Tag: healthy eating

Smilingldsgirl Mentioned on KSL

So my cousin Anne Tuttle Brown was on the radio this morning for the program “A Woman’s View” with Amanda Dixon.  Eventually they started talking about plastic surgery and the desire to change our bodies.  It was during this discussion that Anne mentioned my post The Only happy FAT woman in America.

She said my motivation to change my body was not because I hate myself but because I love who I am and want to be healthy.  She talked about how I can look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman despite being overweight.  Amanda Dixon asked for the name of the blog and Anne told her.  Amanda then said the blog sounded like “genius!”.

It was an exciting moment! (I know it is just Utah radio but it made me feel like a celebrity for a couple seconds!) It is especially exciting because I love Amanda Dixon and ate up her book called “Wake Up to a  Happier Life”.  I related to it because it is about her journey from her unhappy legal career to a fulfilling job in radio.  As all you loyal blog readers know, I faced a similar career challenge several years ago. Making the decision to jump into the unknown, searching for happiness, has made all the difference.

Anyway, they mentioned the blog and spoke highly of it.  Thanks Anne for paying me such a compliment!  I love writing this blog and it is my hope that it inspires just a few people, or at least makes them laugh.  If it does so for one person then it is well worth the effort!

This is an mp3 file of the entire program ads and all.  My part is in the last 13 minutes.

Healthy Recipe Contest

Yesterday I went to my free trainer session at my gym.  Fortunately my trainer is awesome, thoughtful and understanding (she is a former overweight girl herself).  I felt great about our session until today when my entire body hurt- and when I say entire, I mean just that.  Unfortunately for me she gave me an assignment to replicate the work out every day except Sunday and then meet and report on Monday.  I’m not exaggerating when I say every muscle in my body revolted against mere movement today, let alone exercise.   However, knowing my body lies, I forced myself to the gym and did the routine.  Then I suffered 2o minutes on the exercise bike.  My face was red, my body ached like it was being tortured and I felt ready to pass out but I made it through.  Now I am writing this post full of ibuprofen and smelling strongly of bengay but I’m proud of myself.  I did it and it was really hard.

In an effort to NOT think about tomorrow’s exercise I have an exciting proposition.  Since I started to change my life, I have been trying different cookbooks on healthy eating from the library with limited success.  I did find one that had a cool recipe for pork chops with roasted grapes (sounds weird but it was great!) Most of the recipes have been either stuffed with lame substitutes (cool whip is no whip cream), or are completely lacking in flavor.

Here’s my idea…I am going to have a healthy recipe contest.  Anyone can enter by sending me a healthy recipe via email to smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com.  This can be baking, cooking, grilling whatever but please make it a recipe you have actually tried.  Do not simply google “healthy fried chicken recipe”.  I would particularly love recipes that mimic or satisfy cravings for comfort foods.  These recipes do not have to be “quick cooking foods”.  In fact the more ambitious the better! Some examples of healthy recipes I would love are:

fried chicken or chicken fingers


spaghetti and meatballs (I would love a great healthy meatball recipe)



french toast (breakfast food in general is a real craving)

snack foods

fettuccine alfredo (Italian food would be great)

thanksgiving food (turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing etc)

chicken and noodles

chili and cornbread

grilled cheese and soup

thai food

lemon chicken

wheat bread/rolls

quesedilla (or other interesting latin food)

gourmet salads

homemade ice cream

cookies (chocolate chip are a favorite)



indian food


gourmet sandwiches


pies (especially lemon meringue would be a thrill)

The recipes you send can be variations of traditional dishes.  (Such as lemon mirengue pudding instead of pie).  Please include the source for recipe if received from a cookbook or magazine (also add the nutritional information if it comes with).  I have a traditionally stocked kitchen with stick blender, blender, kitchenaid mixer,  food processor and george foreman grill.  I do not currently have a waffle iron or souffle pan.

Once I have tested the recipes (might take a while- sorry) I will declare a winner and he/she will receive:

$20 gift card to Williams Sonoma. (that’s right!  If there are 2 great recipes I may have a second place prize).

Instant fame with the recipe publication on my blog (I know its a big prize!)  🙂

Consider your efforts to send recipes as your piece in my eventual fitness puzzle.  Just think of it-  someday you can see the stunning skinny me and think “thank you, I had a part in that gorgeous woman!”  Seriously, it would be a big help and I am keenly grateful in advance.  Happy cooking!

The Only Happy FAT Woman in America

This is kind of a continuation on the last post but I was so angry  I just had to write about it.  Today I went to the gym and worked extra hard to burn off some of 2 pieces of pizza and a breadstick I ate for lunch. (Did I mention pizza/Italian food is my weakness?). Anyway, I decided to do 35 minutes on the exercise bike and then my usual swimming (ended up doing 25 min in the pool- 1 hour total one of my longest exercise sessions!).  As I was pushing myself on the bike I started to watch the Oprah show.  She was doing an episode profiling extreme weight loss with fitness guru Bob Greene (who I might add has a promotions deal with McDonalds….Strange?).  As I watched the program I found myself wanting to throw a shoe at the screen.  Once again the people were portrayed in the “before” section as practically less than human. One woman was so depressed she ordered a two tiered wedding cake and ate it all over 2 days.  Really? That hardly seems like an example most overweight women can relate to.  Most of us feel guilty for eating one piece of cake and work hard at frustratingly slow results.

Maybe these types of examples encourage  some people but it leaves me feeling depressed and angry.  All people have divine worth, fat or not, and just because you lose weight does not mean you will automatically feel better about yourself.  Why do no shows seem to get this? Why is great weight loss always proceeded by self-loathing and despair?  Why can’t we celebrate the accomplishment of great weight loss on its own without downgrading the original overweight person? Just once I’d like to see someone that found the inner strength to get healthy without all of the misery.   I guess this is why I’ve never responded to the show Biggest Loser.  I know many find it motivating but it always frustrates me.  I feel like they take the tough love concept too far and are overly-critical, degrading and even hateful. If you talked about other aspects of a persons appearance or personality  in the same manner that people talk about weight it would never be tolerated and would be labeled as hate speech.

I guess this is motivating for some people but not me.  In fact, when I was depressed and full of self-loathing at my old job I gained more weight than ever.  It wasn’t until I completed 3 years of healing (yes healing) that I decided I was happy enough to make a change.  The only show on TV that shows a little bit of this type of weight loss is Ruby on the Style Network.  While definitely having her issues, at least Ruby has some spunk and seems to be a happy person.  I haven’t watched it much but those are my initial impressions.

To all you network executives I’ve got a great idea for a show.  Take a happy over weight woman like me who is trying to lose weight and pair her with an unhappy teenage girl trying to lose weight and let them take the journey together.  Maybe that teenager will actually learn to love herself and not just get a makeover?  I think it would be great TV but what do I know.  I clearly have a very different personality than all the people inspired by Oprah’s program this afternoon.  Its tough to argue with Oprah’s success, but you think she would be more sympathetic to overweight individuals given her public struggles? (By the way, anyone considering having me on a TV show know this- I will not wear only a sports bra with shorts, or a 2 piece bathing suit on national television- glad that’s out there! :))

Oh well.  I suppose this is one more example of my exasperated cry- “Why won’t everyone behave the way I want them too!”.  Until that happens I think I’m going to stop watching these types of programs even if I have to find a new piece of equipment at the gym.   Otherwise, I might actually throw a shoe, which would be very bad!

23 lbs

23 lbs of lard. This was all in me! Crazy!

So today I found out that I have lost 23 lbs since I started exercising at the beginning of March.  I am now at 290 lbs- having started at 313. I went to the grocery store and took pictures of what 23 lbs looks like.  It is shocking! Just thought I would share this with all of you. Particularly seeing the lard makes me want to try extra hard to get rid of the rest.   It’s just hard to believe all of it was inside me! Amazing!  Thanks for all the support.

Fast Food Pledge

I have mentioned on this blog about  my recent pledge to stop eating fast food.  What I didn’t explain is that I have made a commitment to myself that I will not eat any fast food for the entire summer.  For fast food I am including anything with a drive-up window and any of the national chains (McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, In N’ Out and even Subway).  I am trying to change the way my body craves things.  I know that some of these places have healthier options but the problem is I seldom make those good choices.  I am weak and this challenge will hopefully make me strong.  I’m not saying I am never going out to eat but if I do it will be a rare sit down event- a special treat.  The one exception to this rule  is frozen yogurt as it is low in calories and delicious.

As I have told others about the challenge some have expressed interest in joining me!  This is very helpful. In fact, my friends Tiffany and Emilee have both agreed. We decided that as a reward for the entire summer we will do something fun like go to Lagoon (an amusement park in Utah that I’ve actually never been too).  It is a difficult challenge- especially for Tiffany as she is an at-home CNA.  It’s often surprising how much fast food we eat.  At least for me, I had no idea how frequently I ate it. By not eating fast food I am helping reduce my caloric, fat, salt and sugar intake.  Plus, I’m eating food that tastes good, made by hand.

In fact, today is a good example of the benefits of this challenge.  A few of my friends and I worked at our home in Alpine on the yard ( I hate that yard!  Its so labor-intensive, but you should have seen it after we were done.  Amazing!).  Following hours of weeding we were all ready for lunch.  In the past I would have gotten Subway but due to the challenge I had to think ahead and purchased everything for a simple grilled (turkey and regular) hot dog lunch with fresh strawberries, water and rice crispy treats (90 calories a treat.  Even though Tiff ate 5!).  It was a yummier, less expensive and healthier meal than fast food .

There are so many examples in the past month and half like today- moments where I would have gotten fast food but instead came up with another solution.  It has been great!  I would like to encourage all of you to join me in the “No Fast Food Pledge”.  The more support I have the better chance that I’ll succeed.  You will be healthier, save money and feel better.  I already can see a difference (even with my fatigue from exercising I can sense an improvement).   If someone can think of a clever way to do it perhaps we can think of some type of incentive for those that complete the challenge.  If you are in Utah you can join us for Lagoon or some place similar.

Good luck and join the challenge!  No fast food!

No More Fast Food!

Exercising My Life Update 1

I promised I would give regular updates on how my exercise quest is going.  So here goes.  I have been doing very well.  For the last few weeks (since the beginning of March) I have been exercising regularly and watching what I eat.  The last month I stepped it up a notch and have been exercising every day.  For a while I tried three times a week but then I found myself making excuses and only doing two sessions.  It has been hard and exhausting.  Every day around 3 pm I am exhausted and need to take a nap (that comes from a normally non-nap taker!).  Luckily I have the support of my employer (my dad) and a job that is flexible enough to allow short naps (20 minutes).  I am hopeful that the longer I keep it up the less tired I will feel.  Hopefully someday I will feel energized from exercising.  Right now my body is fighting it hard!

Each week I have seen consistent improvement until this week when I actually gained a pound 😦  I know there are variations in water weight and that increased muscle mass makes a difference but it was discouraging at first.  Part of the gain might be that I had 2 ear infections last week and only exercised 3 times.  Still, I was proud of myself because usually I use getting sick as an excuse to eat comfort food, which I did not do.

There have been many subtle changes like that.  I have been keeping a food log and here are some of my comments.


” I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t go out in public.  Too much to tempt me!  Everywhere I go there is food and my little brain thinks of every excuse to get some.  Today staying inside and kind of doing a fast to get back on track.  I can do this”


“Today I decided to take a sick day because I still feel exhausted from the last few days.  Between the infections, lack of sleep and hard work I just am tuckered out…At least I tried to not go overboard on the whole being sick comfort food thing.  So I found out that Thai food is super bad for you.  I was shocked because nothing is deep fried and it seems kind of healthy.  Not so much…Learn something new on this quest every day!”


“Lately I’ve been craving steak but its so expensive and not good for me….It is so hard to resist the craving but getting easier with every right decision. Today I did 27 minutes on the bike and my heart rate went up to 151.”


“Today I feel like I could sleep all day.  When will I get more energy? It seems like it will never come.  I think I will exercise tonight while watching Dancing with the Stars.  Determined to eat well today!’


“Today I exercised for a half hour and burned 175 calories.  I’m still super tired especially around 4 pm but am going to get an iron supplement.  Hopefully that will help.  I ate good today.  I made one of my favorite dishes, crepes, but instead of white flour I used buckwheat flour and eliminated the butter. They were surprisingly tasty! … I got a new quote today that inspires me “you have to want to be skinny more than you want the bad foods”.  I put that on my fridge. Hopefully it will motivate me to continue to make good choices.”


‘Last night I got super hungry and had a midnight snack I should not have.  I am feeling the result today.  Next week I will have no food after 9. Moving onward!”


“Today made pancakes with buckwheat flour and eliminated the butter on top and in the recipe.  Still mighty tasty! Tonight at Grandma’s will be an interesting test of my self control…”


“Today I exercised hard (190 calories on the bike and did weights) and was tempted to go to fast food rationalizing that “Subway was the healthy way…”  Resisted and was glad I did.  I’ve got to fight those cravings.  It is 5 and don’t feel as tired.  Maybe getting more used to exercise (hopefully!) and maybe the iron pills are helping?

Yesterday we had Mothers Day meal at grandmas.  Did pretty well….Only had  a small serving of mashed potatoes (they were so good!).  The victory of the night was leaving before the pie was made.   It was my favorite- lemon meringue.  There are some things I know I can’t have just one bite of and lemon meringue pie is one of them!”

As you can see there have been some small set backs, but I am proud that I have not eaten fast food in close to a month.  I have gone out a couple of times but I’ve tried to limit it and to select healthy when I do.  I am exercising nearly every day and trying to keep my spirits up and my motivation high.  Thank you to everyone for all your love and support.  Will update again soon.  Hopefully this time with more weight loss! Any tips you can give on having more energy (not being so tired from exercising) would be appreciated. Keep me in your prayers. I need all the help I can get.

Dieting is so miserable at least I found this funny

My friends, I am once again dieting.  This time the main reason is to help boost my gall bladder health.  While that might sound odd, I have good reasons. My nurse friend keeps pointing out that my gall bladder might be heading for problems.  This would not only be painful but since I only have a high deductible insurance plan I can’t pay for surgery right now.  Hopefully everything will be fine but in the meantime I am trying to stick to a diet I found on a website for gall bladder problems and praying that will solve the problem.  I figure it couldn’t hurt.  The main things it suggests are items high in amino acids such as grapes, celery, berries,  carrots, fish (it says wild fish but I can’t afford that) soy milk, prunes (yuck!)  and whole wheat breads- yummy, hah….not so much? At the same time you are to avoid dairy (except for yogurt and cottage cheese), meats including fowl, pork and beef, nuts and oddly all cabbage type vegetables.  In general low fat is supposed to be good but omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oils and olive oil are recommended.  The diet is big on organic foods but again those get into money.   All fast food is out- especially anything that is fried.  I have also been working on the wii fit to try and get in shape.  That blasted animated trainer is killing me!

Anyway, I have been trying the diet this week and am doing okay.  I’m on week 2 of consistent work on the wii fit.  I wish I could say I never messed up but there has been an improvement from weeks previous.  Today I started out strong with a turkey (just one slice) sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and mustard.  On the side I had some a few corn chips without trans fats and some strawberries.  This was pretty good.

Unfortunately things went down hill from there.  I met up with a friend for a late lunch (my hair stylist Grace who got me sweet deals on a new flat iron and hair product).  I loved chatting with Grace but the Cafe Rio meal was definitely off the diet. I did try to minimizing the damage by only eating half and getting half chicken/half pork instead of just pork.  I also got the burrito without any cheese.  I haven’t quite figured out how to stay on a diet and be social and have fun.  I felt like I did the best I could but still feel frustrated.  Any tips? Be nice!

The other confession…I had some ice cream later on in the evening.  In my defense it was lower calorie ice cream (6 grams fat for 1/2 cup), but still I shouldn’t have.

At least I am trying, and I mean to keep updating my blog regularly with how I am doing.  Any motivation you’ll can give me would be great.  I really don’t want to have  surgery for my gall bladder, and I want to be healthy.  I suppose I should celebrate the small victories and keep pressing forward.

I did have a nice phone call from Miriam and a pleasant visit from my Uncle Tom today.  Plus the lunch with Grace- so I would say I did pretty well socially today! Still, I felt a little discouraged on the dieting front.  However, this made me laugh.  I think it encompasses dieting to a tee.  At least I didn’t end the day eating cheesecake from the freezer!:

This is a specially formulated diet designed to help women cope with the stress that builds during the day.
1 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 cup skim milk
1 small portion lean, steamed chicken
1 cup spinach
1 cup herbal tea
1 Hershey’s kiss
The rest of the Hershey Kisses in the bag

1 tub of Hagen-Dazs ice cream with chocolate chips

4 glasses of wine (red or white)
2 loaves garlic bread
1 family size supreme pizza
3 Snickers Bars
1 whole Sarah Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer).


One last comment- I am very sad Jorge got voted off Idol.  I thought he would last longer.  I am a big fan of Danny and that’s pretty much it.  I think all the girls are bad except for Lil.  I can’t believe Megan  Corkey stayed on after her song.  It was terrible. The judges were definitely too soft on her and too hard on Jorge.  Oh well!  That’s a reality singing competition for you!