Category Archives: The List

Learning From the Naturally Thin Folk of the World…

The next question on my List journey:  Ask someone you know about the kind of foods that they eat.

There has always been this myth that a naturally thin person can eat whatever the heck crap they want and still not gain a pound… but that ain’t true.  It may be true of the young folks whose metabolism hasn’t quite caught up to them yet… my metabolism went downhill at the age of 6 months… no jokes right there… chubby baby alert… but once they hit their 20s the bad eating usually catches right up to them and then they become adults with weight problems.  But, to remain naturally thin for your whole life is something that requires work… healthy eating and exercise, and just a general healthy way to deal with emotions other than shove food down the ole gullet!

I asked my adorbs cuzzin, Jen-Jen to guest blog on this subject because she is naturally thin and she works at staying that way… even now when she (and her husband Seth… wut up, Seth!?) are expecting their first child after years of trying.  She is truly the most healthy eater I know… and she too believes in an all things in moderation method.  If a naturally thin person stays thin using this method, then it makes sense for we who need to lose weight to also adopt the same method… she doesn’t eat a crazy “die”t.   That’s just preposterous, Humpty!  Below is in Jen-Jen’s words!  Thank you, Jen!  You rock and I’m glad you’re my good pal and cuzzin!  Love you!


Health and nutrition has always been a topic of interest to me. Now that I am expecting, I feel even more inclined to make sure I am putting wholesome foods in my body, because more than anything I want a healthy baby. I totally and completely agree with Whitney’s strategy for nutrition which is eating healthy, but still allowing yourself those guilty pleasures in moderation. Eating healthy should be a lifestyle, not an extreme, drastic diet. Maybe I just don’t have the will power, but I don’t find it necessary for myself personally to abstain from sugar, white flour, fat, etc.

My three biggest challenges for eating healthy are:

  1. My taste buds! I have always struggled with being a picky eater, and a heightened gag reflex during pregnancy hasn’t helped. During the first 18-20 weeks of pregnancy, I really struggled with eating green vegetables so I drank a tall glass of V8 every day, and extra fruit servings to make up the difference.
  2. Working Night Shifts. It is tempting to eat candy and drink soda to stay awake while working; but I overcome that by packing my own snacks and avoiding the cafeteria and vending machines at work. I do allow myself one small indulgence or treat while working though. It keeps me going at 3 AM.
  3. I love to cook and bake! Trying new recipes is a hobby and obsession for me. I still make those things that are high in calories; just not every single day. I have had to limit myself to making only 1 dessert a week.

Currently I am 23 weeks pregnant and my total weight gain thus far has been about 10 lbs. I know gaining weight is essential to a healthy pregnancy, as long as those pounds are healthy ones.

I pretty much eat the same things now that I did before I was pregnant with a few modifications. Pregnant women should try to eat about 300 extra calories a day. That doesn’t mean to go McDonald’s every day. These extra calories should be nutrient-rich foods. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I utilized to track my calories, carbs, and fat to give me an idea of what I should eat and how much. Here is a sample of my typical diet:


  • Oatmeal or Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Banana
  • Glass of low-fat milk


Since lunch meat is not an option during pregnancy, I find other ways to get my protein at lunch in one of these sandwich options:

  • PB and Honey Sandwich (I always use 100% whole grain bread)
  • Egg salad sandwich (using a low-fat Mayo)
  • Chicken salad sandwich

My lunch also might include an apple and carrot/celery sticks or cucumber slices with a glass of milk.


Because I like to cook and try new recipes, I rarely eat the same thing for dinner repeatedly. I do usually pair a protein with a vegetable and a whole grain. One of my favorite dinners is stir fry because it has all three of those things in one dish.


It is important to keep healthy snack options available so you are always prepared when hunger strikes (which is quite often for me lately). When I am hungry at home, it is a no-brainer; I just open the cupboard or refrigerator and choose something. I also like to keep something in my purse or car to prevent me from going through the drive-thru if I suddenly get hungry while out running errands. Little snack-size Ziploc bags are a regular thing on my grocery list, so I can fill them with healthy snacks to pack with me wherever I go.

Healthy Snack Options:

  • Hardboiled egg
  • Applesauce
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit (if you don’t like plain cottage cheese, try mixing it with some raspberry yogurt-Delicious!)
  • String Cheese
  • Whole-wheat toast or English muffin with PB
  • A tall glass of V8
  • Apple or other fresh fruit
  • Homemade Fruit Smoothie with lots of berries
  • Reduced fat Wheat Thins of Triscuits
  • FiberOne Bar
  • Low-fat yogurt with granola and berries
  • Nuts and dried fruit

My occasional indulgences:

  • Lately I love pudding! I either make it homemade or eat the pudding cups they stock in the refrigerator at my work.
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Pie or Cake
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Homemade Cookies
  • Banana Bread or other sweet bread
  • Fruit Loops Cereal
  • Chips covered in melted cheese with salsa
  • Hot Fudge Sundaes from Dairy Queen

Well that about sums it up. Hopefully you have found my eating strategies useful. I greatly admire my cousin Whitney for being so consistent and determined to live a healthier lifestyle. She has got incredible will-power and persistence and I know she will reach all of her goals.

This picture was a pre-pregnancy menu for Jen… but it gives you a good idea of what her food day, as far as quantities, would look like.  Say hi to Jen in the comment section!

Question of the Day:  What have you learned about eating from a naturally thin person?   If you’re a “naturally thin” person what’s your secret?  Any tips? 

PS – Have a superb weekend my sweet friends and relations.  I appreciate each and everyone of you… more than you know!  Do something crazy this weekend… report back on Mondee! 


Filed under Food, The List

Doing This Thing For Me!

The List, The List, The List, The List

List reasons why you want to lose weight.  Do not include reasons that pertain to other people and what they want.  What exactly do you want?

– A life…

That pretty much sums it up right there.  All other reasons would fit nicely into those 2 little words up there.  A Life.  Plain and simple.  When you weigh 530 pounds and your buttocks is glued to the same cushion of the couch with the only reprieve to waddle to the bathroom and/or get into bed, your options are pretty limited… and by pretty limited I really mean NULL and VOID!!!!   Stamp a fanny pack on that sucker!   But, I’ll play along and thing of other subsets of reasons…

– I want to ride the rides at an amusement park again
– I want to be someone… not just some basement dweller who shoves Q-tips in her ears and eats pizza by the pound
– I want to be successful and have a house to call my very own
– I want to shop in the “normal” people section for clothing and for goodness sakes I want to wear normal pants!!!!!!
– I want to walk down the street and have people look and whisper because I’m rocking my bad self… not because I look like King Kong.
– I want to be taken seriously by society.
– I no longer want to have to worry about the weight limit before I sit down and/or get on a piece of exercise equipment.
– I want to be able to weigh in on a regular scale
– I want to see a 1 before my weight number.
– I want to try new things and be more adventurous
– I want to be proud of myself
– I want a winning lottery ticket and a Mercedes (oops… how did that one get in here!)

A quote from my favorite show pretty much sums it up:

Two years ago, I was afraid of wanting anything.
I figured wanting would lead to trying and trying would lead to failure.
But now I find I can’t stop wanting.
I want to fly somewhere on first class.
I want to travel to Europe on a business trip.
I want to get invited to the White House.
I want to learn about the world.
I want to surprise myself.
I want to be important.
I want to be the best person I can be.
I want to define myself instead of having others define me.
I want to win and have people be happy for me.
I want to lose and get over it.
I want to not be afraid of the unknown.
I want to grow up and be generous and big-hearted, the way people have been with me.
I want an interesting and surprising life.
It’s not that I think I’m going to get all these things.
I just want the possibility of getting them.

 Question of the Day:  What do you want out of life?


Filed under Getting A Life, The List


I’m about to embarrass myself right up here in this blog.  Who am I kidding… I’ve been writing embarrassing tidbits since February.  No one needed to know about my addiction to Q-tips or the fact that I’m actually a bobblehead… but it’s out there.  Tie a bow around it and call it Merle.

Meanwhile, it’s no secret that I’ve never been a fan of gyms.  I’ve been to gyms on several occasions throughout my life, had memberships… even had personal trainers… but I’ve never particularly liked them.  So, it’s actually been years since I’ve stepped foot in a gym.  They intimidate me to high heaven and back… all those skinny chicks with silky pony tails who barely sweat giving their all on the stepper.  The muscley dudes hogging up the weight lifting equipment.  And then there’s me… big ole fat sweaty chick with a claustrophobia issue and a germ issue hyperventilating in the corner.  Not my idea of a fun exercising experience… especially when the self consciousness is on high alert.  For the last, I’d say, at least 10 years, I’ve avoided the gym like the plague.  I did my exercising outdoors and in the privacy of the basement, and I told myself I’d never step foot into a gym ever again.

I lied.  What’s new!?

Last week as I was driving to the gym for the first time in 10 years, I found myself bawling.  I didn’t want to go.  I could not bring myself to walk into that place… I couldn’t!  I pulled into the parking lot and I sat in the parking lot for a good ten minutes… bawling… and then I started my car back up and I started for home… telling myself I had a perfectly good recumbent bike sitting in the basement.  I don’t need the anxiety.  On the drive home, I got mad.  How the heck wussy are you, Whitney?  You’ve come this far and you’re going to let a little fear ruin everything?   I was mad and I was bawling and I was talking to myself, yelling really, and I’m pretty sure every car on the road thought I was some mental patient making her escape from the Behavioral Health Unit.  Where are the men in white coats when you need them?!?  I turned my car around and I drove back to the gym, only to sit in the parking lot again, trying to talk myself out of going in… and again, I started the car up and drove for home… it also didn’t help that this particular gym was next door to a taco joint… and I kept telling myself how much easier it would be just to order an Elephant Meal full of tacos and stuff down my feelings with those suckers.

I played this leave the gym, turn around routine at least 4 times before I finally told myself off… it’s now or never and you better pick now because never is not in your vocabulary anymore!   I dried my tears the best I could and I walked through the door… and guess what… I didn’t crumple into a bajillion tiny pieces of cowardice.  I went about my cardio routine, kept to myself, and an hour later I felt okay about driving home because I conquered that.  Just one step on the road to conquering these beasts of mine… but it was a big ‘un for me.

I signed up officially for a gym on Saturday (not the same one as above) and I’ve been 3 times since then with no issues at all.  It’s a good thing too since I’m pretty sure they’re out of beds in the Behavioral Health Unit!  InGym-idation… I’m over you!!

Try an exercise that you didn’t think you could do.
The gym thing is my exercise I didn’t think I could do.

Make a list of workouts that you would like to try.
– Water aerobics… I remember doing this when I was a teenager, but haven’t since due to the fact that I hate germy pools and swimsuits… I will conquer thee, water aerobics!

– Zumba… my madre is forever going on about how much she loves Zumba.  I’m too self conscious about my flapping bane of my existence to want to give it a try.  Another one that will be conquered.

– Snowshoeing… I did this years and years ago and I seem to remember despising it mostly because I’m a clutz and couldn’t get used to that extra length on the end of my feet… oh, and I hate cold.  I also broke my wrist the last time I went cross country skiing.  I will try snowshoeing again this year.  Mark my words!

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite piece of gym equipment to use?   What are some exercises you would like to try?

PS – Update on pumpkiny muffin majiggers from yesterday’s post.  I tried sticking a Dove chocolate promise down into the top of the muffin and then I microwaved it for 20 seconds.  Holy died and went to hades in a handbasket, spiderman!!!  New favorite way to eat pumpkiny goodness… and it only added 44 more calories. 


Filed under Exercise, The List

Healthified Pumpkiny Muffin Majiggers…

Continuing on with The List quest!  I’m like the warrior, Ricarda Simmons… except with less sequins and certainly less shorty short shorts.  PASS!!

Find a recipe of a food that you love but is bad for you and find a way to make it healthy.

I did this tonight and I was sore afraid.  “Healthy” is all relative.  If it were healthy it would contain vegetables and fiber and no sugar and minimal calories.  My version is “healthier” than it would be if it were the regular recipe… so there you go.  Plus, I do have squash in my recipe, which I’d normally hate to eat, but if you mash it up and hide it inside something delectable, it’s totally tasty.  Now, how to do that with asparagus… asparagus-covered chocolate… no, I don’t have that backwards.  I figure I can flick a few sprigs of asparagus somewhere on my Snickers and call it a day.  Got me some veggies today… you best believe it!

Moving on… I’d read about this concoction on several low-calorie recipe sites, so it certainly isn’t my invention and I’d give credit where credit is due but finding out who actually invented this might be harder than finding out who invented the Internet (HINT… it was NOT Al Gore!)  Y’all… this recipe is complee-cated.  I’m talking rocket science here, so I’d buckle in and if you don’t have an IQ as high as mine, I’d totally skip this recipe and just take a nap.  Get your SAT scores out… my score was negative 8… I’m thinking that was pretty good considering I slept through most of it.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Serves 12

15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix (dry mix only)

Okay, I lied… that’s the end of the ingredient list.  Basically, pour the pumpkin and the cake mix into a bowl, mix it all together, and then divy it up into a muffin tin.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops look hard.

Obviously if you hate pumpkin, Charlie Brown, rainbows, unicorns, and whiskers on kittens, you’ll hate this recipe… but it tasted to me like pumpkin bread… maybe next time I’ll throw in a few chocolate chips… because let’s be honest… everything tastes better with chocolate in it… chocolate haters need not apply!  Ooo… or to lessen the calorie load, I’ll just smoosh in 1 hershey kiss onto the top of each muffin before I bake it.   The calorie breakdown is as follows:

Per Serving:  Calories:  145  Fat: 1  Sodium:  268  Fiber:  2  Sugar:  16

For comparison, if you made the cake mix per the directions on the box without the healthier pumpkin version, your calorie and fat breakdown would look like this:

Per Serving:  Calories:  233  Fat:  12

High fives all around!!

Question of the Day:  Do you have any recipes that you’ve “healthified”?  Any suggestions for ways to healthify recipes?

PS – I’ve changed my background color and header… if the color is too blinding on your eyes, holler and I’ll change it to a less gaudy color.  I aim to please! 


Filed under Recipes, The List

I Will Not Be Looking At Myself In the Mirror Nekked…

END OF STORY!!!!  How’s about that for a title.  Y’alls families will think you’re reading a nastee site.  Nope… just me over here… mostly rated PG Whitney and her magical dictionary of made-up words.  What the crimeny puffs am I referring to?  The next day on The List that I’m currently trying to catch up with.  Day number next told me to look at myself nekked in a mirror and name 5 things I liked.  LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!  Neverending OLs!  You can just take my word for the fact that looking at myself in the mirror nekked will not help anything, and will most definitely wreak havoc on the global warming epidemic whilst I’m raging against the machine (that’s a band too… ironical!)  NOPE… nekked mirrors are out!!!

Moving on to the next ones on the list.

Drink a glass of cold water and stay completely still to feel how it travels through your body.

So, now I have brain freeze and am pretty sure I slipped a disk in my neck due to the fact that I whipped it weirdly whilst trying to get the full glass of cold water down the gullet.  Give me a minute while I stick my head in the microwave on defrost.   Now my toes are cold and my cankles have no earthly idea what just hit them.  Jackfrost.  You’ll get used to it fellars.  It’s kind of like winter, except with less snow and more water retention.

Make a grocery list comprising of 50% new foods.

Wow… this was harder than I thought it would be because every time I went to write a new food down, I immediately reverted back to that 5-year-old self who was scooping brussel sprouts into her napkin to make it look like she’d eaten more.  I did buy me a new fruit at the grocery store on Saturday… a pomegranate.  I’d never eaten pomegranate before and I have no idea what constitutes a ripe pomegranate, but I bought me one and I plan on eating it this week sometime… like it or not!  I’m pretty sure you don’t eat the skin… thanks for the information, Google!

Question of the Day:  Have you eaten pomegranate before?  How do you pick a ripe one and do you eat it with anything or just plain? 

Anyone wanna wager how long it’s going to take them to finish the parking lot project they’ve got going on around the tabernacle?  I’m guessing June 2nd, 2025… just because I like the month of June and 2025 is a pretty number.


Filed under The List

11/11/11 – This Post is Brought To You By the Number ELEVEN!

Awww… that title makes me want to marathon me some Sesame Street.  I love that adorable show.  I don’t care how old you are, you can always learn something from that there program… like overgrown talking yellow birds are friendly… and green things that live in garbage cans are grouchy and probably contain more bacteria per square inch than a public restroom door handle (I just dry heaved writing about a public restroom door handle… that’s like my least favorite kind of handle!)  Moving on… gonna try to tackle 3 days today in an effort to play The List catchup.  Without further ado… BRING IT!

Sit down and truly enjoy a home cooked meal.  Identify the flavors you love the most.
I made enchilada soup, which is a feat in itself since I hate enchiladas, hot/spicy things, and soup.  LOL!!!  You go, Whitney… bring on that 5-year-old palate… but, I totally dug the soup.  It was mighty tasty and hit the spot on a cold day.  Flavors I enjoyed the most… the taste of the spicy green chilies cooled down some with light sour cream… and that dagnabbed green enchilada sauce was mighty tastee too.

Enchilada Soup
Serves 6

– 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth for you nonvegetarians)
– 2 cups milk
– 1 can low sodium kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
– 1 can low sodium corn (drained)
– 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
– 1 can (16 to 19 ounces) green chilie enchilada sauce
– 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
– 1/2 cup onion, chopped
– Chicken (again, nonvegetarians)

You can chuck all that into a slow cooker and cook for something like 4 hours (less if you aren’t adding the chicken).  But I just threw it all in a pot on the stove, brought it to a boil, and then turned it down to low and simmered it for about 30 minutes.

Garnish with sour cream (helps tone down the heat from the chilies), tostitos or corn chips, and cheese.

Take a slow walk and appreciate the capabilities of your body.
I paid close attention to this when I was on the treadmill tonight.  It’s amazing how resilient this body of mine is.  It should be shot to heck with how badly I’ve treated it over the years… but it just keeps on kickin’.  It’s amazing the difference I feel when I’m exercising now as opposed to when I first started.  I was out of breath and wanting to die within seconds of beginning exercising back in the old days… now, I’m totally fine going a good hour or more, depending on my mood.

Eat something you don’t usually consume.
See above… I’d guess that enchilada crapola counts for something.  I also was surprised the other morning to open my front door and see 2 freshly planted piles of doggy doo doo treats (or so Lucy my cat thought they were).  I was tempted to try a bite of that but then the medication kicked in and I took off the strait jacket.  I guess in some countries it is considered a compliment to have the neighbor’s dog poop on your porch.  At least it wasn’t on fire…

Question of the Day:  What’s the last “new” food you tried? 

PS- Just wanted to take a minute to thank the Veterans for serving our country.  Freedom is an awesome privilege but it didn’t come for free.  Thank you all you brave men and women!   Have a great weekend, friends… and thanks for reading!


Filed under The List

The List…

I’ve seen this “list” on my calorizing site, MyFitnessPal on several different occasions.  It kept pulling me in and I’ve decided I’m going to bite the bullet (why in the frim fram sauce would anyone bite a bullet on purpose!?  Unless they star on that Weird Cravings show on TLC) and attempt to do it.  Obviously, I didn’t start it on the correct date seeing as today is the 10th of November.  But, I think I can double up some of the days and catch up in no time.   If anyone else wants to take the challenge with me, either use my comments below to answer the question or post the link to your blog where you answered it.  FUNNNNNNN!!!!   Or if not fun, at least self discovering and a step in the right healthy lifestyle direction.

Write one thing you love about yourself that you didn’t before.

Start me out with the hardest question of the bunch why don’t you.  Whatever happened to easing into the pot of magical witch brew!?  I feel like I’m scalding myself.  I can’t say I’ve ever thought about things I love about myself, mostly because I never felt like there was anything about me to love.  I was a big ole fat failure, counting down the days until I didn’t have to think about it anymore… because a dead person doesn’t have to think… do they?  I merely existed, going through the motions of life just because I had to… certainly not because I wanted to… and I lost years of my life living like that stuck in that pathetic little world of self-hatred and depression so thick I could cut it with a knife.  Those years bring up dark memories.  I don’t like to think about them and yet I need to… it’s all part of the healing process because this isn’t about losing weight in the sense that I’m becoming a smaller human… it’s about shedding all of the baggage that got me to the point of weighing 530 pounds in the first place.  That baggage will always be with me… always… I just have to learn how to manage it so that it doesn’t take control of me like it once did.

So, what do I love about myself now that I didn’t before?  My persistence.  I could have given up long ago.  There were numerous times when I was tempted just to say to heck with it, this is how it’s going to be, but deep down I somehow knew that wasn’t what I wanted, so I’d doggedly get back up and try again… and fail again… until one day it clicked and it actually registered in my head space that this was not some temporary thing but a lifelong process.  I wake up in the morning faced with choices… if I choose the wrong thing this day, I can wake up tomorrow and try to choose better.  When you think about it, it’s not all that hard of a concept, and yet it’s the hardest thing I have EVER done in my entire life.

Question of the Day:  What’s one thing you love about yourself that you didn’t before? 

If anyone else is participating in the List of FUNNNNN… I’m posting the whole list here for reference of what’s going to be coming up in the coming days so you can prepare, all the way to December 31st, 2011!

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Filed under The List