Sunday, April 30, 2006

A very special gift.

Liane and I have been best friends since we met in Mr.Bucceri's 7th grade science class. We traveled through our teen years together side by side,always ready with a willing shoulder to cry on if one of us needed it. We also laughed about things only the two of us could possibly understand.We called ourselves Laverne and Shirley. She was quiet and sweet like Shirley and I was a bit louder like Laverne. We made the perfect team.

When we were in 9th grade,I told her about the crush I had on Tony who was 2 years older than us. Ok,he was not an attractive guy but I fell in love with his singing voice. He didn't know I even existed. Strangely,when I heard he wanted to date Liane,I wasn't even upset. Who wouldn't want to date her? She was great. The only hitch was that Liane didn't like Tony at all so she politely declined his invitation. She never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. I thought she had the kindest heart in the world.

We have been through so many things over the past 30 years.It's just amazing to think about it all. Liane knew my dad and my grandparents. Other than my friend,Barry,I don't have any friends who knew me when my dad and grandparents were alive. I was different back then,young and carefree! When I talk about my dad or grandparents, Liane knows exactly what I mean. There is such a comfort in that for me.

Liane has lived out of the country for the past 6 years and that has been hard for both of us. She will be back in the country for at least 2 years starting this summer. We are both very excited about this. She won't have to worry about the 15 hour time difference when she calls me since she will be in the same time zone when she returns. We will still be quite a few hours away by car,(I think it's 9!),but at least we can talk more frequently on the phone. That will be such a gift for both of us.

She sent me an email the other day explaining about a package she had her husband send me when he came to the states for business. She had packed it in a hurry so that he could mail it from here so she didn't have time to enclose a note. She told me that she was proud of how hard I have worked to change my eating plan and to lose the weight I needed to lose in order to be healthy. She sent me a necklace with three strands of pearls because she said I deserved it.

I cried when I read that email. Who does things like that? Liane....that's who! I couldn't wait to get that package. It arrived the other day,in a gorgeous blue velvet box. When I saw the pearls,my heart felt like it was being squeezed. No one but Liane could've thought of this gift for me. It was just what I needed to feel good about myself and to stay motivated.

I have decided that I am going to wear my pearls every chance that I get. I hate saving things for "a special occasion" because they don't always come along as often as I would like. I also think the fact that I am alive and healthy is pretty special so if you see me wearing my pearls with jeans and a t-shirt,don't be surprised. I will probably be wearing them a lot!

What gift from a friend meant the most to you?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My very odd husband

I have seen a lot of funny posts with the title,"Ten things I hate about my husband." I guess that's just one of those topics going around. I don't actually hate anything about Rich but he is kind of odd.

Here are a few things that make me roll my eyes at him.

1. He refuses to put my Tupperware salad dressing containers in the kitchen drawer where they belong. Instead,he stacks them in the cabinet above the drawer with the drinking glasses. They always fall out because there is no room up there. No matter how many times I remind him,he never puts them in the drawer. Ya,he has control issues.

2. Whenever he goes to his friend Bill's house to plan a war game,he takes my car. Hey,that's fine with me,but he never puts the seat back to my position! I usually forget that he took my car so when I get in it the next morning,I find myself practically sitting in the back seat!! He pushes it too far back for me. I can't reach the pedals from that position.Lately,to add insult to injury,he leaves an empty candy wrapper in my car. Mess up your own car!

3. Lillianna and I went to Build a bear workshop with her Brownie troop on Monday. Rich insisted that we get a bear this time.Lillianna built a bunny. Now we have three dogs and one bunny. Rich can not come to terms with the fact that we have been to Build a BEAR and haven't once brought home a bear. Rich refers to the bunny as a bear which drives us both crazy!!

What odd thing does your husband do?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Should I allow a limo ride?

Lillianna is invited to her friend's birthday party this weekend. I just called to RSVP and I was asked if it would be ok if Lillianna rode in a limousine to get pizza. This was the birthday girl's request and the mom couldn't give her the pool party that she wanted so she is trying to plan the limo ride as a surprise.
Let's say *I* was very surprised.

Lillianna is still 16 pounds under the weight to be out of a booster seat in the car. I have allowed her to go without it when there has been a situation where it just wasn't possible to have her in the booster but I always worry about it. We don't think there are even seat belts in a limo and this leaves me with a problem.

Sure,Lillianna has been on a school bus which has no seat belts and the Disney shuttle and so forth but a limo is a car and it is definitely not a huge bus. I asked her how she felt and she said she wouldn't be comfortable in a limo without seat belts. I work Saturday night and Rich will be out all night waiting for recital tickets so I don't have the luxury of drivinig her back and forth to the pizza place.

I will know during the week whether there are seat belts in this limo or not. Then I have to make my decision. My first impulse is to say NO but I am sure I'm the only mom worried about this. Lillianna is my precious child and I don't want to make a dumb mistake just so she will fit in and be one of the girls. My heart is telling me no.

Would you let your young child ride in a limo without seat belts?

Too slow for me

Weight loss can be a very slow process when it's done correctly. For an impatient person like me,sometimes this drives me crazy. You can read this post at The Lighter Side.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 want to live in the United States.....

is ridiculous. What a waste of money. How dare these people think they can come to our country,not learn the English language and be catered to like they are above everything! I am sorry that they didn't enjoy their life in the country where they were born and I don't mind them living here if they would learn the language and get a damn job!!

I would rather see this intrepretor money used on teaching these people English. That way they can communicate and work just like the rest of us!! No exceptions!!

What do you think??

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lillianna's Easter post

Lillianna finally wrote about Easter. Ok,so she's a week late but better late than never,right? You can read it here.

It's almost never about the food!

Here's another post for you to read over at The Lighter Side.

Emotions drive me to eat

There are so many of us in this world that are emotional eaters! I am one of them.
Come over to The Lighter Side and read Chandra's post,Emotions drive me to eat.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dreaming of the day.......

Some people have a particular outfit that they dream of wearing once they are done dieting. Not me. I have a different dream. One day,I want to be able to walk out of the shower and wrap a regular sized bath towel around me without any body parts falling or hanging out. That's all I want.
Is that too much to ask? Huh? Is it??

How much higher can the price go?

I nearly crashed my car into a pole when I drove by my gas station today and the price said $2.77 per gallon. It was $2.69 yesterday. Apparently,they are guesstimating that it should be well over $3.00 by Memorial Day. How will we afford that?

How high is gas where you live?

I've been tagged? How interesting.

Well,apparently,I've been tagged by SurvivingSingleMom.
I am supposed to write weird facts about myself and then tag 6 people. It doesn't say how many weird things I am supposed to write so I'll just see where this takes me.

1. I lived on a kibbutz in Israel from June 1985-August 1997. I still keep in touch with 2 of my dearest friends from that time. Charlotte lives in Denmark and Karen lives in England. Thank goodness for email!

2. I have one children's book written and one partially written and I am still too chicken to send them to a publisher. My dream is to be a writer but how can I do that if I am never published?

3. I am very close to my mom and my sister Kara. We talk to each other between one and four times every day,depending on what's going on. They're quick calls but we rarely miss a day unless one of them is out of range on vacation.

4. I won a Pepsi-Cola radio on Boomtown when I was 5 years old. I wish I still had it!

5. I was on the Bozo show twice when I was younger.

6. I tried out for Zoom when I was 12 but obviously,I didn't make it!

Well that's it. Now I have to tag 6 people? Yikes!

Hula Doula
Mean Teacher
Silver Linings
Mad Mommy Chronicles
Halloween Lover
Fish Out Of Water

I should probably let them know,right?

Here are the rules of this tag:
1.Go write weird facts/things/etc. about yourself in my comment box and on your blog, then tag six more people!
2. Then leave a comment that says "You are tagged" in their comments telling them to read your blog. ENJOY!

Another one bites the dust

This post is over at The Lighter Side,today.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Being deprived is never the answer

Today I started writing for The Lighter Side. It's basically a blog to talk about our struggles with weight loss. We offer encouragement,support and our stories of success and set backs. We're just real people trying to deal with a difficult subject. You can read my first post here.

Update my account? thank you!

I received an email last night from Chase Bank. The subject said,"Update your Account." Hmmm....I wasn't aware that I had an account with Chase.

The email said:
"You have received this email because you or someone had used your account from different locations.......we require that you confirm your banking information......if we do not receive appropriate account verification within 48 hours then we will assume this Chase Bank account is fraudulent and it will be suspended."

I clicked on the link and it went right to the Chase website. I looked on for an 800 number for Chase. I called it this morning. It was their mortgage branch. They checked their records and did not have me on any account with their company. They referred me to their abuse hotline.

Apparently,this email was sent out to customers as well as non customers. It's a phishing scam.
She gave me the email address to forward the email to the abuse department. She said it was a good thing I didn't give anyone my information. I told her I felt like this was a fraud but what really tipped me off was the typo at the end of the email. The word Department was spelled as Departament!! Rich said,"With all the money Chase Bank has,I am sure they have proofreaders for their emails!" So true. So true!!

Be careful out there folks! Never give out any information online!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's good to have friends

The other day,when Lillianna and I were walking to school,she was talking about her friend Hannah. Apparently,Hannah had worn a skirt the day before and when it was reading time,Miss L.told the kids they could lie on their stomach to read. Hannah just gave Lillianna a look that told her she wasn't going to be doing that while wearing a skirt.

One of their other skirt wearing friends was a bit braver but she asked Lillianna to check to see if her skirt was ok when she was lying down. Lillianna assured her that she was indeed just fine.

Lillianna said to me,"So that's why it's a good idea to have friends.....they can check your skirt to make sure nothing is showing."

I said,"When you get older,it's definitely a great idea to have friends to check more than if your skirt is where it should be." She looked at me in her curious way and I said,"Well,when a girl has her period and she is in school,she walks close to her friend,discreetly taps her on the leg and through clenched teeth,like a ventriloquist,says,"Check me. Check me." She then walks ahead of her friend so that she can check to see if her bulky pad is visible or if anything is leaking. That's why it's good to have friends!" Lillianna thought that was pretty funny.

Then I explained that all girls did that when I was in school and perhaps they still do. Of course now all products claim to be leak proof so maybe you don't need friends afterall?

Did you play the "Check me! Check me!" game when you were in school? Do you think girls still do that?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Do you know anything about Lyme Disease?

My sister told me that one of her friends, "T", has a 3 year old daughter with Lyme Disease. I have known T since she was in junior high school and it makes me so sad that she is going through such a hard time. Apparently her daughter's personality has changed since she was diagnosed with this disease and T is at her wit's end.

She has looked online for more information and she doesn't feel like she is getting any help from her doctor. She would love to join or start a Lyme Disease support group.

If you know of anyone who has Lyme Disease or who has a child with it,could you please have them contact me?
If you have your own blog,would you please ask your readers if they can offer any help or support? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much for your help!

Just another reason to hate this school

I don't like the elementary school that Lillianna goes to. I do love her teacher this year,though. Miss L is the best teacher on this planet as far as I can figure but this school is just a nightmare for me.

One of my biggest complaints is about the drop off\pick up area. Last year my car got hit and of course Mrs.S,the principal never responded to the letter that I sent to her about this. She never seems to care about anything.I am not the only one who has complaints about her either.

Since the weather has been good recently,I have been walking Lillianna to and from school just about every day. In addition to this being a great way to exercise,Lillianna and I chat along the way and it's a lot of fun.It puts me in a good mood first thing in the morning. I like that.

This morning,after we crossed over the driveway where the parents drop off their kids,Mrs. S yelled from where she was standing at the beginning of the walkway which leads to the front door,

"MRS.PICCINI.....STOP WHERE YOU ARE!" With the tone of voice she was using,I thought her next line would be,"PUT DOWN THE GUN AND LET THE LITTLE GIRL GO FREE!" She did say something but I didn't hear her. I had stopped right where I was because I didn't know if something was wrong. I yelled back,"What did you say?" She repeated,"MRS.PICCINI....STOP WHERE YOU ARE AND LET LILLIANNA WALK THE REST OF THE WAY ALONE."

I thought it would be rude to yell back,"DON'T YOU F%^$#@ TELL ME HOW FAR TO WALK MY CHILD YOU PIECE OF SH--!!" So,I hugged and kissed Lillianna,told her to have a good day and walked away. I was pissed,though. It's not a congested area and I only walk Lillianna up to the beginning of the walkway where the teachers there greet each child with a huge smile and a "GOOD MORNING! How are you today??" I told one of the teachers that if he greeted me at work like that I would be guaranteed a wonderful day.

I was fuming on the way home. I hate this principal. What does she care if I walk my child to the walkway? I don't stand there for hours and block the way for the other children.

Rich and I have our parent/teacher conference tonight with Miss L. If I see Mrs.S,I am going to want to say something,I really am.

What would you do?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 don't know about this

Rich wanted to become a gold member of so that he could read the messages that his classmates have been sending him. I think it was like $50 for him to do this for one or two years, so I gave him my credit card and he signed up.

I had just been browsing my own high school and before I knew it,it submitted my name to a list. Then it said that I had a free membership for a month. Ok,fine,whatever. Everyone I want to connect with,I already know how to contact. I don't have any great love for the rest of them. I will be happy to see them at our 25th reunion this year,if I decide to go,but I don't have any desire to meet up with them before that time.

Our class president,Joe, is someone I was very good friends with in high school. He actually lives a few houses away from my aunt and I bumped into him 2 years ago when we went trick or treating in that neighborhood. So, popped up and asked if I wanted to email him. Why the heck not? So I sent him a quick email asking about the reunion. I got a return message back saying,"If you want Joe to be able to read this email,sign up to be a gold member." Are you kidding me? I can't even email him one single email without signing up and paying another $50?

Then it said I could view my email that was sent to Joe. So I did. The message said that the email was sent but it wasn't paid for. Is this like sending a letter postage due? How humiliating. This is quite a little scam and I am not going back to that website for my class. I'll just wait til the damn reunion.

Are you a gold member of

Monday, April 10, 2006

911 operators should be fired!!

I couldn't believe it when I read this.

I actually heard the 911 call on the news and both operators were so unbelievably bitchy,I can't believe they still have a job. The disinterested,sarcastic and condescending tone they used when they answered the phone was disgusting. "911,What's your problem?" What's my problem? Are you serious? This is considered a greeting?
Why don't they just say,"911....F^&% YOU!" It's the same tone.

I work for a medical answering service and if we ever answered,"Dr.Hoopdedoo's office. What's your problem?" we'd be fired! We ask,"How may I help you?"
That gives the caller the impression that I care about them and I am willing to help them in any way that I can. That's what my job is.

I would think that a 911 operator would also be interested in helping someone who calls. I understand that people call 911 for stupid things:directions,the weather or medical questions but for goodness sake,there are many real callers out there who have an emergency! That can't be taken lightly.

The 5 year old boy clearly said,"My mother passed out." How stupid is the operator when she said,"Let me speak to her." Hello!!!!! Do you know what passed out means??
The mother can't talk. What kind of training did this idiot get before they let her answer a live call?

The worst part is,the boy's lawyer said that he believes each call was answered by a different operator. That means at least 2 freakin' morons are answering life threatening calls and blowing them off because they think it's a prank call. They both asked,"What's your problem?" when they answered the phone. Maybe they shouldn't work with people. They totally suck at this!!

I have told Lillianna that if G-d forbid I pass out or she thinks something is wrong with me,she should call 911 and immediately say,"My mother is a diabetic, and something is wrong." I pray,that if I am ever in that situation,the 911 operator will send help....immediately!

The lawyer is suing the operators but no amount of money will bring that little boy's mother back! His life is forever changed because 2 stupid,bitchy women didn't give a shit about a little boy who was trying to save his mother. In my mind,they caused her death and should be put in jail! The lawyer said they could tell by the autopsy that if the first 911 call had been answered,the mother would've lived.

What do you think the operators' punishment should be?

Question of the day

On my way home from walking Lillianna to school this morning,I saw a woman coming toward me. I thought,"This is really great. Another person out exercising on this beautiful spring day." I have been walking 30-60 minutes almost every day for exercise. I love it. I feel much healthier.

As the woman got closer to me,I realized she was puffing on a cigarette. So,here's my question: Is it still considered exercise if you smoke while you walk?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Old movies. Old memories.

I just want to say I simply adore Dick Van Dyke. I always have and I always will.He is dashing and very talented. Looking at some of his dance moves and his energy is just amazing.
Lillianna and I were watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tonight when she fell asleep. I had to keep watching because this movie has a special meaning for me. This is the first movie that I remember going to as a child.

I was 5 years old when this came out. The theater seemed so huge and dark when Mom and I went to find our seats. I remember there was an intermission half way through the movie. It was very exciting for me.

I miss old musicals. The dancing and singing always intrigued me and it made me want to get up and join in. Thank goodness for Disney's new movie High School Musical.
We love that one. It's funny and energetic and the cast is so talented. The last song,"We're all in this together" is the finale in Lillianna's dance recital this year. They use a lot of steps from the movie.
Maybe there is hope afterall.

Do you like old fashioned musicals?
Have you seen High School Musical?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lost and found

Yesterday I was looking at a picture of the 3 of us which was taken at Chef Mickey's,the morning my pancreatitis attack started. I took a good look at that picture and then I asked Rich,"Do you really think I look any different now than I did in this picture?"

I know I have lost 44 pounds and I do feel much thinner,but I didn't think I looked different from this picture.I squinted at the picture. Nope. I didn't see any change at all.

Rich took a good look at it and said,"Well, you don't have the double chin anymore....see?" He pointed to something on the picture. I was stunned. I knew I was way overweight but a double chin? Me?? I didn't have a double chin....did I? YIKES! I did.Why didn't anyone tell me? I was happy to have lost that extra baggage. No one needs two chins!

Later in the day, I was talking on the phone to my friend Barry and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had my head tilted a certain way and I couldn't believe what I saw. I have cheek bones! They may not be as easy to see as I might like but I saw them. They actually exist!!

I lost a chin and I gained some cheek bones. I think that is a good balance! Don't you?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Ya,I guess that's not actually a word you'll find in the dictionary but I just made it up. If you couldn't tell,it's a new contraction for odd observations...oddservations.

While taking a walk before work this afternoon,I noticed two things that I would label oddservations.

1)I heard one man say to the other,"Ya, just don't have to worry about that shit,you really don't!" The part that was odd was that they were walking out of the church! Aren't people supposed to be respectful in a church?

2)As I was walking down a side street,I saw 6 teenage boys approaching me. One was weaving up and down the sidewalk on his bike while they all laughed and talked to one another. Several of the boys had numerous piercings on their face:nose,ear,lip,eyebrow. As they got closer to me, I could hear that their conversation was peppered with lots of bad words. I guess that's typical of teenage boys,right? The odd part was that as they passed by me,they smelled like fabric softener. I felt like I fell into a box of BOUNCE!

Did you make any oddservations today?

Not so good advice

I am in my local supermarket practically every day for one thing or another.
The older men who bag the groceries and bring them to my car are all chatty and very nice.I am always talking to them.

Today,Ed,asked me how my vacation to Disney was. I was stunned since I had talked to him about this months ago. I gave him the short version of my pancreatitis story and he said,"You know what the cure for something like is? You just have to stay away from eating chicken."

I tried not to laugh or contradict him but it was tough. At first I thought he was joking but then I realized that he was serious. He continued,"Chicken is not good for you. Chicken and steak. You have to stay away from all that fat.Then you'll be ok." I just smiled,thanked him,told him to have a great day and drove away.
I can understand cutting down on steak but chicken? What the heck is wrong with chicken?

What is the weirdest advice that you ever got?

The empty closet

I'm not actually complaining that I have nothing to wear but it is rather odd.
As I have grown out of my old clothing,I have bagged it up and donated it. Every week something else gets taken out of my closet. This morning I tried on my beige cropped pants that I bought last summer. I walked over to the huge mirror in the dining room and my mouth dropped open. I looked like I was wearing clown pants.
In the bag they go!

Desperate for something to wear to work,I took the label off of the pants that I bought 3 or 4 years ago after I lost some weight that summer. Sadly,I only kept the weight off for one or two months and then gained back an extra billion pounds.

I also found a shirt from the same summer and voila...I have something to wear. There are 3 outfits that I love in that closet but I don't dare try them on. I know I will hear the circus theme playing in the background if I do. They are 3 sizes too big! They need to join my beige pants in the donation bag but I can't seem to let go of them. I know I will never be that size again so they can't stay in the closet but if I take them out, then my closet will almost be empty.

I bought a couple of new things recently and I love wearing them. It's fun to have clothes that fit. Mom said that when she comes home from Florida in a couple of weeks,she will take me shopping for some new clothes. She's very excited for me.

Well,I guess it's time to take my 3 outfits out of that closet. They are a part of my past but I don't need them anymore.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sensible eating isn't a secret

This post is for all the people who have emailed me to ask what kind of diet I am on.
The truth is,I'm not actually on any specific diet.I have kind of made up my own eating plan and it seems to be working. I lost another pound today so that makes 44!

A few years ago,Dr.B told me to find a healthy way of eating that I could stick to for life. My idea of "for life" was usually two weeks at the most. Then I had to "cheat" and eat something I really wanted. This bad pattern really messed me up. I'd lose a lot of weight and gain back double what I lost. I think we have all done that a time or two...or three....or four....or more. I know I certainly have.

After the pancreatitis attack this past November,I was told to go on a low sugar,low carb,low fat and low salt diet. The low sugar and low carb would help with my diabetes. The low fat would help prevent another case of pancreatitis and the low salt was for my high blood pressure. If you've ever read a box or label,you know that almost no food is low in all four areas. If it's low in one,it's high in the other three. This caused a lot of tears in the supermarket on my first few shopping trips. I've gotten better at it since then. I only cry a little now.

Many low carb foods are high in fat because low carb diets count carbs not fat.You could eat a pound of bacon which has zero carbs on a low carb diet. That could kill me now. In fact, Dr.B told me at my last visit,that eating one Chinese egg roll is enough to give me pancreatitis again. OUCH! I had hoped that eventually I could eat one but never mind! It's not that important. I flash back to my 7 days in the hospital and how much pain I was in even with the morphine and I don't find that egg roll as appealing as it once was.

So basically,I read a lot of labels and use some common sense. I know what I like and I know what makes me gag. In the beginning,I choked down some whole grain bread since it was deemed healthier than other breads. I felt like I was eating dirt. It certainly smelled that way. After a disgusting breakfast,I wanted to eat something delicious. I ended up eating more than I was supposed to. Now I just cut to the chase and eat the delicious food instead. I eat much less this way. Also,my diabetic counselor,Lynn,said that one serving of bread has 15 grams of carbs,no matter if it's white bread or a whole grain bread. She told me,"Eat what you enjoy!" What a good philosophy.

Breakfast usually consists of some type of bread.My dad was the manager of a Jewish bakery so I have a deep love for yummy bread,rolls and bagels. Dirt does not appeal to me. I tried Weight Watcher's bagels for a few weeks and then they made me gag.They had a diet smell to me and I just couldn't eat them.

Now I buy the supermarket's gourmet mini bagels which has 22 grams of carbs for the whole bagel.I use light vegetable cream cheese which has 4.5 grams of fat in 2 tablespoons which is higher than I would like but lower than other cheeses so I deal with that. I use fat free cream in my coffee which believe it or not is yummy and turns my coffee the same color as regular cream. It's delicious.

I try to only eat one portion not several portions of whatever I am eating. I use low carb bread crumbs when I make chicken cutlets instead of corn flake crumbs and I cook in canola oil instead of vegetable oil. Every little difference counts.

My big splurge is salad dressing. I have tried them all. The low fat,fat free dressings are not tasty to me. So I had to compromise.(I use a salad dressing that may only be available in my state since it is from a local restaurant.) It is an Greek oil and vinegar dressing and is high in fat. Two tablespoons of dressing have 19 grams of fat...yup...NINETEEN! I would not usually eat anything like that but here's what I do.

I put my salad in a plastic container. I measure out 2 teaspoons of dressing,not tablespoons, and pour it in the container. Then I put the cover on and shake it up. This evenly coats my salad. I'm guessing the dressing is about 7 grams of fat this way which is still high but not as bad as nineteen and I can enjoy what I am eating rather than trying to gag down a dressing I hate that is low fat or fat free.

If I eat something higher in carbs than normal, I try to get an extra walk in during my day. I try to walk at least 15-30 minutes every day. Sometimes I can do it twice a day. Some days, not at all. Last week Lillianna was home sick from school for 4 days so I didn't get out to walk at all. I don't beat myself up about these things anymore. I know I am doing my best and if today was not a great day,tomorrow can be better.

I also don't play the "ooops" game anymore. That was in the old days,B.P.(before pancreatitis)when I would be on a diet and then eat something I wasn't supposed to. After this slip,I would declare the whole day was messed up and binge until bedtime. The next day I would think, "Well,yesterday was all screwed up. I'll eat what I want this week and try again next week." Sometimes my "ooops" was on a Tuesday! I just kept giving myself permission to be off my diet.

So,what has changed for me? Why am I sticking to a good eating plan this time? Well,nothing gives you a good scare like almost dying does. I want to be alive and healthy and it took my bout with pancreatitis to wake me up. I'm awake now!!

My best advice is to read labels,be honest with yourself about what you are eating and try to fit exercise into your daily routine. I used to think that if I couldn't exercise for 30 minutes then it wasn't worth the effort.So I never got off of my butt. What I didn't realize was that almost every day,I can fit 15 minutes of walking into my schedule. That has made a huge difference. Every minute of exercise is important to me now.

I walk while Lillianna is at her Brownie meeting and when she is in dancing school. I try to walk Lillianna to and from school as often as I can. If I can do both in one day,that's an hour of walking and it's fun. Lillianna loves walking to and from school. She thinks it's a treat and she knows it's healthy for both of us.

I hope this has been helpful. I appreciate all the support I have received from my readers and I want you to know that I am here for you. Let me know if you need any more tips. It's been an interesting 5 months on this eating plan and I am amazed at how much I have learned about adapting recipes so that they are healthier for me.

Kris told me this was possible right after I got out of the hospital but I didn't believe her. How could anyone make forbidden food into a food that wouldn't kill me? Well, she sent me a low fat cookbook a few weeks ago and let me tell you,I'm hooked! It's possible to adjust high fat to low fat. It really is!! Sorry I didn't believe you,Kris!! I am going to share one of my favorite recipes. Lillianna loves these fries. The first time she ate them she said,"Even though I don't like potatoes,I love these fries....even though I know they are potatoes!" Then she laughed and asked,"Can I have some more,please?" Let me know if you try this yummy recipe.

Low-Fat French Fries

4 medium potatoes,not peeled (about 5 ounces each)
1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)
salt to taste (optional) //I use the light salt. It has half the sodium.\malt vinegar to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Cut potatoes into half inch slices or strips.

Place potato slices in a plastic bag with oil and shake well to coat potatoes evenly.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer and bake for 30 minutes,or until golden brown, turning potatoes every 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt,and serve with malt vinegar.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrient analysis:
calories 129
total fat 4g
saturated fat 0mg
cholesterol 0mg
sodium 8mg
total carbs 22g
dietary fiber 3g
sugars 2g
protein 2g