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chubby cheetah loses a pound……

oh yeah, a pound, gone ….. gone gone gone….  oh just hurray…. !!! it has been a month of weddings, travel, weddings, pre weddings, post weddings, and a snuffy nose……. down a pound… hmmm, just sayin’ ….. that makes 9 of them… 9 of them… gone gone gone.

wait……………. t day ahead… straight ahead, two days ahead.. and not just t day, t day in nyc with the fam… t day lasting 30 hours of car ride and 3 days of yummy meals, nibbles and bubbles… t day spent at the macy parade with hot chocolate, lattes, snacks… and other warming libations… t day at the cousins with tables laden and groaning, (the tables, not the fam!)

pre t day, post t day… t day with the older cousins… t day shopping, eating out, eating in, noshing, …. a nearly full week of t day…

OH  ……….. OMG, what is a cheetah to do? a somewhat less chubby cheetah must be VERY careful.. cautious, aware, thougthful, brave, strong, certain……….. and LUCKY!!!!

oh all right, not too much with the luck, much more with the preparation, the preparation must be mental, must be thorough… and must be reviewed very frequently…

so… what has worked thus far? 

awareness, owning the food that enters through the mouth portal (and drink)… this includes chocolate…

portions, owning the amount of food that is eaten at one time, taking off the 2nd slice of bread… doubling up on the turkey and the veggies

excercise, wearing my fitbit every day, checking my smart phone sync for steps.. and then… moving more.

AND… the big deal, the real deal… the bottom line…………………………….  REAL FOOD…  yup, real food.  outside wall of the grocer, not processed, not preserved, not sauced, not fried, breaded or dipped in chocolate… (chocolate IS real food, but NOT for the purposes of this discussion.

I believe in real food… I call them Power Foods… I focus on Power Foods… I eat mainly Power Foods, however this week week I ramped up my committment to ONLY Power Foods… and a bit of bubbly… (reasonable treats are allowed on the chubby cheetah plan, and bubbly is a very reasonable treat!  bubbly may be alternated with chocolate, however they may not be consumed together!)

so, what does that look like?  eggs, oatmeal, or a smoothie for brekkie, chicken, fish, and/or soup, for lunch and a light dinner… 

here is the thing… eating mostly Power (real) foods is good, but making the committment to only Power Foods changes the focus, changes the decisions and once in place really makes eating easy…. no grande jakes, no pizza, no chinese… not never… just not now!

so that is the plan, power foods…. walking… more power foods…. talking (wonder how many pounds talking burns?!).. repeat.. with bubbly for snacks…

and on we go… what is your plan for t day week?

awaiting the winter solstice….

this is my very least favorite time of the year….. well, at least in terms of daylight… or lack thereof!

wake up in the dark, come home in the dark, it is a dark life between the end of daylight savings time and the winter solstice.  I have never understood how it is that winter begins, the temperature plummets and the days grow longer… something of a mystery in contrasts!  But I like it!  I appreciate it!  I crave the return of the light, day by day, minute by minute…

Longer days mean more light and I love the light!  Every moment of the light, even if it is raining, sleeting, snowing and/or way too cold for ordinary folk to be outdoors, I love the light.

I prefer bright light, sunshine, blue skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the 70’s, but I will take low light, early light, gray light… any light beats dark lack of light.

Light lightens my heart… I actually feel more open, more at ease, more joyous when it is light.  Light brings smiles, laughter, peace…

If I could I would follow the light, living as a nomad, following the solstice around the world, fleeing from the dark and embracing light…

but…. chi town anchors me, work, family friends…. chi town is home… light or dark… home.. So, I light candles… DH is not a big fan, flames worry him, a possibly forgotten flame creates tension within him, and the wonderful aromas arising with the flame do not please him at all.  I like a candle in every room, many candles in every room… tea lights gently filling multiple stands, mini candles grouped together along with larger scented candles softly lit EVERYWHERE… 

Sometimes I have to be on candle moratorium, candle ownership/inventory can grow exponentially with coupons abounding, scents divine and unrealistic expectations of burn times…   I have learned to be thoughtful in candle placement, putting the stronger less desireable scents (less desireable to DH) further from the nose of DH…  which brings me to my thought of the day… could/would I be happy with flameless candles?  The positive is obvious, perhaps the gentle light without the flame, without the risk, without the scent…. Yet, would it be the same, or just a mere shadow of candleness?  I am thinking I will experiment with a combination this dark season, acquiring a set of flameless… in addition to the bounty of my normal candleness…

Flameless can be peeking out from rooms beyond my direct vision, providing a glimpse of light and softness as I move from room to room… hmmm.  This may work…  I will keep you ‘posted’!



the cheetah is still chubby….

the unoffical wedding photos prove that fact… so did the size tag of the really cute new dress the chubby cheeetah wore to the wedding,  but the tag can be  easily discounted due to variations in manufacturers sizing…. Actual photos, not so easy to discount..


What is clear is that the chubby cheetah was having one FINE time at the wedding, the cheetah and family did not leave the dance floor, the music was major dance worthy, the joy was pulsing throughout the room, and the combination of family and extended carpool family celebrating together was very special.


Add to that the humor of the cheetah family stuffed into one car, arriving in a rain storm , basically rolling out of the back seat… the cheetah’s skirt billowing while the umbrella re-opened under the cheetah’s skirt… not really our most classy appearance at an event!  More humor at the after party and then all of Sunday to be together..


I do digress from the facts of the matter, the chubbiness of the chubby cheetah… yet that is the balance, one can wallow in dispair… agonizing over the cheetah chubbiness, or………..


one, and this one does, can choose to smile sweetly at the adorableness of grown children and sig others, rolling out of bed for round one, brekkie and the newspaper…. gathered around the table, grabbing ad circulars and gently bickering while downing bacon, bagels, lox, and egg souffle…


followed, of course, by round two…. fruit, crackers and hummus… enhanced with storm drama, over excited news posts demanding that all go to the lower level wearing helmets, or at least putting books over ones heads….  Here, it is important to realize that this was a major storm system causing intense damage,…. yet before that was known… the cheetah’s family was wearing hard hats, bicycle helmets… and ‘cowering’ under the dining room table, all to raucus commentary, while one of the NYC cousins was debating flying into the Chi town… always a risky venture, and clearly not a good way to get to the middle east on a storm filled afternoon…


followed by round three…. buffalo chilli…. oh YUM… see recipe on luv what you do ( wordpress blog) or the pintrest acount of (what is your pintrest account name, DD?).  chubby cheetah managed rounds one and two, including a moderately embarrassing moment of running into an acquaintance at the bagel store, only embarrassing due to the red fur lined boots, flannel snowflake pants and red parka that adorned the cheetah at the bagel store.  round three featured family involvement, browning turkey, bash and chopping carrots and celery… stirring in spices and hot sauce, rinsing beans and filling the crock pot to the top with tasty ingredients, left to simmer for hours while observing weather, watching football and welcoming friends…


followed by round four… birthday pie, icecream and cookies…. sigh.

and all of this before 4!


so the cheetah is still chubby. 


today is a new day, a new week, a new opportunity to focus, refocus…  How do you recover from a weekend of food and fun?

healthcare rant…..

I am a liberal, I truly believe all people should have affordable healthcare…. I am sad that the roll out is not rolling out well, and I am annoyed at those whose entire enery is put into destroying the concept instead of building a successful plan…


HOWEVER… this healthcare rollout is impacting my personal life with great negativity…. we are fortunate to have healthcare, to have company sponsored healthcare.  To be covered by a small company that expends enormous resources to provide policies for employees…


YET, the policy we have had for a years, a PPO, has been changed, finally at least I understand what has happened, the policy was great for us, empty nesters.. however it was not compliant with the new healthcare rules, not offering maternity for one…. and therefore reimbursements went down, doctors dropped the plan and we are left with a plan that noone knows for sure what doctors will be supporting…. for sure the big guns in chicago, northshore and northwestern have dropped the plan…. dropped the plan, how is that health care coverage for all?  our docs have been our docs for over 25 years, northwest community, which just maybe will still be in the plan, however we have always accessed the northshore system for specialists and holistic care… no more.

so, we could move to an HMO… apparently the one the employer offers is not taken by our primary doctors…. after 25 years changing primary doctors is not a choice we want to make… big dollar savings with an HMO, but no coverage so that doesn’t seem to work.

the final plan is a PPO with an HSA… having never done this, we are not sure how it works…. however we cannot as we have a medical reimbursement plan.  It likely covers all the docs we would want to see, but with a big risky out of pocket amount….

there is yet another choice, put Arthur on medicare…. that will work; then get me one of the new healthcare compliant individual plans… that sounds reasonable…. reasonable max out of pocket risk, until you hear the premium, with no basis of health, premiums are based on age and zipcode… I am thinking I live in a decent zipcode, so it must be my age… the premium equals the max out of pocket, effectively doubling the cost…


could one of these work, possibly… however the employer has give us 8 days to decide… 8 days to figure out a massive change in how our medical care will be provided AND given us these 8 days with NO COST available on the employee share of the premium, we are looking at last years plans, with a caveat that your docs may not be in them this year….. and no information on the cost for 2014 and the decision must be made by next WED… REALLY?

How is that good healthcare mangagement?  Throw in the controversy and changes happening at the federal level and this is just crazy… I am stressing and losing sleep trying to decide which risk is the tolerable risk, asking docs for a written document that they will take the coverage… (not working) and feeling that in providing healthcare for all, it will be possible that we will not have usable healthcare.

chubby cheetah has a cold…….

… that really doesn’t have anything to do with anything, I just want you to know!  My nose is all stuffy, snuffy, my head is all cloggy, woggy and my body is not feeling the energy.  After one day, I have resorted to drugs!  I will keep you posted, obviously I am expecting a miracle cure….


so, the chubby cheetah project is picking up steam… after a slooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww start…. ya know, I think a slow start and consistent attention to the matter is better than a rapid start and fizzle… chubby cheetah can really run enthusiastically with a project, over commit, become disenchanted and disengage before completion…


this project, taking pounds off the chubby cheetah, has perhaps not begun with such boisterous enthusiasm or intense committment, however it has been sustained…. for 5 months… 8# in five months…

hmmm, since healthy weight loss is considered to be 1/2 to 2# per week, 5 months in the chubby cheetah ‘could have’ lost 10 to 40 pounds!!!!  Being an underachiever is not a label cheetah likes, again however, the slightly less chubby cheetah has had one fine time these last months.. 

why do I say the project is picking up steam?  because the new/renew routines that work are becoming routine, not requiring as much thought as they are the base behavior instead of the can I really do this, will I really do this, maybe just this one time behaviors.

what has been working?

*back to smoothies or eggs and veggies for brekkie… breaking brekkie into two meals, small meals!, one before exercise and one after..

*having fruit as a snack in the morning.

*eating lunch, made of real food, in the office more often.

*limiting chocolate, sigh.

*eating a light dinner, eating less cheese… slowly over time chubby cheetah had come back to being a hard cheese with crackers eater…. and adding lite cheese to oh almost everything…

*less wine/beer, SIGH. 


WOW, rereading my list of changes…. I am really rocking the chubby cheetah project!!!!  I have attempted and accomplished ALOT… It is so easy to focus on the fact that ‘only’ 8# are missing, however these changes are awesome!!!  (pat on the back for the chubby cheetah!)

so, let’s look forward… oh oh oh… it is the season of eating…. can the season be accomplished with less eating?  what can chubby cheetah enjoy without food, or without as much food?


EVERYTHING!  what a concept!  this weekend will challenge the will and direction of the cheetah as we head into a major wedding foodathon, drinkathon, topped with a major Sunday foodee bday bears day….  I will consider carefully, taste sparingly, and choose wisely…

… and surround with exercise, move cheetah move…. move more cheetah!

What have been your successes this week?

chubby cheetah lives to ride again……………………….

What a fun wedding… Modern Orthodox with a multitude of youngees dancing the hora for hours…  There were 200 at the wedding and food enough for 400, capped with take it home cookies… Of course there were take it home cookies in the hospitality suite too, as well as take it home anything you could possibly want that starts with snack and ends with fat/sugar/salt.  chubby cheetah did her part bringing 3 kinds of puppy chow to the hospitality suite!


So, on to the facts of the matter…. how did it go?  Substantially less alcohol than might have been, wine only and only at the wedding … awareness at all moments, although not success at all moments… a long walk on the morning of the wedding, featuring hills and dales and an extra bribe for DH ( McDonalds just at the top of the next hill!)

The Chicago airport has a newer healthy food spot… roasted vegetables and fresh tuna and gouda wraps… yummy and healthy… however the Halloween goodies were 1/2 price… only one item purchased… Progress happens slowly!


I ate more than I needed, less than I might have, paid attention to eating ‘real’ food, and stayed strong at Dunkin Donuts, egg white on flatbread with veggies instead of sausage… and all of that instead of donuts that looked quite fine!


Capped the weekend with medical appointments… DH and I are on quite the medical ferris wheel for the next bit… AND when excessively hungry, stopped at the grocer for fresh roast turkey and a bagel thin instead of any of the potential food emporiums on either side of every street!  As a bonus it was a one stop with groceries for the week… DH was a little surprised when I opened the bagel thins and the turkey, creating a eat it now sandwhich… NOW… and then eating it!   Eating then was critical to chubby cheetah progress, that kind of hunger can result in days worth of food consumed in moments.


Score?  dead even, well down 1/2 # actually….Let me not diminish the 1/2#… that is two less sticks of butter residing on me!  Hope abounds, with an out of town (Baltimore) wedding in the bag.. this weeks wedding in town is looking very manageable.. No hospitality suite, but a risky reahearsal dinner with homemade cupcakes, cookies and candies to suplement broasted chicken… No travel, but a full out family brunch on Sunday to celebrate family birthdays.. and a Bears chili party immediately following…


Ya know, there will ALWAYS be excessive food… if it is not one thing, it will be another and they will have have a food component… RIGHT?  This is how we roll, food, food, food… Food in our world really seems to have little to do with nutrition…. and much to do with socialization, comfort, hospitality and likely deep seated needs.

I made a vat of veggie soup for the week, not my best… there were no parsnips at the store, I think they add alot to root vegetable soup… then the rutabaga seemed to cook slowly and the soup actually ended up slightly over cooked.  Not my best venture.  I put a batch in the blender, making a nice thick mock cream version and I think that will work… will experiment with some spices on the top… maybe a bit of chopped onion… and on we go…  Ideas?

Bottom line, chubby cheetah is comitted to the journey, to a life of health, movement, and moderate food intake. 

What is happening with your journey?



chubby cheetah is heading out of town….

only for the weekend…. for a wedding in Baltimore….

It is the mindset… for most of my life, out of town signals free go.  No restraint required, free go.  And a wedding…. ?  Double free go… Weddings are special events to be celebrated with excess food and drink… before the wedding, during the wedding, after the wedding.  And out of town?  Oh my, there is the trip there, the hotel, the trip back…. food food food…. snacks snacks snacks..

I am bringing awareness to my reality, facing up, facing forward, acknowledging the risks… before heading to the airport…

Why?  Because every day has the opportunity for free go… AND the opportunity for control.

Free go is so much fun… in the moment of the free go… but not really so much fun soon after!

Control does not mean no fun, it signifies choices, and while slightly more difficult in the moment, it brings the fun to the future… hopefully a long a healthy future.

chubby cheetah has had a tough week…. some medical stuff limiting movement, some business social stuff limiting available choices and the combination says time to review.

What do you want chubby cheetah?  What do you want this weekend and what do you want MORE?

Ah, honesty in chubby cheetah reporting!  Not easy… Well ‘honestly’, maybe it is easy!  The question is straightforward and so is the answer…

I want to be healthy to live a long life annoying my children…. and DH as well!  I want to have amazing amounts of energy and stamina to keep up with whatever is next, with zest and humor, pushing boundaries just a bit.

So, I will dance in Baltimore… I have packed my flats instead of my heels… I have packed my sneakers instead of my fashion boots… I will eat well.. with well defined as real food, limiting ‘treats’… and I will have fun… lots of fun…

I’ll be back on Monday with a report… because… yup… I have another wedding next weekend!!!!



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