Carol Gedan Feed

Coming to a teevee near you (maybe) -- me!

A few months ago, a TV crew visited my sister and I to do a story on weight loss. We basically talked their ears off (as I am wont to do), but the story was ultimately boiled down to a 2-minute healthy living segment for local news.

I knew it would be airing in February but wasn't sure when. Then I got an email that some people had signed up for updates through Mailchimp and figured the segment was starting to air around the country. 

I don't know exactly where or when it'll air on any given station because TV stations throughout the country subscribe to this syndicate (Ivanhoe). 

But you're in luck! Here's a link to the piece from a station in upper Michigan. My sister (and my dog) are in the piece, and my sis is down more than 60 pounds since April.

The producer had asked me for "before" photos, and to be honest, it was kinda hard to find any. As most "fat moms" know, we're the family photographer, always volunteering to take photos and grudgingly appearing in a few, hiding behind the kids. But I found a few. 



I got my bloodwork back for my big one-year bariatric checkup, and once again my blood kicks butt. My total cholesterol is a swanky 146 with an HDL (good stuff) of 55, LDL (bad stuff) of 71 and a ratio of 1.3, which supposedly gives me half the risk of heart disease of the average person. My triglycerides are 100, which is big news for me because they've always been a little high (hello, carbs!). 

And, no, my eating is not particularly stellar. It's kinda boring, still pretty toddler sized, but the occasional fistful of tortilla chips or square of dark chocolate makes it into my day. 

Did I mention I joined WW before Thanksgiving?

I wanted to see what the hubbub was all about with its new focus on wellness, and I'm really enjoying it. There's not that old focus on weird low-point dessert recipes and overprocessed snack foods. It really does get more into activity and mindset, and WW has teamed up with the fitness app Aaptiv and the meditation app Headspace, and offers abbreviated selections on the WW app. I've lost 14 pounds with WW's help and I like the accountability of having someone other than myself weigh me once a week, because this weight is NOT. COMING. BACK.

As for the number on the scale, last Saturday I was at 174, which is nine pounds away from an even hundred.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever be able to lose 100 pounds -- even after having gastric bypass. The amount just seemed so overwhelming. I didn't think I needed to lose 100 pounds, and to be honest, I probably could stop here and be fine. 

But, c'mon! Who doesn't want to hit a hundy? 

I'll fill you in next week on how the one-year anniversary checkup goes.

From Carol: Let's call it 'Go Go Gail Grub'

I picked up my food haul from "Go Go Gail Grub" yesterday -- looking forward to see what someone else's cooking can do for me.

My plan is to have my typical breakfast at work (yogurt and oatmeal), a Go Go Grub for lunch and then a sensible meal for dinner. The grab-a-grub for lunch will be reviewed; look for my updates next week.

(She also threw in some new Organic Muscle Milk for afternoon snacks.)

Aug 3, 2014

From Carol: Meal delivery from my sister?

Hey, remember when I called this blog Shrinking Sisters? Here's one from my sister, Carol, who will be weighing in every Monday, because I'm making her food.


Staring me right in the eyes. Mentally, I'm ready; already started my membership to AARP, wearing reading glasses, inordinate numbers of "non-pigmented" hair appearing on my scalp. But physically, I'm not where I want to be.

Chef gail delivering foodMy "diet" has always been, well, very unplanned. Unlike my sister, Gail, I do not plan my meals. If I remember to take something out of the freezer for dinner the next night, that's a big deal. I want to eat well and that requires thought.

When Gail told me she was test-driving another food-delivery meal plan, I was jealous. How awesome would it be to have meals magically appear at your door! No thinking, no prepping. Just eating! But those programs are always cost prohibitive for me. With Gail bring an amateur chef, I posed this to her: When cooking for her family of 3, why not throw another serving in, pack it up in a reusable container and do the cooking for me?

I suggested lunches and dinners, and I'm looking forward to what this could bring me.

Put your money where my mouth is

Candy cane
Christmas time in a school office is a happy time of year. Kids are taking mid-terms and are off campus before noon.  And good-natured parents are being ever so generous with holiday goodies.  Cookies, candy, fruit (much appreciated!) covered in chocolate (dammit!) and towers of treats. 

But enough already!  I am very glad when Jimmy brings in a box of “Big-Box-Best” chocolate-covered cookies, but so did his friends Steven, Billy and Maria. There is never a shortage of cookies in a school office -- ever.

What you don’t see when we happily accept your child’s gift is us stuffing it into a cabinet crammed with four other boxes of “Big-Box-Best” chocolate-covered cookies

When I go to the gym, I don’t sweat anymore.  I break out in a candy coating.

The best thing that happened yesterday was when a parent came in with a $20 bill and offered it to our school’s fund-raising drive for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that cookie money would go instead to the Sandy Hook Elementary Support Fund?   What a great blessing that would be to the families who are suffering an unimaginable loss.

I am past the sugar saturation point.  Thank you from the bottom of my candy-coated heart for your well-meaning cookies and candies.  Time for a candy detox.

And I’ll leave you with a little video I did a couple of holidays ago:

Serious as a (silent) heart attack

I was involved in a car accident at the end of August.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic to get checked out.  My blood pressure was high in the paramedic truck immediately after the accident (go figure) and I wanted to get checked out.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic's ER --  EKG, x-rays all were fine.  But, this accident got me to thinking, it's time to take care of me again.  Over due for my physical, over due for my mammogram, lady doctor visit, blood pressure re-evaluation... time to take care of the person taking care of everyone else.

image from healthservices.fiu.eduOver the summer, I fired my previous physician's office, for dropping all of the loose ends. I went to 
go pick up a prescription for my blood pressure meds, and they moved. I never got notice of the move.  Last straw for me. I made an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic.  Today was my appointment.  LOVELY office staff... attentive, pleasant and all-around awesome.  I met my physician and she was reviewing my history and brought up the EKG and x-rays from the visit to the ER after my accident.  She asked me, "do you have a history of heart disease?" to which I answered "no." She then explained to me that my EKG showed evidence of a previous mild heart attack OR could have been an anomoly from where/how they placed the leads... still, enough to get my heart racing... and to get me thinking... "could you actually have a heart attack and not have any symptoms?"  The doctor answered "yes."  Women can have "silent heart attacks."   HOLY CRAP!  If that is indeed the case, so be it.  I will be treated as a "cardiac patient."  But I won't act like one.

I wanted my new doctor to "kick me in the ass" about getting serious about my health and diet, and even if this was an EKG anomoly, it was a major "kick in the ass" for me.  

I picked up my new blood pressure meds, then stopped at the leasing office where I live and purchased a new pass card for the exercise room here on-site.

Up next for me: blood work, stress test, mammogram, lady doctor visit and a visit with a clinical dietician.  

Carol does Nutrisystem: The most important meal

NS Donut
Nutrisystem photos
Nutrisystem breakfasts are varied. My usual selection has been the cranberry orange pastry or the toasted "O's" cereal.  Recent additions to the program are the chocolate frosted doughnut and cinnamon roll.  Which begs the question, "If I'm on a weight loss program, why would I be indulging in a chocolate frosted doughnut or a cinnamon roll?"  The answer? Because I can.

Granted, the doughnut is not what one would get from a doughnut store, and the cinnamon roll is far from the ones sold at the mall... BUT, they are a decent facsimile. That, and a container of fat free Greek yogurt completes my breakfast.  

NS_Breakfast_PattyWhat I have been missing, however is protein.  Good, clean protein.  For breakfast there is a maple flavored pork breakfast patty (tastes good too).  For dinner, there are grilled chicken breast portions, which I have with a big salad.  Every so often though, I really crave a piece of fresh fish.  

But for portion control, convenience and portability, Nutrisystem can't be beat. 

Disclaimer: I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem NSNation blogger program. For three months, I will receive the food free of charge to help facilitate my honest review. No other compensation will be received.

Carol does Nutrisystem: Eater's block

I've been stumped about what to blog about.  I've settled into my routine of grabbing a breakfast and lunch and heading out the door to work... a no-brainer.  I really enjoy the simplicity of meal planning with the Nutrisystem foods. I ate all of the Chef's Table entrees and was very pleased with them.   I ate them at lunch time for convenience and can't wait to order more.

Red beans and rice

Since I have eaten most of the frozen entrees, it was time to go onto the shelf-stable selections.  I have discovered my three favorites: Red beans and rice, tuna salad, and chicken salad.

I grab a side salad and a slice of pumpernickel bread and I'm set for lunch.  I really enjoy the portability and all of the space the foods have freed up in my lunch bag.

Next blog post, I'll be reviewing the snack/dessert options.

Follow me on twitter (@martorella) where I'll give you lunchtime reviews of Nutrisystem's entrees and whatever else is on my mind.

Disclaimer: I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem NSNation blogger program. For three months, I will receive the food free of charge to help facilitate my honest review. No other compensation will be received.

Chef's Table at the picnic table

I'm on Nutrisystem, and finished week 2.  Although my scale moved only half a pound (wine and cheese party last Friday), the food kept me motivated. I've been having dinners at lunchtime, which gives me a larger portion of food when I need it and it's very satisfying.

Butternut squash ravioli nsThe Chef's Table line of frozen dinners are amazing! I wish there was a more amazing word than amazing to describe not only the taste of these meals but the aroma as well.  Last week I had the butternut squash ravioli, which, when microwaved in a school breakroom, emitted the most beautiful fragrance that had my co-workers asking what I was eating.

Arroz con poll nsToday, I had the Chef's Table arroz con pollo, which again, made my co-workers' tastebuds kick into overdrive. When I opened the steam-bag at the picnic table, I was  impressed with the amount of chicken, and once again with the flavor.  

In late August I had a car accident and my car was totaled. I stopped exercising because I didn't want to exacerbate any muscular issues I had from the accident.

But I got the OK to start exercising again from my doctor, and I'm going to take full advantage.  My trainer Sara is as excited for me to start up again as I am. Time to fire up the Fitbit again.

Follow me on twitter (@martorella) where I'll give you lunchtime reviews of Nutrisystem's entrees and whatever else is on my mind.

Disclaimer: I have been selected to participate in the Nutrisystem NSNation blogger program. For three months, I will receive the food free of charge to help facilitate my honest review. No other compensation will be received.

Working muscles for what feels like the first time ever

Continuing on my physical fitness with Sara... I must reiterate how much more focused and diligent I am in working out with a trainer guiding me. 

image from bgifitness.comLast week we did "playboy poses" (dead lifts), "cheerleader posing" and "office squats".  I don't know what the exercises are really called, but naming them on my own makes them "more fun"...  The playboy poses worked my hamstrings, which I thought only athletes had.  Two days after our session, getting up out of my office chair was brutal... But it made me remember the good work I have done.  

Yesterday, my friend and co-worker, Erika got into the mix with us.  In Sara's small home gym, the three of us worked our circuits... In no time, sweat was dripping in my eyes, and I was truly feeling the burn.  

I envision not being able to lift my arms over my head again tomorrow... but all for a good result!

Working out with a trainer... and I didn't vomit

My good friend, Sara, who is an awesome SAT instructor, is also an amazing trainer.  She recently had a baby (6-8 weeks ago) and is back to her pre-baby weight -- probably even less.  She approached me at my desk last week to help me to lose my baby weight, with her direction, and I said yes (my baby is 12 years old).

We tried this before -- boot camp style, where she triumphantly made me vomit (my proudest Biggest Loser moment), But we stopped -- her pregnancy, my move, her move, we couldn't get it together -- until yesterday.

WeightsdumbbellsI warmed up on the elliptical (the machine I love to hate -- or hate to love) then did upper-body weight work mixed with cardio.  I've never trained with a trainer before and to have her there, pushing me, made all of the difference in the world.

The gym at my apartment has all of the same equipment that she has, but in the hands of an experienced professional, it all made sense. I look at the stack of free weights, and the combo machine and I'm lost.  With Sara's guidance, I felt like a pro.

This was just day 1.  I've commited to Sara two days a week with her training, and four days on my own.  I'm excited to be doing resistance training -- I can figure out cardio on my own.

Tuesdays and Thursdays -- my promise to myself and to Sara.