Yagottawanna! - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 247183

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Aug. 16, 2011 10:35 am 
Updated: Aug. 25, 2011 6:29 pm
I have been asked, very frequently, about why and how I accomplished such a radical lifestyle change in a fairly short time. I never felt I had done much, at all, yet others seem to believe that I died in one spot and resurrected in another as a different person. Even a few of those that were beside me throughout that part of my life, are asking. I really feel it wasn’t (and isn’t) anything radical or difficult. All it took for me to realize that my body was demanding change was a stroke. Simple- right? I admit, the stroke was minor but it was the kick on the backside that was my wakeup call.
My doctor wanted me to find my own way to a healthier life and report to him what I was doing. The idea being I would more willingly use information I had found. In the past, patients regarded his guidelines as “doctor’s orders”, resented following them and gave up because of that resentment.
So, how could I find a diet that I would recommend to myself? How could I make myself like it? Would I be able to include my wife without making her feel like a captive? These and other questions were soon to be disregarded.
It was during this period of indecision and confusion that another life changing event occurred and opened more doors- cancer. After surgery and radiation treatment, the Cancer Care Center conducted a class to help patients re-adjust to life after cancer. (Entitled, “Cancer Transitions” and sponsored cooperatively by “The Wellness Community”  and “The Lance Armstrong Foundation”.) In this program I learned that diets are out. In fact, diets can be dangerous especially when self- administered. Instead, a change of lifestyle that involves much more than temporarily depriving oneself of a few things. Also, the lost weight comes back very often. What is needed is a “lifestyle adjustment”. This phrase was strange to me but I was soon to learn that those words can be magic if taken seriously. The strangest thing about it is, you don’t give up anything.
During the six weeks of class, I would put the knowledge together in my notes. From those notes I began my program of eating moderately, daily exercise and concentration on wellness. To accomplish this, I recalled and put to use a word I learned over thirty years ago in Jaycees. YAGOTTAWANNA! It’s really not a word but I found its value to be immeasurable. When things got tough yagottawanna made me see them through.
Yagottawanna make the plan. Yagottawanna see it through. Yagottawanna maintain it. Yagottawanna  like yourself for  it. Yagottawanna love your family so much that you’ll include them. Yagottawanna live! That non-word is nearly branded into my daily activity.
Now, we have “lifestyle adjustment” and “yagottawanna” as operative words. What could be next? How about GOYA? That’s not the brand name of some excellent products. Notice it is all upper case letters. Another acronym? Yup! It means, Get Off You’re A--!
Lifestyle adjustment, yagottawanna and GOYA are doing very well for me and they are used nearly every day. Sure, there’ll be slip ups but returning to the routine is easy just because I use these words.
Before I reveal my plan and lifestyle, I want to emphasize this is my program. Your needs may be vastly different from mine. Get a physical to be sure of your abilities, wellness and dietary needs. Once started, you should have a follow up appointment within three or four months to be sure you are ok and every six months after that for your lifetime.
My Plan.
1.      Lose surplus pounds
2.      Exercise 30 minutes in the morning and walk briskly for 30 minutes in the evening. (These are minimums.)
3.      Create a healthier menu using the foods we enjoy and keeping moderation foremost.
4.      Whenever I can, tell my family I love them and how important they are.
5.      Thank God every day that I have been given a second chance to make my life right.
None of this has been difficult. A firm desire to apply it is all it takes. I recently regained seven pounds of the twenty two I had lost. I goofed but I am back on track.
Aug. 16, 2011 11:05 am
Glad you WANNA Mike and I am very glad you are back on track. I am passing this on to some friends. Thanks so much. :)
Aug. 16, 2011 11:44 am
i need to save this and glance back at it often. i'm glad you have made a great decision...life will get better for you mike!
Aug. 16, 2011 12:09 pm
Thanks, Mike! I have been on a smaller version of the "Lifestyle Adjustment". I joined my city's Fitness Challenge program in mid-January. But it ended in mid-May! I made it clear to the powers that be that there should be year-round follow-ups just to help keep us on track! I have lost 12 pounds - haven't seen any gained back although I try not to obsess over the scale. I was going to the gym until the summer heat hit, but will go back in Sept. But I have started walking my poor neglected dogs again, and they are very happy which makes me happy. My meals are smaller and healthier, for the most part. And I've cut back on the beer (my biggest downfall!). My clothes are getting bigger! People have noticed! But it's knowing others are out there trying their darndest too that really helps!
Aug. 16, 2011 1:19 pm
Mike , I hope you don't mind but I have a few friends that need to read your blog today. I love that non-word "yagottawanna" It now holds a place of honor on my refrigerator! Thanks for sharing!
Aug. 16, 2011 1:57 pm
I like your words, Mike! Funny, today at work my friend & I were talking about these very things - just using different words! I need to "steal" your goals and work at them. For me the exercise part is the toughest to keep at. Some days I'm just too tired, or I run out of time. Excuses, I know, but that's what happens. Guess I haven't had a serious enough personal life-changing experience, though I have changed my eating habits in the last few years.... baby-steps...
Aug. 16, 2011 3:24 pm
LOVE it Mike. I truly believe in the GOYA, no matter how badly you change your eating habits without the GOYA the results are not the same. I struggled with weight in my late teen years and into my 20's. After having children the pounds started to melt away. Running after children seems to do that for you. As the boys got older and needed less chasing, I realized very quickly that I needed to do something different. The meals were always easy, we still eat fried food, ice cream, doughnuts, kick a$$ 1 inch steaks, baked potatoes with all the fixings, etc. But moderation is key. I found yoga to be very good for the body, mind and soul. I enjoy the quiet time, me time I suppose. Keep up the great work and thanks for setting things straight with GOYA. BTW, I lost 40 lbs many years ago, though I bounce within 10 lbs between fall and spring (always gain a bit over winter) I continue to fit into my jeans every summer.
Aug. 16, 2011 4:36 pm
Thank you, Baking Nana! I will be building on this when I have progressed a little further. I do have one post in the wings and I will bring it on next week.
Aug. 16, 2011 4:37 pm
Hi, Gary! Life is already better. It feels good to be where I'm at.
Aug. 16, 2011 4:47 pm
Hi, Mary C ! Battle Creek has a challenge going on with Oklahoma City. Battle Creek must give up 100,000 pounds or the mayor must do something for the OK City mayor. There is a site that you can use as an individual or as a group. (I belong as an individual.) here's the link. ... presidentschallenge.org ... You record your activity by time and intensity instead of miles or reps. To me, that is a more accurate way to record activity.
Aug. 16, 2011 4:51 pm
Having yagottawanna posted on the fridge is a fun reminder, Terry!
Aug. 16, 2011 4:58 pm
Thinking about exercising when you are already worn out can defeat you. That's why I exercise in the morning. In the evening my walk time helps me to finish the day because I am able to recap or resolve the days issues. I always feel better after my walks. Sometimes though, a stronger word is needed to get me to my AM exercises. A word like yagottawannagoya!
Aug. 16, 2011 5:06 pm
I knew redneck gramma (or one of her multiple personalities) would be quick to jump on this! Any tracker knows full well the benefits of eating light and right because it is about survival.
Aug. 17, 2011 10:22 am
Thanks for letting us in on your secret! I've got the food part down, but the surplus pounds aren't obeying:) I'm still working on the regular exercise (I'm better but not consistent). Since being diagnosed with COPD, I've been accused of saying "I love you" too much. You are a great role model for your kids and grandkids and your AR friends. Thanks for giving us something to aspire to...now I've just got to GOMA (get of MY .....:)
Aug. 17, 2011 11:28 am
It' really not a secret, Mangel! The exercise has been more important than the diet requirements. My body needs rebuilt from the inside outward and I have been trying to find a routine for a long time. I have landed one, finally. My next evaluation is in January and I'll know just how good I have been to myself- or not. ... I considered GOMA for my motivation but I liked GOYA better because my other self likes to use it on me. :0
Aug. 17, 2011 1:07 pm
I can see my other self liking GOYA better, too!
Aug. 17, 2011 1:10 pm
FYI, tomorrow we're having BAWN for dinner! I'll let you know how it turns out.
Aug. 17, 2011 1:36 pm
LOLOL! It never fails to amaze me if I'm away a day or two what wonderful blogs pop up. You have said it perfectly with Yagottawanna and GOYA. Both apply to so many things in life. My DH needs to read this cause he was just told his BP is a little high. Yep, I've been telling him he needs to take some more concern with his health. I can only do so much but I will add this to your excellent words of wisdom, life style changes do take time and you just have to KEEP working at them!!!
Aug. 17, 2011 1:37 pm
OH and I should have added this from your FITA :)(: Cat
Aug. 17, 2011 3:25 pm
Enjoy the BAWN, Mangel. Baking Nana gave it four stars and Mother Ann gave it five stars.
Aug. 17, 2011 3:31 pm
Hi Mike! Yagottawanna and GOYA words to live by!! My husband is in his early 50's and is in good health but has had his own revelations about eating healthier; this makes my life easier having someone that wants to participate in a healthier lifestyle instead of having to argue them into it....now if I could get him to stop drinking beer. Oh by the way, he enjoys the American Beer much more than the Canadian, he can't handle our stuff any longer but the American goes down much easier (less alcohol). Always enjoy reading your blogs. By the way, I too love tuna in macaroni salad, or tuna over a garden salad, who knew how good that could taste?
Aug. 17, 2011 3:32 pm
The changes have been slow, Cat. You said your DH has been out of work a while. If he had a physical job and is now not as active, that could cause a slight rise in blood pressure. Just get him to start taking brisk walks of 15 to 20 minutes and stay away from sodium. ... What is a FITA? I'm not completely educated on internet shorthand.
Aug. 17, 2011 3:41 pm
Hi, Janet! It's also easier for his healthier lifestyle to have you on the wagon with him. Let the beer go for a while- unless he's being obnoxious. Most men like to take their time with changes and will resent or reject fast change. If he is tuned into his health he'll make up his own mind in time.
Aug. 17, 2011 5:38 pm
Hi Mike, we both got on the wagon at the same time; this makes life so much easier. Recently though I have been on a diet, (the Dukan Diet), which means I am eating protein where as he is wanting more meatless meals. I know, I know everyone is going to say have beans as an alternate protein however, this diet doesn't allow that. I am eating no fat cottage cheese and yogurt, but I have to say having some lean chicken or beef a couple times a week is something my body really craves. The tuna is a nice alternative, but not in a macaroni salad. I wanted to lose weight, hubby doesn't need to, however the beer may catch up to him. I will take your advice and let it go, a cold beer on a hot day is sometimes very appreciated. With fall and winter coming he tends to not want beer. I do believe you are correct that he will make up his own mind. Good advice, thank you!!!!
Aug. 17, 2011 5:57 pm
I did go meatless for less than two weeks. I finally bought some meat when roadpizza started to look delicious. Now, we have one or two meatless meals each week.
Aug. 17, 2011 7:56 pm
Hey, former Jaycee here too! Love yagottawanna. Mike, can you point me to some of your blog links where you address some of your recipes/suggestions for liquid/soft foods? I have a friend with throat cancer that could use some tips. Thank you!
Aug. 17, 2011 7:56 pm
Hey, former Jaycee here too! Love yagottawanna. Mike, can you point me to some of your blog links where you address some of your recipes/suggestions for liquid/soft foods? I have a friend with throat cancer that could use some tips. Thank you!
Aug. 17, 2011 7:57 pm
Oops, fingers were faster than my internet connection.
Aug. 17, 2011 8:17 pm
I keep getting bounced off tonight FITA friends in the air!
Aug. 17, 2011 8:17 pm
Finally it got posted ugh
Aug. 18, 2011 4:33 am
Hi Magnolia Blossom! I didn't have any bookmarks. Sorry. But, what food will be good depends on the typen of cancer, what kind of surgery and what kind of therapy your friend will undergo. For me, there were initial restrictions but they were soon lifted and I was on my own. During radiation is when I had the most problem with food- especially anything that was spicy or greasy.
Aug. 18, 2011 4:42 am
Well ...DUH, ME!!! Thanks, Cat!
Aug. 18, 2011 1:03 pm
Yep, that one is yours!
Aug. 18, 2011 7:12 pm
Good blog, good information. It is easier to use the "wheel" someone else developed than try to reinvent another one. I'm sure your tried/true experiences will help many others. Thanks!
Aug. 19, 2011 5:36 pm
Thank you, mamaw!
Aug. 19, 2011 7:14 pm
Thanks Mike. My friend has throat cancer and will be undergoing radiation and possible chemo later on. Right now she can have food that isn't as thick as mashed potatoes, but has to be a little more solid than just plain liquid. I prepared a blended soup and she had to add a little instant mashed potatoes to thicken it up a bit. No tomatoes or citrus, acid can irritate. We will prevail! Just takes a little fine tuning.
Aug. 19, 2011 8:23 pm
Made the BAWN last night, and DH renamed it BA'BAWN (Bad-A$$ Beef A$$ with Noodles). We loved it! Thanks for sharing.
Aug. 24, 2011 9:25 pm
Mike, ya got my brain cells working again, despite the hour! Be well!
Aug. 25, 2011 6:29 pm
Hi, Stevie! Wish I knew how I got your brain cells to working. I could use the tactic on myself!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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