50 And Losing It Blog

A journey for women over 50 who are looking for renewal and self discovery

Day 15: A beginning to An End August 19, 2010

When I stood on the scale early this morning I sighed in relief. While I didn’t reach my goal, to date I’ve lost 6 lbs. I ended my crazy New York adventure without gaining weight and I’m relieved. Now I’m hoping I can repeat my first week and lose 4.5 lbs. by next Wednesday so I can get back on schedule to lose 50 pounds in 100 days.

But this wasn’t any normal morning after all. As my son drove off this morning to begin his senior year in high school, I realized today was the beginning of my last year as a full-time mom. Wow, it’s hard to imagine that this time next year, he’ll be driving off to college and we’ll be empty nesters.

I’ve already experienced the “child going off to college emotions” when my daughter started college in New York two years ago. But I still had my son at home and my role as a full-time mom remained so my life remained somewhat normal. It won’t be the same. I’ll miss having him here with us, they way I miss my daughter when she’s away. And my daily routine will change, heck my life will change.

But I’m a planner. So I’m going to enjoy every minute I have with him and I’m not going to stress over it. Goodness knows I don’t need stress complicating my weight-loss program. As my father would say, “There’s nothing so bad that it’s not good for something.” I love the relationship my daughter and I have as adults, so I’m going to look forward to having two college students in my life. And, I’m going to take this time to make positive changes in my life.

When we moved to Charleston, SC two years ago, we made a conscious decision to rent. It made more sense for us to rent a larger space now and once our son goes off to college, we’d downsize. Like most people, my hubby touts the benefits of owning a home, but in this market and with our needs changing in such a short time frame, it made sense to rent.

So next summer we’re going to be moving, and I’m hoping that settling into a new space will help us adjust to life without kids. I’ll still have a bedroom for each as they will come home for school breaks, but I’m looking forward to less yard, fewer rooms to clean, smaller electricity, water and housing payments, and purging.

But for now, I’ll focus on being a great full-time mom, losing weight, writing, and enjoying my life while it remains as normal as it gets.


Day 14: Back to Basics and Lots and Lots of Water August 17, 2010

Our adventure is over and our daughter is home for a few weeks to get caught up on some much-needed rest. I’m pleased with our trip, her dorm room looked great and it’s good to have her home. As for me, I jumped back on the bike for my 5-mile ride and by the time I got back, Stacey May was ready for her walk. So it’s good to be back to my routine and that includes getting back to drinking more water.

I realized I wasn’t drinking enough fluids on the trip when my urine was a bright yellow. It explains why I was so thirsty when I eventually stopped to eat. You know you’re drinking enough water when your urine is a pale yellow. To get this shade, you need to drink about 10 to 12 cups of water a day. With water you improve your breathing, digestion, elimination and perspiration. By flushing our systems with water, we help our organs work better, improve our skin tone, help regulate our body temperature and blood circulation, improve digestion and the absorption of foods, affect our metabolic levels and improve our bowel cycles. It’s also credited with preventing diseases such as colon, bladder and breast cancer. And in support of my mission, it helps accelerate weight loss. So what was I thinking? Next time I get busy, I’m going to set a water break alarm on my cell phone so I’ll stop and take a swig.

With that said, I’m not expecting good things tomorrow morning when I jump back on the scale. It will be the end of my second week of my journey. If I’m on track to lose 50 pounds in 100 days, I will have to have lost seven pounds since I started. If I didn’t, I’m not going to get depressed over it. I’m simply going to keep moving forward and try to make up the difference between now and next Wednesday. So until next week, let’s reach for our glass of water and let’s “skoal” to our good health. “Cheers!”


Day 13: Heading Home to SC

We enjoyed a homemade breakfast of pancakes, bacon and home fries. I swear our friend, Rudy, should come out of retirement and audition for Master Chef. I resisted his wonderful home fries, but enjoyed a pancake and two slices of bacon. It was a good morning as we talked politics and prepped for the rest of our trip home.

We said our goodbyes and headed toward Virginia, hitting more traffic. As we had already planned to stop by my Mom’s for a visit, we elected to take Route 301 leaving the traffic behind. To save time, we met up at a Chinese Restaurant. Once again my daughter and I split a meal and I munched on fried noodles.

It was nice to see my Mom. She’s now 82 and lives with my sister. But I wish we had more time. If it hadn’t taken so long to drive to Baltimore yesterday, we would have continued driving and ended the day at my Mom’s. She understood the way Mom’s always do. So I invited her to come down for a visit. She’s a novice gambler, loves the slots and we’ve got three casino boats within a 3.5-hour road trip. There’s even talk of bringing a casino boat to Charleston. If it’s like the Emerald Princess in Brunswick, GA, we’re in for a treat.

We continued on our journey, taking turns driving and enjoying the greenery of the South. We stopped at a Taco Bell and tried one of their new “fresco tacos,” no cheese just tomatoes, cilantro and onions. It was all we needed to keep going. We arrived home around 10 p.m. with a very excited Stacey May at the door. It had been months since my daughter was home and our boxer-whippet mix made her feel quite welcome. I was happy to see my son and pleased that he had taken good care of things while we were gone. So life goes on.


Day 12: Falling Off the Wagon

We finished purging her art supplies and packed the car with all the things we purged. Not quite a van full, but she has more space in her dorm room this year, so maybe it’s okay.

On our way back to South Carolina, the three of us were looking forward to seeing friends and family in my hometown, Baltimore, Md. The drive that should have taken less than four hours, took six. We were in bumper to bumper traffic and rainy weather. My lunch consisted of splitting a hotdog with my daughter. I continued with my water and munched on a plum and nuts.

We reached our best friends’ home at four and headed over to Bonefish Grill. It has to be one of the better chain restaurants that offer seafood. Here my knees buckled and I struggled as I said yes to a glass of wine, but it was good wine. I stayed with the broiled lump crab cake, only a sandwich this time and a salad, although I did munch on two of their famous spicy shrimps. It was hard to resist the bread, the butter and fries, but I did. I kept telling myself I had to keep to my goal, 50 pounds in 100 days. It’s a good thing I don’t go out like this often, but it was wonderful to get caught up with each other’s lives and enjoy good company.

We then headed over to see my brother and his family. We only stayed about an hour as his wife recently underwent surgery for colon cancer. She said that they got it all and we could see she was in great spirits. But they’d been through a lot recently. Her son was recently diagnosed with cancer and has been undergoing Chemotherapy. He too was in good spirits, as the Chemo was reducing his cancer cells and he was gaining weight. I was impressed by their resilience and dedication to family. My nephew, only 38, has too young boys. He says he’s planning on sticking around to raise them and I believe he will be.

While there, my brother suggested I have a colonoscopy. Not a pleasant experience, but sound advice. I’ll have to look into this fall. When I head back to the doctor to have my liver and cholesterol tested again, I’ll ask for a colonoscopy.

As we headed back to stay the night with our friends, my daughter insisted on a famous Maryland snowball. I had a small spearmint flavored snowball with Marshmallow and it was even better than the wine. A few nuts and grapes later, and I was done for the day. I definitely fell off the wagon. I didn’t exercise, I ate too much and I surely didn’t lose any weight.

To find out more about colon cancer and colonoscopy testing check out http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/colonoscopy.


Day 11: The Move

I woke up ready for the day, but it felt weird not to jump on my bike and I missed Stacey May. Now worries though, I knew I’d get a workout moving stuff from one dorm to another. Breakfast was easy, a bowl of Raisin Brand from the hotel lobby and we reached Manhattan by 9:30 a.m.

We moved one van full of stuff into her room on the second floor and headed to her summer dorm to pack and load the van. It took two trips. How she/we got all that stuff into an 8-foot by 10-foot room, I’ll never know. We then stopped for lunch. I craved for a slice of REAL New York pizza, and if you only have one piece it’s 210 calories. Combine that with a Raspberry tea from Snapple and I came in under 300 calories! Dinner was around 400 calories as I split a tofu vegetable medley with my daughter and splurged on one egg roll.

As for the rest of the day, we spent one hour moving furniture around in her efficiency, only to find the original layout was best. She now has a small bath, galley kitchen and a living room that functions as a bedroom for two students. Her roommate would be moving in later. We were moving my daughter now as she had been a summer student living in another dorm. We then set up the kitchen, bath, and closet purging along the way. At 11:30 p.m., we stopped for the night crashing in her room on air mattresses. Ah, college life.


Day 10: Cream of Crab Soup

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 4:41 pm
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I wasn’t going to leave for New York until I rode my bike and walked the dog. So by the time my hubby and I packed our overnight bags and plugged in the GPS it was 10 a.m. Our goal was to reach New Jersey and crash for the night so we’d have to drive less than two hours in the morning to reach our daughter in Manhattan. It was going to be a long day.

With my exercise completed, my ambition was to stay focused on healthful foods, but when I drive, I snack – usually on licorice. This time I picked up some lightly salted “belly burning” nuts and unsalted nuts with dried fruit. The portions averaged 140 calories for 30 nuts. I also packed apples, plums, and water. Oh yeah, and some gum if my sweet meter went haywire.

Our first meal was at Subway. I grabbed a 230-calorie veggie sub on honey oat bread. But it was our second dinner that killed the day. We stopped at a seafood restaurant and I had a salad, broiled lump crab cake and baked potato. I stayed on track in that I ordered fresh or single item foods, but I fell off the wagon when we ordered a cup of “cream of crab” soup, while we split it, it alone totaled 310 calories!

Over all I ended the day with 1,650 calories, 150 more than I wanted thanks to the soup and my lack of willpower. I was so grateful that I made the time to do my exercises and burn about 444 calories. So overall I ended the day pretty much on track.


Day 9: Prep for NY Taxes My Wallet

Filed under: Mom's Over 50,Weight Loss — Greta @ 3:49 pm
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This day started normal, but ended with $500 less in my wallet. I finished my 5-mile bike ride and then drove my son to the local hospital where he’s part of the Scrubs Program. Under this Program, he volunteers to help nurses with their duties in various departments for a total of 40 hours and receives a certificate of completion. This is great for someone considering a career in medicine as you get to see what life in the medical profession is all about. He’s learned that nurses are hardworking and unappreciated, and that he’d rather be the doctor than a nurse.

After I dropped him off, I headed to a local car repair shop to get a quick oil change and have a break light replaced. All in preparation for our 750-mile trek to New York to move my daughter into her new dorm. But that didn’t happen. As soon as I pulled in and handed the mechanic my keys, my ignition switch died. The shop suggested I have it towed to a Honda Dealership. So I called AAA and had it towed to Stokes Honda. I had gone there before, but as my 2004 Honda Odyssey has 185,000 miles, I figure it doesn’t matter where I get my oil changes. But an ignition switch, definitely the dealership.

I immediately called the local rental car shops only to find that it would cost me $500 to rent a replacement van for our weekend trip! But good news, the dealership could replace the ignition switch and get me back on the road by the late afternoon…for $500. The car is well worth the investment as it is running as well as it did when I bought it. It’s a total dog/kid van with a few nicks and tears, but I love it, and “it’s paid for!” So as long as I don’t have to pay $500 a month for car payments, I’ll keep paying $500 a year to repair it.

With five hours lost, I missed my morning dog walk and ended up at home with more to do than time. I still had to finish packing and then load the van. So after a late dinner, Stacey May and I took our walk and I finished packing the van in time for bed.