his line of work (which is construction). He had no available means of refrigeration or re-heating of his meals and snacks.

We tried raw and whole foods, but that got really expensive and required a lot of prep work. We just didn't have the time for all that food preparation. And we certainly had better things to do with our income than hand it over to Whole Foods Supermarkets.

We try to avoid fad diets, which usually don't pan out over the long term. But we always have our eyes open for do-able lifestyle changes that support healthy weight.

So, Big Daddy and I were talking yesterday, and we thought it would be a good idea to chronicle his weight loss journey in the blogosphere. We thought it could provide encouragement and accountability, and provide him with a tangible timeline of his weight loss. At a safe weight loss schedule, we figure he should be where he wants to be in about a year.

Since Big Daddy needs to lose approximately 100 pounds, we began his weight loss journey with a trip to the doctor. Our doctor advised starting simple. He said that the basic problem with obesity was that there was more input than output. Plain and simple, Big Daddy has to eat less. All the time. He told Big Daddy to eat three small meals and two small snacks daily. He suggested using pre-packaged meals (Lean Cuisine, Kashi, etc.) to take the guesswork out of portion sizes. He didn't want us to concern ourselves at this point with things like avoiding certain carbohydrates or eating only organics or going to a nutritionist to get a list of recommended vitamins or anything. At this point, he just wants Big Daddy to eat less. Besides, Big Daddy has done enough research on his own to know what's good for him and what's not good for him.

The doctor's parting words: "You're going to be hungry all the time for a while. And, it's going to make you grumpy. Can you get the weight off? Absolutely. Will you get the weight off? I don't know. That's up to you."

And so, we have just completed our first week of this new, lighter-eating-smaller-portions lifestyle. The result?

Starting weight = 312 pounds

Ending weight this week = 305 pounds

Total weight loss = 7 pounds

Yay, Big Daddy!!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009


I was panning through some photos on my now defunct digital camera (we need Pioneer Woman to do lots more camera giveaways!) and came across this puzzling photo, sandwiched between photos of our wonderful cherubs:

Big Daddy has spent a lot of time customizing his workshop, and my only guess is that he was particularly proud of this little area and happened to have the camera handy for some reason....

As you can see, he's quite the handyman and I'm very proud of him! Still a little confused by the photo, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I think I have mentioned before that I'm not much of a girly-girl. My biggest pre-requisite for an outfit is that it doesn't make me itch. In fact, I was going out today with my mom, and she made me wear one of her jackets because she didn't like the hoodie I donned this morning (I believe "bag lady" was somewhere in her description of my very comfortable outfit). Dressing up is not high on my list of priorities.

Imagine my surprise at having such girly-girls for daughters. They love all things pink and floral and rainbowed. Bean is a little flexible in the clothing department (as you can see by the mismatched mittens) ...

... but Cakes is very opinionated about what she will and will not wear. Don't even try to put overalls on that kid!

About once a season, my dear friend over at In the Dailies sends my girls a box of clothes that her daughter has outgrown. Fortunately for me, her daughter is also a very girly-girl and my daughters are typically very pleased with the new selection of clothing. They ooh and aah over the box, declaring things "cute" and insisting on wearing as many new outfits as they can layer on.

There was one outfit in particular that I absolutely loved. I immediately tried to put it on Cakes, but she wanted no parts of it. I'm not sure what she found so distasteful about the outfit, but I finally convinced her to wear it by pairing it with shiny shoes.

I had to preserve this photo for posterity, because who knows if I'll ever be able to get her back into this very cute ensemble?

Monday, March 16, 2009


Honestly, I don't know how people like Muthering Heights do it. I don't know how they can watch two kids, be pregnant, cook, clean, and still find time to blog every day.

We finally got our taxes done (big sigh of relief there!), and life can continue on.

We had some excitement here in our little Southern town last week. We had an event that only happens about once every five years. We had snow. I'm not talking snow by a Southern definition (i.e. two flakes drifting by on the breeze); I'm talking actual accumulation that lasted more than three hours and even kept a Northeasterner like me off the roads for the morning.

Look how deep! If you can't see, that's at the 6 inch mark. It was enough to shut down schools until Wednesday (never mind that the snow was completely melted by Monday).

The girls were out in the snow instantly. Seeing as the most snow we usually get here is a dusting that lasts for about an hour, we don't own snow boots and snow pants and the like. So, we put sneakers and jeans on the cherubs, and then topped that off with Big Daddy's tube socks. Bean didn't mind, but it was a little hard for my fashion-conscious Cakes to deal with.

The first order of business was snow angels.

Then came snow tasting.

Finally, the requisite snowman was built on the front lawn (with a little help from Big Daddy).

Where was Mommy during the festivities? Inside. Taking pictures. Not being cold.