Wednesday, December 9, 2009


A little late, but better than never...

This week was measurement week. The third time that I have taken them since the beginning of this journey. Here are the results...bust - lost 1/2 inch for a total of 2 1/2 inches since week 1, waist - lost 1 inch for a total of 3 inches, hips - lost 1 inch for a total of 2 1/2 inches, arm - lost 1 inch for a total of 2 inches, and leg - lost 1 1/2 for a total of 2 1/2. This month I lost a total of 5 inches and a total of 12 1/2 inches since the beginning!

It was great to watch the Biggest Loser finale this week. Seeing the end results of all of those contestants was inspirational and motivating. The at home winner lost 49.8% of her body weight and the grand prize winner, Danny, lost 239 pounds (I don't remember the percentage, but it was over 50%!)! I can't wait for the day of my "reveal"! Seeing the joy on all of their faces was so exciting! If you didn't watch it, you can catch it online.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 13 Results

I am amazed and excited to report that I lost 3 1/2 pounds this week! That brought me to a total of 22 1/2 pounds! Now, there is officially $200 in the pot for the first 20 pounds lost. From here on out, I will be putting the money in in $50, or 5 pound, increments. This was supposed to be the day to measure inches, but I forgot. So, I will try and measure tomorrow and post those results then.

Hope everyone is getting their Christmas shopping done!! And don't forget to tune into the Biggest Loser finale tomorrow night!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 12

I am happy to report that even with Thanksgiving (and all the food that goes along with it!), that I was down 1/2 pound for a total of 19 pounds in 12 weeks. Even though I didn't make my goal of being down 20 pounds this week, I am glad that I still was able to lose with the holiday!

Below is my food for today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 11 Results

I am so happy to report that I am down 3 pounds this week for a total of 18.5 pounds! I haven't had a week this big since the beginning few weeks and I couldn't be happier about it! My goal, even with Thanksgiving this week, is to be down 1.5 pounds next week so I can hit 20 pounds in 12 weeks! In order to acheive that goal, I really need to watch my food intake for all the other meals this week and make sure to get plenty of workouts in.

I am thankful to all of you out there who send me encouragement. It really keeps me focused and on track. Knowing there are people out there that are proud of me and possible even inspired by me is a little overwhelming at times. Thank you so much for reading and keeping up with me.

Below is my food for today...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 10 Results

Today is week 10 results. I can't believe it has been 10 weeks already! This week I was down 0.5 pounds. Not a great week, but at least it was a loss. The last two weekends have been hard for me with food. Last weekend I went on a retreat where they liked to serve you meals and snacks like you might never see food again. I was happy when I got back from the retreat to discover that I had maintained my 15 pound loss. This weekend I went up to Oklahoma to visit some of my old youth girls. While I did pretty good for most of the weekend, I did have a hamburger and fries from Eskimo Joe's yesterday. I couldn't help it, it is a Stillwater icon. It is just something that had to be done!

But now it is time to strap down and get serious again. I don't want it to take 10 weeks for every 15 pounds. That is way too long! So hopefully I got all of that out of my system, and I can continue on, stronger than ever.

On another note, I think I have semi-decided on what I am going to do for my reward of staying strong and continuing on with my journey. Every pound that I lose will represent $10. When I reach a 15 pound mark, I am going to put the money into a fund, so I would have $150 right now. By the time I reach my goal weight, I will have a nice little fund to use on something I would never go out and just buy myself. Right now I am leaning towards a diamond tennis bracelet. Something that I can wear daily to remind me of all my hard work!

Below is my food for the day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


What is SYTYCD? It's So You Think You Can Dance! A show kind of like American Idol, but for dancing. If you have never seen it and like dancing, you should check it out for sure. It comes on FOX on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Just recently they have come out with workout videos featuring previous cast members. As soon as I heard about these, I put both DVDs on my Netflix list. This weekend I finally had a chance to watch a couple of movies, so I sent them back in, and today in my mailbox were both these new workout DVDs. They include warm up and cool downs, and you can pick which routine you want to learn. For my first workout I tried the hip hop routine, of course. It was easy to learn and got my heart rate going. I can't wait to try out some of the other styles.

Below is my food for today. When I finished this list I had 167 unaccounted for calories. I ended up using them on a new granola bar for 170 calories, so 3 over for the day. Not too bad! I am going on a retreat starting tomorrow night, so I won't have any updates until Sunday night, or depending on how tired I am, Monday night. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Tonight's random workout was Cardioke! What is Cardioke you ask? It is a cardio dance workout and karaoke in one! You learn fun dance routines and are encouraged to sing along to the music (they even play the words at the bottom of the screen, just like karaoke!) At one point there was even a made up song with words to help you remember the dance moves! This workout was so cheesy and so much fun! Billy Blanks Jr. (son of Billy Blank's - you probably remember him from his workout craze...Tae Bo) has put together this great workout to songs that everyone knows. We had so much fun doing this video, laughing at some of the cheesiness, talking about the people dancing in the background, and the cool down...well, you will just have to do it yourself to witness that! I couldn't believe how fast the 3o minutes seemed to fly by! I would tell you to check it out if you have On Demand, but sadly, it said today was the last day. I think there was a second one, which I will have to check out. The workout was great, and we both definitely broke a good sweat. I would have to say, this is one of my new favorite ways to get in 30 minutes of cardio!

Below is my food from today. Be sure to check back tomorrow because I should be doing another random workout then! Stay tuned...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 8 Results

I can't believe it has been 8 weeks already. Part of me feels like these first two months have flown by, and then other parts feel like I have been doing this forever already! I am happy to report that I lost 2 pounds this week for a total of 15 pounds! I am trying to decide at what increments I should be rewarded, every 20 pounds, every 25 pounds, and what should that reward be? I would love to hear your, that way I know you are reading :)

As this was the end of October, this Monday was also the day to measure. I wasn't as happy with these results as I was with the pounds for this week. I lost a 1/2 inch of my bust, 1/2 inch off my arm, and 1 1/2 inches of my hips (that one I am excited about!) for a total of 2 1/2 inches (or 3 inches if you count each arm).

Since I took a few days off from posting, I thought I would tell you about last week's random workout. We did the sculpt part of Power 90 which was about 30 minutes. I was a little worried about what the workout might be like since I have heard that p90x is really hard, and this is by the same man. It started out with some great stretching (that remind me of several drill team stretches!) and then went on to work the arms and legs. I really liked it! It did a great job of working out the different muscle groups. It was just challenging enough that there were parts that I felt like I had to push to get through, but not so challenging that it was intimidating. And how do I know it worked? I was pretty sore for the next two days, including my abs from holding them in place during the workout, even though there was no specific ab exercises. I can't vouch for the other parts of the DVD, but the sculpt part might be one of my new favorites!

Below is my food from today. I worked out on the treadmill before work this morning. I tried a new preset workout this morning and it really pushed me. Most of the workout was done at a 7 or 8 incline (that's pretty steep for those of you that don't use treadmills!). Hopefully I can keep up the morning workout trend. I like knowing that I have gotten my workout in for the day before anything else can interfere. Tomorrow is random workout day once again. What will this week be?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baylor's 100th Homecoming

This past weekend was Baylor's 100th Homecoming. For those that don't know, every year, some of my friends (and their children) from college get together and spend the weekend enjoying the festivities and remembering our college days. This year was no different. We had a great time with coffe at Common Grounds (I went 3 times in 3 days!), dinner at Ninfa's (one of our favorite spots), watched the pep rally, bonfire, parade, and football game. I thought I would share a few pictures from the weekend.

An adorable family and some of my best friends!

At the bonfire!

Our amazing Baylor Bear! Sic 'em!

My favorite float of the parade...Jungle Book (of course by the KOTs)
Bailey and I at the parade! We became best friends this weekend.

With the fun and busy weekend, there wasn't too much time to carefully watch what I was eating. I must admit to splurging here and there, and I became very worried about my Monday weigh in. I am sad to report that I lost no weight this week, but happy to report that at least I didn't gain from the weekend out of town. Hopefully next Monday will bring better results.
Below is my food for today. Today was random workout day and I will report on that later this week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Since the disaster of pancake making, I bought a cheap waffle maker to try and use my pancake mix that way instead. Tonight was the first attempt, and I would say it was mostly a success. The first ones didn't turn out too firm, so I decided to pop them in the toaster, and that actually worked out quite nicely. I did discover though, that I didn't think they were too feeling. Thank goodness I could have IheartYogurt for dessert! They have so many different flavors that average 22 calories an ounce. I had enough calories for 9.5 ounces and tried to guesstimate and went a little over at 11.5 (they weigh it for you and that is how you pay), so 44 extra calories, not too bad.

Tomorrow I am off to Waco for Baylor homecoming! I am ready for a fun weekend away with old friends. I know there will be tempting foods and foods that I am unsure of the calories I will try to be careful! Hopefully on Monday I will have an ok weigh in and fun pictures to share! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jack in the Box

I ventured to a new place for dinner tonight, Jack in the Box. Come dinner time, I had 610 calories left. There is an app on my iPhone called Lose It. It is a great program that allows you to keep track of all of your food and exercise as well as keep track of your weight loss progress. The program stores foods you have created, but also has so many restaurant and grocery store foods built into it. So, I pulled into the parking lot and scrolled through my options. I found on that I could get the Chicken Fajita Pita for 300 calories and a small Natural Cut Fry for 268. I liked the pita so much that I decided to take a picture and post it. I don't think that pita looks like something you would get from a drive thru, Not bad for a place that my sister and used to call Jack in the Crack!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I don't know what my deal has been for the last few days, but I have just not wanted to blog. I have no idea why, but I have just not been in the mood. It's not that I ate bad things and didn't want to post, it's not that I have or haven't been working out, I just don't know what it is. But, what I realized tonight was, we don't always get to do what we want to do, or we don't always want to do what we need to do. And for that reason, I am forcing myself to blog tonight because it is what I NEED to do. I need to stay strong with posting and keeping myself accountable to everyone out there.

Below is my food for today. As you can see by the chart, there is no dinner posted and there were 770 calories left over for dinner. I met a former co-worker for drinks at a restaurant called Rise, that is right by my house. They might not have the best website, but they do have many other great things. Since our plan was just to have drinks, we settled down at the bar and both order a glass of wine (mine was sparkling, estimated at 95 calories). After talking for a while, we decided we should have a little food and ordered a cheese plate (mine portion I am going to estimate at 300 calories - based off what I know about a serving of Kraft cheddar). As we were enjoying our cheese and wine, the chef came out from the kitchen with a beautiful spinach souffles! He told us that they had an extra one in the kitchen and he would hate for it to go to waste, so we got to indulge for free! If you had asked me before today about the calories in a souffle, I would have had no idea, but luckily, on their menu, they state that the savory souffles have 263 to 413 calories and that the sweet souffles range from 122 to 317 calories. I was shocked! It seems like such a decadent treat that I had no idea had a lower calories content. So, we both ordered another glass of wine (another 95 calories) and shared the souffle (estimated at 178 calories for my half of the souffle if it falls in the middle of the range above), for a total dinner estimated calories of 668, still about 100 calories under the balance. So, when I got home, I had one of my snicker treats that I made last week. I already can't wait to go back, try another souffle, and next time, get a sweet one as well!!

Tomorrow is random workout stay tuned!
Oh, I almost forgot! Today is results day since I didn't post yesterday. As of yesterday morning, I was down another 1.5 pounds for a total of 13 pounds! Finally, a week at over 1 pound. Let's see if that streak can continue!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is It Over Yet?!?

So, remember how in yesterday's post I talked about how my stove didn't work last night? Well, after discussing the situation with a co-worker, it was decided that the reason my stove wouldn't heat up is because, most likely, that my pilot light was out (not unlike your hot water heater). We then looked up how to re-light it to see if I thought I could do it myself. As I walked in the door, there was an overwhelming gas smell that met me as I entered! Because the pilot light isn't lit, the gas is just escaping into the air. I immediately opened all the windows, turned on a fan, trying for the house to air out. So, after about an hour of panic, not being able to turn it off, being scared that the house was going to blow up, and thoughts of calling the fire department....I talked to a couple of friends and figured out, finally, how to get the gas off.

Due to all the panic, I didn't end up working out today. I need make sure I work out all weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!! Hopefully this week can break the one pound a week pattern. Below is my food for the day. I made a couple new sweet treats yesterday and today. I will try and post at least once this weekend and give the recipes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is not my week...

Apparently this is not my week for trying to cook new foods. Today, I decided I wanted to have a BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner. I looked up all my ingredients while I was at work and calculated my calories and portion sizes. When I got to the store after work, some of my ingredients weren't there, but I was able to improvise and make it work. I got home, cooked the turkey (one of my last minute changes), preheated the over, shredded the meat, mixed it with the BBQ sauce, laid it all out, went to put it in the oven....and it was COLD! At first I thought that I had forgotten to set the temperature, but no, it was set at 425, but there was no heat at all. I turned it off, let it set, and then turned it back on. I guess I thought maybe the gas didn't catch or something, but no, my over no longer works! Luckily, I live in a duplex and called my neighbor and asked her if she could pop it in her oven...after all, it only needed about 10 minutes to bake. So, after all of that, I finally had a cooked pizza. I decided that I needed to take a picture of it after all that work! This recipe is super simple...shred cooked chicken or turkey (you could even use the rotisserie chickens from the store for even faster prep time), mix with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Kraft's Light Original and it still has a great taste, even for a light!), spread on top of a pre-made crust (such as Boboli - they make a whole wheat one), top with 1 cup mozzarella (of course, mine was with 2% milk - and it still melted great). Pop it in the oven at 425 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes, and you are set. My version (with turkey) came in just barely over 450 calories for 1/4 of the pizza. Not too bad! Good thing now I have leftovers and don't have to cook tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

I decided to try something new for dinner tonight. I love breakfast food, but hardly ever have the time to actually make breakfast in the morning. Last week at the store, I picked up Fiber One pancake mix and some lite syrup. Tonight was the night to try the new pancake mix. I heated my skillet, mixed the mix (and even added some mashed bananas), and dropped the first spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet. Apparently, I am horrible at making pancakes! I am blaming it on the gas stove (because I never remember having this problem before). The first pancake almost immediately burned on the outside and was completely doughy on the inside. Pancake two stuck to the pan and I couldn't flip it. Needless to say, I did not eat pancakes for dinner as indicated on my food log below. For those of you that don't know, I put together my log at work because I plan ahead for the day which is often how I figure out snacks and desserts. So, instead of my great breakfast for dinner plan, I had a salad with lettuce, 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of brown rice, some salsa and two tablespoons of light sour cream for a total of 315 calories. For my remaining 85 calories, I drank part of a Dr. Pepper (I had been craving a soda today).

For today's random workout I did a Cardio Dance workout on my On Demand. It was pretty good. I liked it better than last weeks Hip Hop Cardio, so at least that is something. I think next week I need to switch back to some kind of strength and toning random workout. We will see what I can find. Any suggestions are welcome!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Results Day

It seems like the time as flown by since last results day. Once again, the weekend is over and it is Monday. This morning I weighed in and found myself down another pound. I know I should be happy. I lost a pound. But instead of feeling excited this morning I found myself disappointed. I guess I was hoping for bigger results, and for the last two weeks I have just weighed in one pound less. I am trying to think about what I can do better this week to try and get it back up. Maybe work out more days a week? Maybe different workouts? I feel like I have done a pretty good job sticking with my 1500 calorie diet, so there is much to change there. Maybe these two weeks at 1 pound each are my motivation to keep going, to continuing to put effort in, a reminder that this doesn't come easy.

So, I went online to try and find a picture for today's post and came across these. One shows a representation of one pound of fat and the other is five pounds. I know, they both look really gross. But seeing this visual made me feel better about my weekly results. And then the five pound piece....I have already lost more than twice that!

Below is my food for the day. I once again did one of the preset workouts on my treadmill today. Tomorrow is random workout stay tuned!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I am loving...

...the cooler weather!! It finally feels like Fall. It is perfect football weather. It makes me want to go out and buy a pumpkin for the front steps. And for the first night, I had to add my fleece blanket to the bed! Oh, the little things that excite me!

Tonight, on "Say Yes to the Dress" (yes, I am a hopeless romantic that dreams about weddings!), there was a girl shopping for her wedding dress and she had lost 120 pounds! I wanted to jump through the screen and ask her so many questions! How long did it take her? How did she do it? What kind of support did she have? I thought she was a beautiful girl. I feel like she had a style much like my own. It sadden me to watch her shop for her dress as she didn't realize how beautiful she was. She looked so fabulous, yet when she looked in the mirror, she still saw the old her looking back at her. She, not unlike me, had been big her whole life. They showed pictures of her growing up and it reminded me so much of myself. I hope that one day, I get to the point where she is physically. She was beautiful. But I hope and pray that I move past her emotionally. I want to be proud of my new body. I want to love myself and enjoy my accomplishments. I don't want to be trapped in this body for forever, if even it is only in my mind. I am so glad I saw this tonight and could see what I had to look forward to as well as what I want to make sure doesn't happen to me.

Below is my food for today. I took off working out today, so that means this weekend I MUST workout both days!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ready for the Weekend!

I don't know what it has been about this week, but I am ready for it to be over and I am ready for the weekend! I am taking a break in the vacation recap today but will finish it up soon, only a few more days to post about. Today, for the first time, I did one of the preset workouts on the treadmill. They are 30 minutes which is just perfect. I had been putting off doing them because I was worried they would go too fast, or be too hard, but I was happy I tried it. The one I picked today was geared to weight loss, so I thought that would be perfect. Each minute it changes what you are doing. It might increase the speed, increase the incline, or both, or decline one or both. I feel like it actually made the time go by quicker because I was paying attention to what the next level might be and not so much paying attention to the time. It was a little more challenging, and a great way to mix up the daily workouts. Who knows, I might try a different one tomorrow!

Below is my food for the day. I had an individual size Blue Bell for dessert which was 160 calories, so I was 35 under for the day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vacation Recap - Day Five

Day Five started bright and early with the alarm going off at 4:45 AM!!! Yes, you read that right. We were up so early to catch our 7 AM flight to Barcelona! After taking a nap on the plane, getting checked into our hotel and a little planning about how to go about seeing our new city, we were off!

From our hotel, we walked to go see the first of many examples of Gaudi architecture. Antonio Gaudi is a famous Spanish Catalan architect who designed in the Art Nouveau style and lived from 1852 to 1926. Below is Casa Batllo, a house originally built in 1877 and remodled by Gaudi from 1905 - 1907. Locally, this building is known as the House of Bones. You can see that the balconies look like skeltons. Still after all this time, I can't decide if I like Gaudi's work or not. I appreciate his viewpoint and his talent, but if I personally, like it, I think I am still on the fence.

From there we went and walked down Las Ramblas, the main street of Barcelona, lined with shops and restaurants and hotels. We stopped into the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, a vacation must, and somewhere that Marissa had never been! After lunch, and continuing on Las Ramblas, we stumbled upon a market tucked in between some buildings that was absolutely amazing. Here are just a couple of the pictures I took there. Eventually I will get all the pictures uploaded to Facebook, I promise!

We continued down Las Ramblas, saw another work by Guadi, stopped into a few stores, checked out some street performers (Marissa took a lot of convincing that they were, in fact, real people!), and finally made it to the water! I love sail boats (some of you know that I took sailing lessons a couple of years ago), and just had to capture a picture of them in the harbor.

Marissa loves the water and all things related to it, and jumped on to the idea of going to the aquarium which was located out in the harbor. There were some beautiful fish inside. I decided to try and capture some of them. My first picture turned out beautifully (see below), but the rest of them don't quite measure up! On of the neat things about the aquarium was the moving sidewalk through a very large fish tank (which was to our left, right, and above our heads) with all kinds of fish, sting rays, eels, and sharks! The sharks were probably my favorite part (and made me wish Shark Week was coming back soon and not almost a year away!).

We then made our way back onto land, and tried to find another Gaudi building without much luck. We also stopped by to see one of the cathedrals, but our evening pictures just didn't work out, so we ended up going back during the day. For dinner, we had tapas at Taller de Tapas in the gothic district. Both my sister and the guide book recommended it, and I can see why. After dinner we walked down the street and got gelato, another first for Marissa and a great way to end a long day.

Below is my food for today. Today was my off day for working out. Hopefully I will wake up early and do my workout before work tomorrow. Here's to hopeful thinking!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vacation Recap - Day 4

Day Four was another busy day, and the day with the most recorded steps...22,245! We started off the day at the Tower of London. The Tower is one of my favorite sites in London. Once we entered the front gates, we met up with a Beefeater (also known as Yeomen Warders) for a tour of the grounds. Though they mostly serve as tour guides, they are still military and can be prison guards if the need should arise. I have found that the Beefeaters are always quite entertaining story tellers, and part of why I love the Tower so much. We got shown around the grounds, including the spot inside the Tower were the private executions were held. Both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both wives of Henry VIII, and Jane Parker Boleyn (sister-in-law of Anne Boleyn) were all beheaded here. After the tour we quickly headed to see what I consider the main attraction....THE CROWN JEWELS! It is just amazing to see the jewels that belong the the Royal family and to hear stories about where they came from. Both the Cullinan I and II diamonds are found in the Crown Jewels coming in at 530.2 carats and 317.4 carats respectively. Talk about impressive! After all the beauty, we headed into the White Tower for an exhibit on Henry VIII and armor. The White Tower can be seen below and is the main building in the center of the Tower of London.

Once we finished touring the Tower, we headed just outside the walls to get a great view of the Tower Bridge. This is another iconic London site, that is often times mistakenly thought the be the London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge upstream (and a very unassuming bridge at that).
We then headed into the City for a quick lunch and on to see St. Paul's Cathedral. The St. Paul's that is standing now was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (I know, you keep hearing his name!). Wren presented several designs and the final design that was chosen had many elements similar to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The first stone was laid in 1677 and the cathedral was completed in 1708, on Wren's birthday. Like Westminster Abbey, there are many memorials including Christopher Wren, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, and Florence Nightingale. There are also many memorials to service men and women, including on to the US forces that fought with Britian in WWII. Another fun bit of trivia is that this is where Charles and Diana were married.

After all of that history, we headed back to the other side of town for one final stop for the day, Harrod's! Harrod's is a department store, but like no other department store you have ever been in. The store is seven stories and 4.5 acres of shopping! As you enter, the give you a whole booklet as a guide of where to find anything and everything you might want. Some of the highlights were the Christmas area (that was just set up a few weeks before we got there), the pet store, the extreme children's toys, and the food halls. You can get absolutely everything within the walls of Harrod's.
Below is my food for today. I forgot to mention yesterday that I am officially back on the work out wagon. Yesterday I did my 30 minutes on the treadmill, and today I did my random workout...a hip hop cardio video that I found on my On Demand.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1st Month Results

It is results day once again. I feel like this past week flew by. This week was my lowest weight loss to date....but another pound lost, for a total of 10.5 pounds for the first month. This is also the day for the first report of measurements. I have lost a total of 5 inches so far, 1 1/2 inches in the bust, 2 inches in the waist, none in the hips, 1/2 inch in my arm, and 1 inch in my thigh. Pretty exciting stuff!

It is also vacation recap day 3! What a busy day it was! We started out with breakfast at The Wolseley. I had crumpets for the first time. They weren't quite as I had expected, but they were good. I had to try and be a little British! We then quickly went over to Buckingham Palace!! We first toured the Queen's Gallery which was full of generations of royal porcelain (of which I loved every piece!) and a whole display of Faberge (including a beautiful egg!). From the Gallery, we moved on to the Royal Mews. There we saw the coaches that are used by the royal family as well as other dignitaries. There were horse drawn carriages as well as the 1950s Rolls Royce Phantom! The horses were just beautiful. Then it was on to the main attraction, the State Rooms in the Palace! I wish I could have taken pictures because they were just amazing. So much gold gilding, antiques, porcelain, moldings, paintings. It was amazing. There was even a whole exhibit of some of the Queen's dresses including current day dresses to formal gowns from the 60s. You could really feel in that room how much the people of England love her. As we wrapped up the tour, we walked through the Queen's gardens and out of the property.
After we walked back around the Palace, we walked down the Mall until we reached Trafalgar Square in the center of London. In the center of the sqaure in Nelson's Column which is surrounded by four large lion statues. On one side of the square in the National Gallery, which can be seen in the background of the picture below. There was a life size chess set (which was actually being played) in the middle of the square while we were there. I thought it was really cool.
After a quick break for lunch, we walked over to see Big Ben (not to be is the bell inside the tower, not the tower itself). I must say, I think this is one of my favorite sites of London, and I can't even explain why!
Along with Big Ben are the Houses of Parliament, or the Palace of Westminster. These buildings are just amazing and house the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Just across the street from Parliament is Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is not only beautiful, but it is filled with so much history! Since 1066 and the coronations of King Harold and William the Conqueror, all English and British monarchs (except Edward V and Edward VIII - who did not have coronations) have been crowned in the Abbey. There are also many very well known people buried or memoralized at the Abbey, including Edward the Confessor, most Kings and Queens of England, Geoffery Chaucer, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, T.S. Eliot, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and William Shakespeare. I have been luck enough on previous trips to get to attend a worship service at the Abbey, as well as stay at the Westminster School for Boys while studying abroad during college.
We then headed over to Covent Garden for a little shopping and relaxing. I got to stop into some of my favorite stores in London including Paperchase, Cath Kidston, and Orla Kiely. After dinner, we headed over to see my all time favorite musical, Les Miserables! It was absolutely amazing!! I really believe I could watch it every day and never grow tired of it!
Thanks for sticking with me through the long day 3! See you for day four tomorrow!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

State Fair of Texas!

Today I made my annual trip to the State Fair of Texas! With our season tickets to the Dallas Summer Musicals, we get into the Fair for free the day of our show. I decided that the Fair only happens once a year, and I would eat the traditional fair foods. I planned breakfast and lunch carefully so that I only ate 500 calories before Fair time. Lauren and I headed to the Fair around 4 this afternoon. As soon as we parked and entered the gates, we headed to get our coupons so that the food tasting could begin. We made a lap around the fair grounds, checking out the booths, seeing what foods were being offered (and checking to see the times of the pig races!). After taking it all in, we decided to stick with the traditional Fletcher's Corn Dog for our "entree". As we walked around eating our meal, we stopped to watch some Plano Senior High School students as they performed traditional German folkdances. We then made our way to our first new Fair food, the "Peaches and Cream" dish which is fried peach wedges with some whip cream. It was this years "Best Taste" winner, so we just had to try it. It was good and tasted kind of like a peach cobbler. While we indulged in this treat, we caught a little of the Cowboys game, with a pretty rowdy crowd. We then made our way to watch the pig races. Those little pigs are just so cute! Lauren and I both wanted to take one home. With about 40 minutes to go until the musical started, we decided we needed one more salty and one more sweet treat. Lauren picked fried cheese curds for the salty, and I got a cinnamon roll with icing for the sweet. They were both really good. I am not going to lie, I had my doubts about the cheese curds (I mean, with a name like that, do they really think it sounds appealing?), but I was proved wrong. They were really quite tasty! We quickly finished our final Fair food and headed over the the Musical Hall to watch Mary Poppins, the final musical for the 2009 season. It was a great show and one of our favorites of the season. So, until next year...
Well, tomorrow is weigh in day, and I think the first day to report measurements. Hopefully the Fair didn't blow things for me this week! Check in tomorrow!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vacation Recap - Day Two

Day Two of the vacation was a busy day outside of London. Our first stop was Leed's Castle. The castle was built in 1119 and became a royal palace in 1278 for King Edward I. Henry VIII transformed the castle for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, was imprisoned in the castle before her coronation.

The maze, which was constructed in 1988, is a much more recent addition to the castle grounds. I will admit, that after searching through the maze for a while, we did get a helpful hint from a worker in order to help us find the center of the maze, and the way out.
We then headed to Caterbury, a cute town a little further east. Canterbury is home to the Canterbury Cathedral which is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It is the head of the Church of England. Thomas Becket was murdered here in December 1170 by the knights of King Henry II. This led the cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide, and these pilgrimages provided the theme for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. After touring the cathedral, we had a late lunch at a pub (my first fish and chips of the trip!), walked around the town for a bit, and then back into the car for one more stop.

The last stop for the day was Dover, England. Dover sits on the edge of England and faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel. At one point as we were walking along the coast, Heiko's cell phone notified him that we were now in France! Which of course we weren't, but from where we were standing, it was only 18 miles away. Dover is known for its White Cliffs which you can see below. The cliffs face continental Europe and are often the first thing visitors to England might see.

In the picture below you can see the Dover Castle, described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance. The use of the castle dates all the way back to 1066 with William the Conqueror up to World War II in 1939 thru 1941.

And back to the purpose of the blog....Below is my food for today. I also had a glass of wine at Happy Hour, for approximately 110 calories, so I went about 80 calories over today.