Category Archives: The Diet Solution Program

Week 5: Let’s Talk Excuses and Results

Let’s be honest here…I will admit that I have been slacking off of my blog, my workouts, my diet, my everything these past few weeks. It’s not that I have just thrown in the towel. I’ve just been busy and sick. But let’s really be honest – there are a million and one excuses you can use on a daily basis for not taking care of yourself, but in the end you are the one who suffers when you continue to make excuses. It’s really up to you (as in, me) to make the commitment to be/live/eat/play healthy.

It’s true, I’ve been sick for nearly three weeks, but there are things I can do to keep up my exercise regimen. I’ve done some here and there and it’s probably better to not over do it during the time that I’m sick. But now I really need to step it up.

Me and Denny workin' the dance floor. I'm feeling good in my skin these days.

I’ve actually done okay these past few weeks. I missed my January goal of 147 lbs, but I’ve hit that since then. I chalk that up to not eating so much. When you are not feeling well, usually you lose a bit of your appetite. So, I’m not walking around like I won the lottery or anything. But, I have actually seen some progress. My belly is a little flatter. My jeans have become baggy on me. I’m buying a smaller size and they’re fitting. So, I’ve definitely lost some inches here and there. And as of today, I’m down to 147 lbs. Not too bad.

There's more than one way to get your workout on!

But the important thing is to stay on my exercise regimen. It seems like every time I set a goal to boost my exercise program (ie. go to extra classes at the gym, start a new video workout, begin a transformation challenge, etc.) something happens…I usually get sick. I lose all motivation during that down time and then I find it really hard to get it back when I’m ready to start again. But I’m determined to make this time different. I know that exercise is the key for my weight loss goals and I need to make that commitment to stay on track. Exercise is the answer.

I have not been following the DSP, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s not that I’ve totally thrown it all out the window…I am choosing more organic foods every week. I actually really like using the coconut oil instead of canola oil for high heat cooking…especially eggs! I prefer the flavor of grass-fed beef to the regular stuff. And even though these foods cost substantially more, I really am making an effort to choose them more often.

I recently watched the movie, Food, Inc. and was upalled at what our food industry has become. It really made me aware of a lot of things and made me feel a little sick. This movie should be seen by everyone, I feel that strongly about it. It’s our food supply, for crying out loud!

So, it’s not that I’m not paying attention to what I put in my mouth. I’m just trying to make smart choices one moment at a time. We are faced with different choices many, many times each day and I think it’s more about your mindset when faced with all of these choices that really makes the difference. We make the choice to eat at Burger King instead of Subway. We decide to go out for dinner instead of making a nice, healthy dinner at home. We decide to buy the sugary sweet cereal instead of the healthier, shredded wheat type one. We make the choice to have that coffee cake with our coffee instead of a better option, like fruit. We make little decisions all day long that affect our overall health and many people make that decision without even thinking about it. I strive to always be thinking about my health when faced with these constant decisions. In that way, I’m being mindful of my diet.

Counting calories, food journals, meal planners…these are all very helpful but can become cumbersome to keep up with throughout the day. Of course, in order to really lose a lot of weight, you have to know that you are creating a calorie deficit each day. And these tools are awesome for that. But I prefer to just keep doing what I know I need to do – don’t over-eat, be very mindful of my portion sizes, keep working out a lot, and make smart choices. We tell our kids to make smart choices every day. The best way to make sure they get that message is to be the example that they can follow. Make smart choices every day. Don’t be afraid to indulge every once in a while, but striving to make the best choices for your health daily should be the norm instead of the exception.

I have to say that I feel pretty good about my body these days and that’s a direct result of the amount of workouts I’ve gotten in these past few weeks. I don’t feel as good when I’ve slacked off, but when I get them in I feel like a million bucks! So, I’m sticking to what works…

To a healthier, happier and longer life.


Week 4: Hell Week

This week has been absolutely horrible. Not because of my program, but because of a houseful of illness. My son brought home some nasty virus that knocked him back from Friday night (of last week) until Thursday or Friday. He stayed mostly in his room through the weekend and first part of the week while I tended to him. I fed him in his room, when I could get him to eat, and I administered over the counter medication to help relieve his symptoms. We set up the humidifier in his room with Vapo Steam to help with his congestion. He had congestion in his head and his chest. The poor little guy. It’s so hard to watch your kids be that sick.

By Monday, I started to feel the tinge of a soar throat and just thought, “Please don’t let me get this, too.” But, by Wednesday, I was stuffy in my head and starting to run my own fever. I was happy to take Aiden to school, his only day in school all week, on Thursday. He was begging me to let him go since they were taking a field trip to the movie theater that day. But I wanted him to go back. I was feeling pretty horrible by then and wanted to get a little rest for my own oncoming illness.

When I picked him up from school that day, the teacher told me that he is still not really feeling well. She said he seemed really tired more than anything. I could totally understand that because that’s exactly how I felt. She also said she thinks she is coming down with it. Apparently a lot of kids and teachers have started to call in sick due to this nasty virus. Lucky us.

When Aiden and I got home, I got a call from the landlord. She wanted to come and bring people to the house to show it. Potential renters. I tried to explain that I was sick, the house was not even close to show-able, I needed time. She asked to come on Friday since I was adamant about not having people in my house within the next couple of hours. That gave me less than 24 hours to get the house in a more presentable state. But I didn’t feel like starting right then. I wanted a nap instead.

The next day, Aiden and I slept in until around 9am. Although, I did get up really early to make Denny’s lunch and see him off. On Thursday he said that he was starting to feel a bit of congestion in his head. He was afraid he had contracted the illness from the two of us. By Friday morning, he was feeling it like a Mack truck. He left very early for PT, not certain how he would make it through the day. I felt really badly…I wish he hadn’t gotten this sickness. He has to go to work everyday. I do part-time stuff. I can postpone, reschedule meetings, work around an illness. But he doesn’t have that luxury.

I did the best I could cleaning. I was feeling severely fatigued and mustered as much strength as I could to get it cleaned up. I did pretty well, too. I got a lot done in a short amount of time. But the prospective renters showed up half an hour early and caught me in the midst of the final cleaning stages before I was to put things away. Instead, they got to see the vacuum cleaner, still plugged in, sitting in the middle of the living room floor. At that point, however, I could care less. The house was somewhat clean and that was good enough for me.

I warned them not to get too close. I told them I had been sick with my son all week and it was pretty nasty. The woman said she had already had it. Ouch. But I showed them the house and chatted politely. After the tour, the Engels showed up. They decided to have a big discussion right in the entryway of the house. How I wished they would just go already.

The lovely couple left to head back to their TLF home to consider the matter until Monday. I know they will not take the house. They liked a lot of things about it, but there is no dishwasher and for many in this day and age, that’s a deal breaker. But I don’t really care whether they take the house or not. I just want to be gone from here.

The Engels, on the other hand, wanted to check the oil and meters again. I don’t really know why, nor do I care. It won’t make a hill of beans difference. We’re moving and we will not be paying any more than what we’ve already been paying. They just checked the stupid meters and oil less than a month ago. What in the world do they need to check it again for? I just felt really horrible and wanted them to leave. Luckily, they left soon after. And by 2:15pm I had the house to myself again. Just me and Aiden. And it was time for a nap.

Poor little guy. Here's Aiden at the beginning of the week. He's not feeling so hot.

Denny came home early on Friday. He said, “I just couldn’t physically do it anymore.” He was feeling nauseous…something Aiden and I didn’t feel. He had a sinus headache so bad that it was making him physically ill…not unlike a migraine. He came in and got in the bathtub and stayed there for half an hour. Now we all had the nasty virus. But guess who was feeling a lot better?

Aiden, for the most part, had gotten past all the worst of the illness and was starting to bounce off the walls. Poor guy. He had been cooped up in his room for several days. And by Friday he was practically stir crazy. But Denny and I were really starting to feel the worst of it as it was settling in. We moved the humidifier from his room into ours that night.

This weekend has been a pajama weekend. Aiden, even though he’s feeling fine, has been wearing his pajamas while Denny and I have basically been sloughing around the house in ours. Luckily, I made some vegetable and broth the other day in the Romertopf that I quickly whipped into a beef vegetable soup for me and Denny. Aiden has been eating Chef Boyardee, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries and Kid Cuisine the whole weekend. No one’s even gone out of the house since Friday.

Today is Sunday. It’s been a long and excruciatingly painful week. I tried to get my workouts in this week at the beginning. But by Thursday I was in no shape to workout. I tried to use these fancy things Denny bought a month or so ago – Bally Total Body Scupting Bar – on Thursday, but only did about half an hour before my energy was totally gone. Funny thing is, my legs are still soar just from doing that. It didn’t seem like much at the time, but I’ve been feeling it ever since.

We really need to venture out of the house today, but with the lack of sleep for both me and Denny, the congestion and sinus pressure and headaches, it’s hard to even think about having the energy to go anywhere. Maybe a little later today. But right now, I’m living in my Bearpaw boots and pajama pants. I learned that my feet feel most comfort inside these Bearpaw boots and have been wearing them in the house like slippers. They are the most awesome boots ever.

Today, I need to clean the kitchen and think about giving the house a good scrubbing down. I need to get these germs out of our house before we have a second go round with this monster virus. But right now, I’m sipping my coffee and thinking of maybe having a shower. One step at a time, right?

So, here’s hoping we’re almost over this yuckiness and I can get back on track this next week. I have a full calendar coming up this week and don’t have any more time to waste being under the weather. After all, we still have to start packing boxes, which is what we were gonna start doing this weekend. Oh well. At least we put our Christmas stuff away last weekend…

To a healthier, happier and longer life.

Week 3: A New Realization

This week has been a whirlwind for me. I didn’t post for the previous week…we went out of town for my birthday and didn’t come back until Monday. Once we got to Tuesday, my life has just been going at 90 mph. And when I stepped on the scale Tuesday morning to assess the damage, it was not a pretty sight. I drank alcohol on Thursday, Friday and Sunday through the weekend (it was my birthday, after all) and it really took its toll.

My new birthday sunglasses! I'm so stylin'!!

The real story is the horrible luck I’ve had with food. We went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill on Ramstein for my “birthday” dinner. I had their Cello Cosmo, made with vodka, cranberry juice and limoncello. It turns out that was the very best thing I had there. Our service was terrible. My food was very disappointing…I had the seafood pasta. My shrimp was hard and rubbery, the scallops were grossly undercooked and the mussels were barely even there. The best part of my plate was actually the pasta itself. At least it was perfectly cooked. But the whole dish was bland and boring. And the seafood was inedible. So, I ordered a second drink. Yay. Happy freakin’ birthday. My son kept trying to tell our horrible waiter that it was my birthday, but he was barely present and never even noticed (even after I wrote it on the paper covering our table.) So much for service.

And that was only the beginning. I really wanted to go to the brand new Frijole’s restaurant on Vogelweh. But when we tried to go, it wasn’t open. And we also found that the Chili’s restaurant is “closed until further notice.” Who knows what that means. So, we were denied once again.

We have had terrible food/service the last few times we’ve eaten at restaurants on Ramstein. The best food we ate was what I cooked in our hotel room which was equipped with a full kitchen. Next time we decide to go and stay for a night or two, we’ll be taking more food for me to prepare instead of spending money on crappy food and service. We definitely will be thinking twice before hitting up the American restaurants on the base again.

But I digress….the thing is, even though I had an awesome hour-long workout  before we left, I over-indulged and came home carrying a couple of pounds extra. Mostly it was water retention, but still…

So, this past week I knew I had to work extra hard to get back on track. And I made a great discovery: exercise and a smart diet are the keys to success. I know what you’re thinking…but everyone already knows that! That’s no secret!! And you are absolutely right. It is definitely not a secret.  But I feel that everyone knows this without actually knowing it.

I was trolling through my facebook wall early this last week and came across a post from (If you haven’t used this site, I highly recommend it. Lots of fabulous tools to help you on your journey!) I read the blog and was instantly inspired…the answer has been right in front of me all along. I had an epiphany!

My diet is probably better than most and has been for quite a long time. Sure I have my momentary bouts of splurge, but at least 80% of the time, I make smart choices. My biggest vice is wine and alcohol. If I indulge, that’s usually where I do it. But what makes the biggest difference isn’t giving up something here or avoiding that over there…it’s the amount of exercise I put in. I can cut back on a lot of things, but if I don’t exercise I won’t see much in the way of results. It’s all about activity. How many calories am I really burning each day?

That very same day I got up from the computer and started a workout. I was so inspired I worked out for an hour and a half. The whole rest of the day I felt really good, mentally and physically. And you may laugh when I say this next part, but I felt “skinnier!” I find that on the days when I work out I feel “skinny” throughout the day. If I workout out 5-6 days a week, and not just quick little 20 min. sessions – I’m talking about giving it a good 45 min. at least, I can still feel skinny on my off days. It’s been liberating and inspiring to feel as good as I’ve felt this past week. I logged in 4 total hours of high-intensity exercise and I feel awesome!

One other thing that I realized after reading that blog post was that the scale can be your friend or your worst enemy. If you are exercising and building muscle, the scale will lie right to your face! You may put on pounds while you are shedding fat. And the scale will not tell you that. The way to tell is through photographic evidence. Seeing the author’s pictures of before and after and her realization that the difference in pounds is minimal was eye-opening. The scale has the ability to discourage the most devout by telling them their efforts are pointless. When in actuality, they are undergoing a transformation so subtle that it’s hard to see without pictorial evidence. Don’t listen to the scale!

So, inspired by this girl’s photographic transformation, I have vowed to log my pics in order to track my progress more acurately. Here are my first two…

Jan 18 - 151.2 lbs.

Jan 15 - 149.4 lbs










I’m really not excited about seeing myself like this, but I’m eager to see the changes in pictures. So, I will keep doing what I’ve been doing this week and keep track with pics each week.

As far as the Diet Solution Program goes, well I have to say I haven’t been sticking to it. I have a hard time with diets that are so restrictive. I can’t keep all the food in the fridge and I don’t have time to prepare everything. I’ve just had a hard time with my busy, busy lifestyle. I’m not spending all my time in the kitchen. I’m just keeping my food choices smart, eating plenty of fruit and veggies, steering clear of sugar and wine, and watching my portion sizes. We don’t eat out much here…not a lot of options that aren’t disastrous (ie. Burger King, Anthony’s Pizza, Taco Bell, etc.) so we keep it at home.

The bottom line is if you are smart about your diet and you exercise and push yourself to build a stronger, healthier body, it doesn’t matter which program you follow. Be smart. Be strong. Be healthy. Be happy.

To a healthier, happier and longer life.


Week 1: A Great New Start

It’s been a little over a week and I’m feeling great! I admit I did not stick to the food plan exactly, but I only ate things from the list (mostly.)  I was a little afraid to eliminate bread or other grains completely so I incorporated a small amount. I had two slices of bread, one serving of pasta, and one serving of rice through the week. It seemed to work out because I dropped 2.5 pounds. And I never felt hungry all week.

Wine by candlelight

I indulged a little this weekend… I had a couple of glasses of wine on both Friday and Saturday nights with my husband. But I didn’t overdo it. And I was good for the rest of the time.

I did stay away from all sugar, which is good. I think if I prepare for each week better it will be even easier. I need to make sure I get into the kitchen and pre-make meals for the week. I didn’t do as much of that in the first week as I should have. But all in all, it was a great week!

The only thing that I need to improve on for next week is my exercise. I missed Zumba… the landlords decided that would be a good day to show up and fix our door, regardless of any plans I may have had. So much for that. And the rest of the week I only got in one cardio session. This week I need to improve. I need to get in at least three good workout sessions.

I’m still on target to lose 5 pounds a month. I have 2.5 more to go for January. I’m excited about my first week stats… I hope I can keep this momentum going!

First week stats:

To a healthier, happier and longer life!

New Year, New Start

Well, it’s the beginning once again. I had a really good day on my first day. I hardly even noticed how hungry I was (wink!) Seriously, it went well. The first day is always the hardest.

New Year's Eve dinner...

The sweet smells and tastes of the previous days still linger in the mind and on the tongue. While munching away on lettuce and egg whites, I was still remembering the au gratin potatoes and filet from New Year’s Eve. And of course, while I sipped hot tea on the sofa I dreamed of my usual sweet German wine.These are the thoughts of a reluctant dieter and can lead to sabotage if left unchecked. But I stood my ground and held firm.

I actually had a really packed day. I didn’t plan it that way, but it ended up being eventful. I had a session scheduled with my physical therapy doctor – the first for my hip injury. But I was met with resistance. Surprise! He told me that there was nothing he could do for me. He asked me hadn’t I already done months of physical therapy for this injury…and I told him I did four months back in 2008 to no avail. And that’s when he told me, “then there’s nothing more I’m gonna be able to do for you.” He also said, “there’s no way you have bursitis…it goes away after a while. It doesn’t last for three years.” And that’s when he looked more carefully at my file.

He scoured through my MRI and the notes my original doctor (bastard) wrote – tear in the tendon of gluteus medius with hint of minor bursitis at the site. A diagnosis I had never heard before…written in early 2008. I was stunned, confused and very soon after, quite pissed off. I now know that my stupid neurologist knew all along that no matter what therapy he threw at me none of it would make the pain stop. It’s a tendon tear that needs to be repaired…by an orthopedic surgeon. He never referred me to one and I never got the medical attention I needed to take away the pain.

I just keep thinking of the last three years that I’ve lived every single day with pain that I would not have had. Of all the lost time, the extra weight I’ve been battling since having all the needless steroid injections. I just had another one four weeks ago and already gained an extra 10 lbs back…again. Every time I got a steroid shot I gained an average of 10 lbs each time. I keep thinking, “it could have been so different.” And I just get mad all over again. What an ass.

So, my wonderful PT doctor referred me, at long last, to an orthopedic specialist. I just got an appointment scheduled for next week…on my birthday. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I just hope that the damage isn’t too bad that I’m at the point of  “pain management” by now. I just pray that it’s still fixable and I can have it done pretty soon. The sooner I get it repaired, the sooner the healing process can begin. And then, someday, maybe I will be able to walk without the pain again.

We are planning on our trip this summer to Texas to visit my favorite people in the world. I want to be over the hardest part of rehab by the time we leave.

I will probably have an ugly scar on my hip, but I don’t care. I just keep thinking of all the exercises I will be able to do again…like those long bike rides I used to go on. All the kick-boxing I used to do. And the Zumba!! I have my Zumba class tonight and I’m very excited. It will be even better once I’m able to Zumba pain-free.

It’s been a long three years living with and tolerating the pain in my hip and leg. It’s going to be a lot nicer to envision an end to the journey. I just have to be careful not to stop moving while I’m in recovery. I have to keep moving if I’m going to lose this weight. And speaking of…

Back to the goal: I weighed myself to re-start my program. The results were devastating, to say the least. I’m a lot further away from my goal than I first thought. Here are my current stats…

  • Weight:  152.2 lbs
  • Body fat:  42%
  • Water:  42.3%
  • Bone:  4.4 lbs

I have a long battle ahead, but I can do it. My goal is to lose 5 lbs of body fat per month in the next six months.That will put me at approx. 120 lbs by the time we head back to the States.


  • Weight:  120 lbs.
  • Body fat:  22 %

Obviously, I’m following a program. I am following the Diet Solution Program again. I’m starting with the 14 Days to a Sexy Body plan that kick starts the DSP. In this plan you follow the pre-planned meals for 14 days. From there, you can go to the Quick Start Guide which also contains some pre-planned meals, as well as some substitutions and replacement ideas. I’m sticking to a much more regimented diet this time around instead of just picking things off of the big list. I’m hoping that the combinations designed by Isabel will work better for me than my own sloppy approach.

So far, I’ve felt pretty great…a little sluggish, which is to be expected no matter what program I start. I’m cutting down on calories. There is always a natural adjustment to the new lower calorie intake. So, by Wednesday I should be doing just fine.

I’m eliminating simple sugar from my diet altogether. I’ve ordered a few bags of Fructevia, which is a Stevia blend that looks and tastes like sugar but twice as sweet. It has worked great for me so far in baked bread, corn bread, tea, coffee, cookies and a whole list of others things I’ve made with it. It’s wonderful!

Of course, I’ve resolved to not have any wine through the entire month of January except the Saturday after my birthday. That is the day that will mark the end of my first 14 days and the day we will celebrate my birthday with a celebratory “cheat” day. After the month of January, I will be regulating my alcohol intake to one glass per week.

I’ve also vowed to workout AT LEAST three days per week. I want to do more since we have the Wii now with Wii Fit. I’ve done it several times since Christmas and it’s not a lot of exercise (I’m hoping it will get more intense with use, opening more difficult levels, etc.) but it really is a lot of fun! And my little guy likes to play on it, too!

That is my plan. It is set. I can do this. I have resolved to make it to my goal this year. I really just want to have my body back. I really miss all the fun I used to have with it!

To a healthier, happier and longer life!

Making Plans for the New Year

We’re just a couple of days away from 2011 and I’ve been making some preparations and taking some recipe test drives this past week.  First, I made some sugar-free sugar cookies for Santa with my son. I used my favorite recipe with Fructevia instead of sugar. That stuff is really amazing! I couldn’t tell the difference between the Fructevia and real sugar…the texture is even the same. You simply use half the amount that you would of real sugar because it’s twice as sweet as sugar.  The cookies turned out great!

Sugar-free Christmas cookies

And my 5 year old son loved them, too! I made some cream cheese icing, too, using Neufchatel cheese, vanilla extract and Fructevia. Soooo amazing!

Sugar-free sugar cookies with sugar-free cream cheese icing for Santa

I also attempted to make these delicious Peanut Butter Cups yesterday. I’ve been perusing the recipes on and they look amazing. There are several others I want to try. But the Peanut Butter Cups just looked too good to pass up. So, I made them up yesterday. The only problem is the chocolate didn’t stiffen for me…not sure what I did…and they ended up as runny paper cups of blah. So, back to the drawing board for those. I also ended up with twice as much peanut butter filling as chocolate, so I’m going to re-try the chocolate and use the other half of the peanut butter filling. Hopefully, my second attempt will render some lovely little 100 calorie candies with very little sugar.

My plan for the New Year is to re-start the DSP again. I have the 2-week jumpstart guide and I think I will start with that. I want to prepare ahead several things I can use when I have cravings or low days. Substituting Fructevia for sugar will be a great way to make some great alternatives to candy, cakes, cupcakes, or whatever kind of crazy cravings I may run into. I just watched this great video to help me prepare. It’s nothing really new to me, but it’s a great reminder to give me a quick boost!

I also picked up this great recipe for Oatmeal Protein Cookies that I think I’m gonna try to whip up.  They really sound good. And who couldn’t use more whole grains and protein, right?

I got a new bathroom scale for Christmas from my lovely husband. It tracks my weight, fat percentage and water percentage. I really love the gift, but I did NOT like what I saw when I stepped on it. My other scale was really, really old and I think it’s been lying to me for a while. I thought I was around 142-145 lbs. but when I got on the new scale it showed 153 lbs.  And that’s not the worst part…it’ showed my body fat percentage as 39%.  I nearly sat down and cried. I’m so far away from my goal. It was really overwhelming. To say that the rest of my day I was a little depressed would be understating it a bit.

So, with 2011 just around the corner, I’m planning my attack. I don’t really mind gaining a few pounds during the holidays…I really like to have a lot of the holiday foods that only come around during that time.

Christmas feast

Christmas cocktail...amaretto and whipped cream!

But I have apparently done more damage than I planned. Or I was more in the hole in the first place. No matter how you look at it, I have a long road ahead of me.

I’m considering signing up for the “Biggest Loser” challenge on base. It’s a month-long challenge to burn fat and get in shape. We got for ourselves a Wii for Christmas with the Wii Fit and Wii Sports programs. I’ve done it some. But I’m also going to be doing the Zumba classes plus some strength training. I have my first physical therapy session next week, too. So, hopefully, getting up and moving around a lot will help me on my newly committed journey. I’m positive it will go better than the last time around.

So, here’s to a new year with new beginnings! Happy New Year everyone!

To a healthier, happier and longer life.


Gettin’ Through the Holidays

I haven’t been on my DSP for several weeks, but I’ve been maintaining. I haven’t actually gained any additional pounds back, which is okay for now. I have been eating sugar (cookies, brownies, candy, etc.) like a freakin’ child…with reckless abandon!

Truth be told, I have been thinking about the DSP and what went wrong for me. But, I’ve also been trapped in our house for several days while we weather out the big snowstorm.  I’m going a little stir crazy already and winter just started… I’ve been eating out of boredom and not always making the wisest of choices. Sugar is the enemy and I’ve let it come into our house. That is a huge mistake since I have a hard time with trigger foods. Shame on me.

The snow has blanketed the Eifel

Christmas is only a few days away, we have tons of snow on the ground, and people keep sending us various foods (cookies, candy, breads, etc.) for the holidays. And, possibly the worst part, I’ve been contributing to the sugar overload in our house. I’ve been baking! And, shamefully, I admit I have not been using the Stevia as I should be. Although, I am planning on making our Christmas cookies with my son with the Stevia. I tried it in some cornbread recently when I made a big pot of red beans and the Stevia was amazing! It tasted soooo good! So, I’m confident that the cookies will be great, too!

And then there’s the amount of alcohol I’ve been consuming. I swear, wine will be the one thing that keeps me from reaching my goals. Wine is my enemy, probably even more so than sugar. There is a substitute for sugar…but nothing really replaces my wine. And I do love it so…

My arch nemesis

I have taken up my exercise regimen once again. I got so excited last week when I attended the first ever Zumba class at Spangdahlem AB. It was a free demo class, but it was awesome! I was completely energized after we finished. They will be offering regular classes the first week of January and I can hardly wait. It was then that I realized what my biggest problem has been while trying out the DSP….I was NOT exercising.

I know there are a lot of diets you can try and a lot of eating plans out there. And every good nutritionist knows that the calories in vs. calories out equation is the overall determiner for weight loss. You can definitely eat 500 calories a day, not exercise and lose weight. But that is the very worst way you can go about it. If you really want to lose weight the healthy way you must eat a healthy amount of calories, create a significant but not extreme calorie deficit and exercise regularly. That is the formula for a healthy lifestyle. I’ve known this all along…

After I got that first Zumba class down, the first exercise I’ve had in more than a month, I felt so amazingly good. I knew right then that I had been cheating myself all the time I was on the DSP by not adding this vital component into my weekly routine. What an idiot I turned out to be!

Since that day I’ve continued to get in at least a couple of bouts of exercise. I haven’t been watching what I eat so much, but I have at least been getting that exercise in. When the holidays are behind us I think that I will recommit myself to tackling the DSP again. Although I still haven’t made up my mind if that program will be the one I choose…I’m still considering the other program. Or maybe a combination of the programs. I have recipes from several programs that may prove useful in my quest.

My ultimate goal is to lose the fat by June. We are planning a trip back home to visit friends and family this summer and I would like to be rid of this extra weight once and for all before we get back to Texas. I’m still hovering around 140 lbs. and I would like to at least reach 130 by the summer. That will give me about 6 months to reach my goal. I would love to get to 125 so that’s where I will set my sights. I want to get into a bikini this summer and lounge by the pool…I’ve missed pools while I’ve been in Germany!

I realize I’m going to have to work my butt off to drop 15 lbs. by June, but I think I can really commit to it and hopefully I won’t run into any further obstacles. I’ve just started going to the sports medicine doctor and physical therapy again to address the pain in my hip. I’m hoping that this time around we can figure out how to make the pain go away for good…hopefully without surgery. I want to continue working out really hard while going through therapy and maybe it will actually produce a better outcome with different doctors, techniques and with me not gaining weight! I need to build strength in order to make this happen.

It will be along road but I believe I can reach my goals. I’ve come so far at this point. But I’m only half way to where I want to be. I just need to really buckle down and make it happen.  In the meantime, I am blessed to be able to spend the holidays with my little family – my husband and 5 year old son. I love Christmas time! This is the time of year to relax with family and friends. I intend to completely take advantage of the fact that I have my two men with me and enjoy every moment. Then, after the New Year gets here, it will be game on!

To a healthier, happier and longer life.