Where I Spent Last Thursday Morning



Well, I’ve already begun putting my New Year’s Resolutions into action.

This Sunday I visited a new church…which was nice…except that I was one of only 17 people in the sanctuary (including the preacher, minister of music, and deacons)…and I was the youngest in the room…by at least 30 years. (The pastor was 84…I know because he told me.)

Everyone was nice…and pretty excited to have a new face in the pews. But as lovely as the little church was…I think I’m going to keep looking…until I come across a church with an average age of at least 70.

On the weightloss front, I took a trip to an internist on Jan. 4 for a complete physical and guidance about my weight goals. This was an appointment I set three months ago (that was the soonest I could book an appointment).


Other than having to wear the oh-so stylishly drafty hospital gown (opening to the front) and getting walked in on when I was mid-pee giving my urine specimen in a cup (I now need therapy)…the appointment went great. The doctor gave me some hope about the hair on my chinny chin chin…and she recommended a nutritionist for me to see (scheduled for Feb. 13…again, that was the soonest I could be taken).

Until then, I’m trying my best to eat healthy and not eat any fast food or take out at all.

So far, I’ve gone on a Flavor Adventure at lunch…


And…for the first time in my entire life…cooked fish…SAL-mon!


(Please don’t gag at the above picture…it was a Southern Living recipe for salmon topped with homemade salsa…a mistake I will NEVER repeat…as long as I live.)

I hate fish…unless it comes in fried or stick form. However, my doctor said I have to start working it into my diet for a healthier heart and such.

The salmon was okay…but still pretty fishy. I managed to gag down a servng of salsa through one meal…then promptly chucked the leftovers in the garbage. It was disgusting, which was pretty upsetting considering how much chopping and shucking (yes, I shucked the corn and cut it from the cob…so it’d be fresh) and peeling and cooking went into it.


I’ve also tried to be more active…but I know I need to do better.

I walked Sadie on Friday afternoon for 20 minutes and stayed busy all weekend…which meant I slept better (because I was actually tired).

Oh…one important note…after my EKG…blood and urine sampling…physical exam…and having my blood pressure taken three times…the doctor said that all my numbers are good…except my blood pressure. This came as no surprise to me as my blood pressure has always been high and hypertension runs in my family. Nonetheless…I’m now on blood pressure medication. The good news is there is a possibility that I can get off of it once I lose weight.

About the Monkbot Weightloss Plan…I put a lot of thought into it this weekend and this is what I determined…

I’m not going to put a plan in action for everyone. It’s not realistic.

What I am going to do is post my progress as I work toward my goal. In these posts, those who are working to loose weight can share their progress as well in the comment section.

I hope this will work for everyone…as it’s all I can offer. My mind has to be on ME right now…I really want to get healthy and, if possible, get OFF this medication.

So…everyone…spill…how are you doing on your healthy lifestyle? Any good recipes (I need low sodium ones, please)? Any ideas for activities? Successes from anyone yet? Setbacks?

Let me hear it!


37 Responses to “Where I Spent Last Thursday Morning”

  1. Jan Says:

    I have high blood pressure and have been in the emergency room because of it. High blood pressure meds suck ass. Even so, it is so important for you to take them and try new ones as needed until you have it under control. My blood pressure has been under control for a couple of years but I had some hard times before that. Bad side effects and such. Working out or any kind of hard physical labor while you are on new meds can be difficult. Just be careful and listen to your body on this. Sorry, I had a time!!

    I went climbing for the first time in months and it was great. So what if it hurts to type right now. Good times for sure. I have decided to resume my guitar lessons on AI performance night and to climb at the gym on AI results night so that I can move on.

    I was in Weight Watchers for 1 year and it does work. The support is key. I lost 30 pounds.

  2. TKls2myhrt Says:

    Shelley! Good girl! I’m seeing someone tomorrow about weight loss. You are so wise to tackle this now at your younger age. Any developments on the Monkbot support group? Do you think if we are good girls about our health, Gray will arrange a private concert for us? I can dream….

  3. Mind Doc Says:

    Shelley! I am very happy that you did all of that cruddy prep work. Yeah — I think that it is the support factor that is helpful, not weight loss plans. I find that having to tell other people that I ate an entire box of krispy kremes is the only thing that will make it go back on the shelf.

    I am really glad that you are taking care of yourself, physically and spiritually. I had to laugh about the church that you went to today. Keep up the search, though.

    The waxing thread was hilarious — I had missed it before.

  4. shelley Says:

    Wow…thanks everyone…for the support and great advice.

    Jan…I’m so happy to hear about your weightloss AND you plans to move on from AI. I must admit, I haven’t decided if I’m going to watch AI or not this year.

    And support is what we all need to do with each other. I think y’all are right…it’s the KEY!

    Oh…and TKls2myhrt…let’s hope Gray reads your suggestion…I, personally, think it’s brilliant. πŸ˜‰

  5. Libby Says:


    Thanks for the update. You are so right — keep the focus on what you need. We can all share and support with our own personal goals.

    I highly suggest the Canyon Ranch website: http://www.canyonranch.com. You can register for their “connection” with an email. I cannot get the link right now — but it should be easy to locate on the site. The diet/nutritional and medical information is sound and they are associated with the Cleveland Clinic, a very reputable medical facility. The registration to the connection site is free. It has great recipes with a nutritional breakdown for recipes — and other suggestions on exercise, stress reduction etc.

    I deal with insulin resistance and can post some other points of info that I received in study and work with a nutritionist here in Atlanta, if it is of interest to folks.

    My focus right now is to increase my exercise — working hard to meet my goals — and somedays are harder than others ! Back to the treadmill…

    Have a great week !!!

  6. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Shelley! BEST SALMON…2 tsps of Lawery’s Ginger Sesame Sauce, a ziplock baggie and a piece of salmon…marinate in fridge for 20-ish minutes then briol for 7-9 minutes (depending on thinkness) THE BEST! serve with asparagus (natural directic) and brown rice!

    I am waiting to see about the job situation before dieting…but walking Beau like 90 minutes a day!!!

  7. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, if you want a non-fishy fish try a swordfish or tuna steak. You can do them in the plastic they come in with salt/pepper/dill or thyme and lemon juice. Microwave for 5-8 minutes depending on size of filet. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s (do you guys have those?). Anyway, salmon is tender, but fishier than swordfish or tuna.

    More later, just wanted to give you hope about fish–we eat it appx 2times/week. Great omega-3 fatty acids!

  8. shelley Says:

    Libby, thanks for the website reference…can’t wait to check it out!

    Shrew…I will try that with the salmon. One question, though….am I supposed to broil or briol? (just kiddin’) Oh…and how do you cook asparagus…I have NO idea. Kudos to you for walking Beau 90 minutes a day. Sadie would be beside herself! Ha.

    Leejolem…I’ll have to try those. I’m going to have to find someplace other than Kroger to buy my fish. We don’t have a Trader Joe’s. The funny thing is, I grew up on the Mississippi Coast and used to have fresh fish available to me pretty much all the time…but I never wanted it. Now that I need it, I don’t live near the Coast. (For the record, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shrimp, scallops, crab…and even crawfish. I wish they were as good for you as fish….yuck.)

    One other thing, I had to collect urine for 24 hours this weekend (gross) and take it in this morning to drop it off at the lab.

    I had NO idea this was an added cost ($55 plus lab fees). I was totally pissed (excuse the pun).

    Plus, when I went in, they wanted to draw blood. I asked if it would cost money and the nurse told me (in the most snotty of voices). “Yes.” I told her I had an appointment on Thursday and I wasn’t going to give today. She told me to wait while she called the doctor.

    Ends up, the doctor wants to check my potassium since I’ve been on the blood pressure medication.

    This really makes me angry.

    Why should I pay for her to check her work? I thought follow-up visits to see how you are progressing under a doctor’s care were a part of the overall fees…not chargeable with every single little thing done.

    THIS is why I never go to the doctor. I HATE spending money. HATE IT! Especially for B.S.

    The doctor also wants to do a chest X-Ray on Thursday at my follow-up…but I don’t see the need and won’t be doing it.

    I’ve still got to consider that I’ve got to pay for a doctor’s appointment in February (the nutritionalist)…concessions have to be made.

    Plus…I think the cost of an X-Ray is enough to keep my blood pressure elevated.

    Sorry for the rant…but I’m really upset right now.

    I truly despise going to the doctor for this very reason. It’s ridiculous to have to pay so much. I can’t afford it and I’m not going to let them bully me into it.

    For the record, I went in for a “Healthy You” exam last Thursday which was supposed to be entirely covered by insurance. I told everyone I saw that I was there for that exam. They STILL ran tests on me that weren’t covered by the “Healthy You” and when I went to check out ended up paying $130! Talk about being totally infuriated.

    When told today that my pee-jug check would cost me $55 plus…I told the woman that they really should let patients know what procedures cost what so that this type of thing doesn’t happen.

    I understand and appreciate the doctor wanting to be thorough…but I don’t appreciate one bit having to pay an additional amount for it.

  9. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, I’m going to go into health care practitioner mode–why do they need a chest x-ray? I can’t think of any reason w/your meds (bp right?). I would definitely find out the reason for the xray.

    I hate insurance and medical bills! Over the last 4 years we’ve paid $13,000 out of our pocket (that we really didn’t have) for things that an old insurance company refused to pay for. Urghh!!!

  10. Mind Doc Says:

    Shelley — and the funny thing is, they will check your blood pressure which is elevated from the stress of the procedures and the unnecessary cost.

    Stand your ground, chica. They prefer meek patients who just do what they are told and don’t think.

    (however, after standing your ground, take a deep breath. In through the nose to the count of five and out to the count of five. Do it three times and call me in the morning. Do NOT visualize grabbing the officious person by the neck and whacking them with your checkbook multiple times. Defeats the purpose.)

  11. double d Says:

    Shelley – I’m not a fish person either but it is good for you and it does help you lose weight. Our WW lady recommended Tilapia. You can get the frozen Tilapia at Sam’s or Wal-Mart or Winn Dixie and it comes in individual packs. It doesn’t take long to defrost (about 5 minutes under warm water).

    I get the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray and spray that into a skillet. I season the fish with a little season-all (Tony Chachere’s my favorite) and then “pan fry” it for about 10 minutes. I have that with a little steamed cabbage or steamed broccoli & cauliflower….it is YUMMY.

    A couple of things that help me TREMENDOUSLY are: WATER. If you drink the 8 glasses of water a day, you WILL lose. Also, I get the WW Oreo Cookie Ice Cream bars, so that I can have a dessert and not feel so “deprived”. They are expensive, but worth it.

    The WW lady also told us Protein in the morning and “good” carbs at night (or later in the day). Several small meals a day instead of one large one. But, I will say again that the WATER is the key.

    My biggest thing is exercise. I really hate it but I need to do it. I need to figure out something that I will be disciplined enough to do and that will actually burn calories.

    We can do this! Let’s go, gang.

  12. shelley Says:

    Mind Doc said, “Do NOT visualize grabbing the officious person by the neck and whacking them with your checkbook multiple times.”

    For planting this seed of an idea in my brain…you get the

    Official Prize of the Day

    I promise to stand my ground…and keep my wallet in my purse (to avoid paying high fees and beating someone over the head).

    DD, I have tried Tilapia and do like it, and I like grilled Mahi Mahi (sp?). Since my last rant, I checked around to find some meat markets in my area that can provide fresh cuts of whatever I need. I think that will help a LOT.

    I love LOVE LOVE Tony Chachere’s…but I will have to check to see if it’s offered in a low sodium version.

    I’m drinking LOTS of water. It’s pretty much all I drink. As a matter of fact, I’m not drinking coffee anymore (this is tough, seeing how I smell it all day because I work next to the break room). However, I allow myself one glass of iced tea each day (sweet of course). If I can’t have iced tea with dinner…what’s the point of livin’. I’m not drinking ANY sodas.

    As far as sweets…it’s not a problem keeping them at bay. I’m a salty/savory person. I’d choose chips over cake ANY day. So, when I do get sweets I don’t feel guilty (maybe once or twice a month…if that).

    However, I have to watch my intake of salty snacks.

    Most diet food companies assume people crave only sweets and they make lots of low cal/low fat sweet snacks. But you’d be hard-pressed to come across some low cal/low sodium/low fat savory snacks.

    Y’alls ideas are GREAT!

    Keep ’em coming.

  13. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    Swordfish is really good for you and doesn’t taste too fishy either, but what i recommend is…FIBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOTS AND LOTS OF FIBER!!!!! Beans are one of the best foods you can eat–think of it they have a lot of protein and fiber, you can’t go wrong with beans (especially black beans). If you don’t like fiberous foods take medamucil (or however it’s spelled) or some other fiber supplement. Those are my official words of wisdom.

  14. HicksChick4Soul Says:

    I meant Mahi mahi….not swordfish (although it is really good)

  15. claire Says:

    Shelley, always eat breakfast!!! I recommend good old porridge (oatmeal) made with skimmed milk and a little sweetener if you want. A nice, fairly big bowl of that will really set you up for the morning, and stave off the 11am hunger pangs. It’s boring, I know, but it really does work.

    And the chin wax story was feckin’ hilarious!!!

    ps, check your e-mail Shell….

  16. shelley Says:


    Organic oatmeal with flax seed, a small pat of organic butter and a touch of organic brown sugar…check

    A small glass of organic orange/mango juice…check

    A BIG glass of water…check

    Supplements and blood pressure medicine..check

    for my morning snack I had 28 unsalted almonds.

    Just ate a Healthy Choice for lunch and will gnosh on some red grapes this afternoon. πŸ™‚

  17. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Hey Shelley:
    Check the sodium content of the Healthy Choice…if it is above 25% of your daily intake, it could work against your medicine efforts.

  18. shelley Says:

    Thanks for that, Shrew.

    I’m pulling the box out of the garbage….



    Plus I keep the rest of my salt pretty low the rest of the day.


  19. ivoryhut Says:

    Shelley!! Congratulations on the actual “doing something about it” part that most of us never get to.

    Okay, maybe I can offer some help with salmon. Herb and nut-crusted salmon is as follows: throw in a blender/chopper some Kashi whole-grain cereal (the one slightly sweetened with honey is what I use), sesame seeds, walnuts, garlic powder, salt or salt substitute, a touch of cayenne, and pepper. Then crust the salmon fillet with the mixture and you can either bake it or fry it in a little canola oil. It’s best with a mango salsa on the side (mango, red pepper, green bell pepper, jalapenos, red onions, cilantro, lime, some extra virgin olive oil and salt or salt substitute). Or you can do a creamy horseradish sauce on the side too if that’s your preference.

    Or, you can do a miso glaze for it:

    1 cup white miso
    1/2 cup sake
    3/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tbsp. grated ginger
    1/2 cup canola oil

    That’s the marinade. Let the fish marinate in that for about 2 hours (up to 6 hours), then broil it until the sugar caramelizes into a glaze. It’s also great for eggplant slices, or even chicken or beef.

    I usually have it with a little watercress salad on the side (watercress, red onions, rice vinegar dressing).

    Now to catch up on the rest of the comments. When I started this, there were only about 4 on the thread. Then I left for lunch, and see a lot more so that’ll be my afternoon reading for today! That, and shopping for a good keyboard amp. Any suggestions?

    Hi to everyone! Hope the year’s going great for y’all.

  20. nolagirl Says:

    Shelley – I NEED to know what went wrong with your “salsa” on your salmon!

    Now, on to some pats on the back. GREAT job on your weight loss plans/action!!!! That is very admirable.

    Have you still been walking in the morning? I have kinda taken a break since right before the holidays, but am determined to get back on track. It really was a good thing for me, 5:15 wakeup call and all.

    I wish I wasn’t a sweets-freak – that is my vice! DD, I have found some WW English toffee bars that are SO GOOD! Like you said, expensive, but they really do the trick! (those ones you mentioned are pretty good though too)

  21. shelley Says:

    Ivory…that sounds DELISCIOUS!!!!

    I am definitely going to try it (but maybe not the salsa…if it’s sweet…read my comment to NOLA below).

    I’m not a fan of horseradish…but if it’s in moderation with a creamy sauce…it might be worth trying. Though the fish by itself sounds best to me.

    NOLA…what went wrong…

    To start, it called for lots of red onion. I love onion…but too much onion boiled down makes stuff too sweet. The corn was sweet, too. And the salsa called for a tsp of sugar…again…too sweet.

    As I said before…I don’t like sweet that much…especially when it’s fighting with savory (like fish)

    When I think of salsa…I think zesty and tomato-y and crisp and fresh…not sweet.

  22. nolagirl Says:

    Ok, I gotcha! I don’t think I’ve ever had a “sweet” salsa, so I don’t know how I’d like it. It looked good in the picture though! You would like this Mexican Salsa Dip that I have the recipe for – you eat it with those big Fritos (not diet friendly, but the actual dip is)

  23. shelley Says:

    I’d love a recipe for a really good homemade salsa.

    as for the chips…i can go with low fat, low salt…as long as the salsa kicks butt.

  24. nolagirl Says:

    Post-It note written!

    I will get it when I get home tonight. πŸ™‚

  25. ivoryhut Says:

    Shelley, all I do for salsa is fresh tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, onion, lime, a touch of garlic, and salt. Best had as soon as it’s made. (Add some avocado, and you’ve got guacamole.)

    I chop/dice them using a knife because I like my salsa fairly chunky. My husband likes putting everything in a blender. Works either way, though the blender thing tends to get a bit more liquidy than I’d like.

    Oh, and I remove the soft inner pulp of the tomato and the seeds beforehand. Helps keep the liquid level down.

  26. ivoryhut Says:

    Oh! Some other things I swear by:

    1. Unsweetened cranberry juice. I get the one from Trader Joe’s, although there are other brands too. Has to be 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice. Then I take a 32 oz bottle of that, add a heaping teaspoon of Stevia (natural sweetener, does not affect blood sugar levels) and set it aside. Everyday, I drink 64 oz. of diluted cranberry juice (8 oz of the cranberry plus 56 oz water). Known to really help cleanse the liver.

    2. Magnesium supplements. Helps with absorption of calcium, aids digestion, and a side benefit which is huge for me is that it helps you sleep better at night. Go figure.

    3. Flaxseed oil. I add a teaspoon or two to my protein smoothie in the morning. (Protein smoothie is a cup of fruit – I use frozen strawberries – plus a dash of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, 8oz cranberry juice, an one scoop whey protein powder.) Great way to start the day with protein, and tastes yummy too. Once in a while I’ll add chocolate powder or blueberries or a banana to vary things a bit.

    Or I start the morning with an omelette. That’s when I’m not too lazy to cook something.

  27. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Anytime there is corn particulate matter in any sauce…it never bodes well.

  28. leejolem Says:

    Shrew “corn particulate matter”–that makes me laugh!

  29. leejolem Says:

    Shelley, I too will come out of the closet and admit I suffer from chin hair issues (I refuse to call it my goatee area). It is the one thing, next to the size of my stomach, that I would love to change permanently about myself. It drives me nuts. I tweeze, I wax, but it always comes back. I would like electrolysis, but it takes 2-4 treatments and is pretty pricey. I carry tweezers with me everywhere. I share your pain.

    Have loved all the posts today. So many good ideas. Now I just have to put them in action!

  30. Mind Doc Says:

    Prize of the day!!! Whoo hooo!

    I am the kind of person who will try most things. I agree with everything else that other people have said. Breakfast is a must, as is water. I think that you are doing fabulously. It takes a lot of work in the beginning, but it will pay off. I am really happy that people are inspiring each other.

  31. kimmykins Says:

    I have to say I was tickled to see your post today Shelley. Talk about great timing. I was just thinking about my own plan to lose weight and then I got home and saw what you are doing. Just weighed in and my goal is to lose 30 pounds in 3 months and get down to 185.

    An important part of my weight loss plan is to eat at home much more often and avoid snacking. I think part of avoiding snacking is just being aware you are doing it. Just today I was eating some chocolate fudge that I had gotten from the breakroom realized what I was doing and promptly spit it out.

    My weight gain has been particularly hard emotionally because it wasn’t really a gradual thing, just 5 short years ago I was a Division 1 athlete. The second I stopped exercising 2 times a day my magical metabolism went out the window and the appetite remained. do eth! Happy to see I’ll have someplace to talk about my journey.

    Speaking of unwanted hair on the face, has anyone else had the hair above their lip darken almost overnight? It’s not that more hair grew in, it’s just like the peach fuzz decided to darken up on me. Literally one morning my husband looked at me and said “You need to wash your face.” I did so and the problem remained. Double do eth!

  32. shelley Says:

    kimmykins…glad you’re working toward your goal, too!

    i know you can do it.

    as for the dark hair…i haven’t had that problem on my lip…that hair for me tends to be blond.

    however, i know girls who have that hair bleached. it discolors the skin a bit for a day but then looks great! πŸ™‚

  33. Jan Says:

    Those salmon recipes sound so yummy that I can’t wait to try them. I love a mango salsa so that is a must to try.

    One thing that helped me in WW was to take food with me when I went to parties. I know it sounds silly but I took healthy food with me so I knew I’d have something healthy to eat.

  34. Paul Says:

    When I turned 30, I decided to start focusing on my health. I signed up for an outrageously expensive gym, figuring that the idea that I was wasting money by not using the membership would spur me to work out. It did, and working out became a habit. Over the course of three years, I went from a 42 waist to a 33. For the past four years, I’ve maintained that size. So, my advice is the following:
    1. Focus on overall health; don’t obsess about weight.
    2. Work on developing a bit of muscle … the more muscle you have (even for women!) the more calories you burn doing nothing!
    3. Make exercise a habit and incorporate it into your everyday life.

    As for exercise, there are dozens of exercises you can do with bodybands and dumbells to tone muscles. Just find a simple routine and stick with it.

    Include at least 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. When I began working out, I used a treadmill. I now prefer elliptical trainers.

  35. Paul Says:

    Something Fishy
    My favorite fish is smoked salmon. I don’t know if you can get that in Mississippi, but if you can, try it. It is so much better than baked salmon.

    Scandinavians do a lot of stuff with pickled herring. It’s an acquired taste, but if you can find it, the pickled herring in curry sauce is pretty good. However, if you are on a low sodium diet, this might not be the best thing for you.

  36. shelley Says:

    Great advice, Paul. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  37. Jax Says:

    I decided that before Feb 21st (meeting lots of new people & seeing Taylor for the first time) that I will try to do something about this weight I gained in the past 6 months… Why I let myself gain back the weight I lost I have nooo idea..

    Everyday I walk 2 miles … I am trying to get up to 5 but am VERY proud of this 2 miles.. I have never been a fan of walking … I have always been SO bored with it .. Thanks to my mp3 player I can do this 2 miles without being bored out of my mind. Taylor’s fast stuff really helps … PTFMWB is my motivation to get off the porch lol I added Carlos Santana’s “Smooth” yesterday & love the beat to walk to … Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave” really makes me smile..

    I cannot eat fish .. 27 1/2 years ago I was a huge seafood fan .. When I became pregnant with my son it was the only thing that made me sick so it was banished … It took me 8 years to get my taste back for shrimp .. oh well .. My son is a keeper & I’d rather have him than eat a plate of fish ..

    I have found (in the past that is .. & am praying that it holds true this time)that by eliminating the “white” (pasta.. sighhhh … doughnuts double sighhhh) food in my diet & adding more fruits & vegs & tons of water I can lose … After a week I am down 3 lbs & have another weigh in this Friday..

    Best of luck Shelley … you can do anything you set your mind too .. look at all you have accomplished this past year … not everyone I know can create such a wonderful place for friends to drop by and have a chat… Not to mention creating that wonderful lil Monkbot fella. You are a treasure.

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