Do I Smack-Down Terri In My Hospital’s “Biggest Loser” Contest, Or Do I Walk Away, Now That I Have Reached My Weight Goal?


Me after I weighed myself today. 185 lbs baby! Ten pounds gone in less than 4 days. Yahoooo!

Every year, at the hospital where I work, the Oncology Unit hosts a “Biggest Loser” contest in January. I had gained 10 pounds over the “junk-food” holidays and decided to join as a motivation to get that extra fat off. Well, it’s only day four, and I have reached my goal. My plan was to walk away from the contest happy and healthy once I reached my intended weight, BUT on the weigh-in day,  Terri, a nurse, was smart-talking everyone (of course, she won last year, so maybe she has the right). Anyway, her sassy words have been playing in my head over and over this week. I love Terri to death, but  I think it is time for a smack-down.

To guarantee a win, I will have to lose about 45 pounds. From my starting weight of 195 that will take me down to 150.   This thought doesn’t make me happy. I like my weight where it is now. I think it will be a little unhealthy to go down that far, plus it will bring back bad memories of my skinny, wimpy days in high school. Actually, wait. I better check on the healthy part of that comment…I’m back. The ideal weight for my height and age is around 155, so I’m doing this!  You hear me Terri? I’m coming after you, so you better get your A-game on. Whoot, Whoot!


A Healthy Alternative to Mac and Cheese


2/3 cup grated 2% shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese

2/3  cup 2% milk

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 16 oz. package frozen cauliflower

I've been trying to get my kids to eat healthier. I have found that the best way to do that is to find alternatives to what they already eat that are healthier. Here is one of those.

In a small pot, add 2/3 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, and 2/3 cup 2% milk.

Stir constantly over medium heat until combined. Set aside.

Boil one 16 oz. package of frozen cauliflower (you don't even need to thaw it) in a medium sized pot that has been salted with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.

Strain the cauliflower.

Chop the cauliflower.

Mix them together.

My kids ate it up. They didn't even realize it wasn't mac and cheese until I told them.

FAT BUSTERS: Parmesan Poached Eggs On Creamy Spinach


(NOTE: I am not normally a fan of fat-free. I prefer low-fat for taste and because we need some fat in our diet to be healthy.)

2 teaspoons Brummel & Brown (a low-fat yogurt spread that has half the fat of butter.)

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 – 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

2 teaspoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese

2 teaspoons low -fat sour cream

2 teaspoons grated parmesean cheese (use the fresh stuff, not the kraft parmesan cheese)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

non-stick spray

2 tablespoons low fat milk

salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is so simple, that it must be a sin to cook it. First, thaw your spinach in the microwave (or plan ahead and leave it out to thaw naturally). Set aside.

Over medium heat, sauté 1/4 cup red onions, chopped and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 2 teaspoons Brummel & Brown (until onions are soft).

Next, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup spinach. Cook until heated.

Now add 2 teaspoons low-fat cream cheese, 2 teaspoons low-fat sour cream, 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Cook until cream cheese melts and all ingredients are combined. Turn burner to low, cover and move onto your eggs.

Spray a small pan with non-stick spray, crack two eggs into the pan, salt and pepper to taste, then cook until whites are cooked on the bottom.

Now add two tablespoons low-fat milk around the edges, and cover. The steam from the milk will cook the egg.

Cook until the whites are well done and the yolks are still runny.

Spread spinach mixture on a plate, put eggs on top and sprinkle on another 2 teaspoons of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

FAT BUSTERS: When Sickness and Injury Stomp On Your Exercise Routine

A couple of nights ago, I went to bed sick. Yuck, yuck, yuck! But even worse, it put a short halt on my new exercise routine. (Grrrrr! I hate that!)

But despite my sickness, I can still follow my diet routine. In fact, it is good for my sickness. I still drank two glasses of water in the morning and two at each meal.

I still ate healthy. The next morning for breakfast I had yogurt (portion carbs) and cottage cheese (portion protein).

For lunch I had steamed cut broccoli (portion of veggies), fingerling potatoes (portion of carbs), and since I had no meat I could cook quickly...

I had two hard boiled eggs that were already cooked and in the fridge (portion of protein).

By the afternoon, I was feeling better, so I went into my office at the hospital. I ate dinner at the cafeteria there. I had Hawaiian chicken (portion of protein), steamed broccoli (portion veggies), and rice (portion carbs).

This morning I was anxious to get back to my exercise routine, since I had skipped two days, due to my illness. I chose to jump rope. I figured, I could do it on my back patio and keep an eye on my kids at the same time. BIG mistake, because...

I ended up on the ground writhing in pain. (I guess the high impact of jumping is bad for my back.)

About a month before I started my exercise program, I injured my back, because I bent over with McCann on my shoulders. Stupid I know. I guess my back isn't healed.

So, in a situation like this, I have to deal with a diversion from my normal fitness regimen. First item of importance: heal my back. My whole system will revolve around that first.


1. Set appointment with Dr. Taylor (my family doctor).

2. Research stretches and  exercises to strengthen and heal my back.

3. Research low impact cardio routines that I can do when my back gets strong enough.

Unfortunaly, we will run into road blocks in life - even when it comes to exercise. We just need to work around them (even though it SUCKS!). I will keep you updated you with the progress of my unplanned detour. (Ahhhhh! I'm dying here.)

FAT BUSTERS: Nutrition – Orange Smoothie Protein Shake

Today is Saturday, a weekend day. As I mentioned in my first Fat Busters post, I take weekends off, as far as diet is concerned.

I also mentioned that I still drink three protein shakes through out my days off. This gives me the ability to take the whole weekend off , instead of just one day. Plus, I'm getting nutrition into me, despite all the junk food I eat on these days.


2-4 tablespoons frozen concentrated orange juice (this is my carbohydrate)

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk (this is for flavor and a little protein)

1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (this is my protein – hence the name protein powder, duh!)

This is one of my favorite protein shakes. First, add 2 -4 tablespoons orange juice concentrate. This is my carbohydrate.

Next, add 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk.

Finally, add one scoop of your favorite protein powder (for protein) and...

Blend on high for 15 - 20 seconds.

You could be fancy and serve it with a slice of orange wedged onto the rim of the glass, but I didn't have any oranges this morning to do this with.

My two youngest don't like any of my protein shakes, so I only make them normal smoothies. Maybe you can't stomach protein shakes either. Here are a few tips. Maybe they will help, maybe they won't.

I can't stand skim milk (in most cases. Tastes like watered down milk.), so I use 1% milk. You could go up to 2% milk if you want. This may help. I would stay away from whole milk, though.

Make sure you are using a good tasting protein powder. I use Muscle Milk, which I purchase at Costco (It comes in a million pound bag. It's cheap that way.)

I used EAS for a very, very long time. I switched to Muscle Milk, because I can buy it cheap at Costco (if you can call it cheap to buy a bag as big as myself).

Adding vanilla can help spice-up your shake a lot. Especially if you use real vanilla (and even more if you use a good brand. My favorite brand is Nielson-Massey. I get it from Williams-Sonoma).

If you really want to do it right, I would use vanilla bean paste. It's used just like vanilla, but comes with a real punch. Quite expensive ($11 for this 4 oz. bottle), but worth every cent.

A last resort would be to add a little sugar. Just a little. I would recommend a teaspoon at the most - two if you are dying and your body can handle the extra sugar.

One last thing, I always have my afternoon and evening shake with a vegetable snack - carrot or celery sticks, a bowl of peas, etc. I do that or I use a meal replacement powder vs. a protein powder. My favorite brand of meal replacement powder is no longer sold, so I don't have any recommendations for that.

Fat Busting With Arnold Schwarzenegger, LL Cool J and Bill Phillips (of Body For Life fame)

After seeing this disgusting picture of myself, I decided that I needed to get off my butt and get back into shape. Time to blast the fat away!

I created my own work out system using these three books: The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Platinum Workout by LL Cool J.

And Body For Life by Bill Phillips.

I'm sure you have seen before and after photos like these ones.

The before pictures are always blurry, and have participants slouching and frowning. Slumped shoulders.

The after photos always are professionally taken, with them smiling. Anyway...

Here is my before photo. Hope I did a good job looking sad an hunched-over. I am going to blog my experience. Here we go. Time for take-off.



1. Eat healthy on weekdays and whatever I want on weekends. (Weekdays = Monday breakfast up to Friday Dinner. Weekends =  Friday Dinner to Sunday dinner.)

2. On my healthy days, I eat 6 moderate sized meals with one portion each of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Usually 2 -3 of those meals are meal replacement/protein shakes due to time constraints.

3. On weekends I still drink three protein shakes through out each day, even though it is my day off.


1. Cardio workouts are on  Monday, Wednesday, Friday

2. Weight training on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (alternating upper and lower body).

3. Sundays are my day off.

4. When I weight train, I don’t use a spotter. I workout to fail, then I lower the weight to finish out the last set.

5. Twice a month I exhaust my muscles in my weight training (i.e. I do three sets of 12 reps like normal, then I continually lower the weights and do sets until I cannot even lift 2.5 lbs.)

5. Cardio workouts are done in three stages: A) Warm up B) moderate C) Kill/stretch myself. Push it to the limit. (I do this three times each cardio session.)

Making It Real:

1. I allow leeway for slips, mistakes and temptation. I don’t get overly concerned if I slip and eat a  candy bar or don’t go 100% on my workout. I just don’t make it a habit to do these things all the time. I am human. I will slip up. I know this.

2. Keep the long term goal in mind

As of this post, I have been going strong at this work out for two weeks. I have already lost my love handles and most of my gut. Can't wait to see the results when I am done. And I am excited to share with you my experience of this process. Well, let's get back to work.