This week had some rough spots, but I did manage to maintain at 188.5 pounds. My youngest child was home all week with the flu, so my schedule was off. As far as my diet, early in the week I ate more fat than I should have. I made up for it later in the week, so it averaged out OK.

Yet again on Sunday I waited until I was starving and then overate. I could have done without the pizza Sunday night. Every other time my hunger was about level three. I made the big salad again about halfway through the week. I need to keep it there all the time. And I have decided I’d rather have a carefully measured half serving of regular dressing than the standard serving of lite dressing, for equivalent fat and calories. I’ll try to incorporate more varied veggies next week.

As for exercise, I didn’t do as much as I should have. Because I was stuck home, I missed my first weight-training class. I’m sure it was just introductory stuff, but I was disappointed. I’ll start Monday. I probably could have done more cardiovascular, but didn’t. As long as I don’t get sick, I’ll get it in next time.

Most mothers can relate to the challenge of being stuck home for a week with a sick child. Cabin fever sets in and you are drawn to the kitchen for comfort and entertainment. I am having a similar problem with a snowstorm right now! You did let a lot of high-calorie foods into your selection this week. Be grateful you remained the same weight after three to four sweets, wine, beer and too much pizza. With this approach, you see that you can buckle down on other days and end with an average of 41 fat grams and about 1,500 calories. The fat gram budget allows you to make your own choices. You would rather have less of the regular salad dressing than more of the low-fat dressing? No problem!

You seem to prefer heavy, solid foods that are calorie dense. The salad is a good idea because it gives you volume without calories. Try to use more fruit, gelatin, vegetables and low-calorie starches, such as popcorn, to provide bulk to your meals and snacks.

Your first meal of the day is interesting. It often seems like lunch. If you are more satisfied with a sandwich that provides protein, and if this causes you to snack less before lunch, go for it. A bowl of cereal can offer you calcium and fiber as a snack later in the day rather than worse snack choices.

Try planning ahead for more healthful snacks. Then you will not be so hungry for meals and have more control.

It’s hard when your child is sick and you need to be home with him or her! All your effort goes toward the extra care they need to get well. Hopefully everyone is healthy now and you can resume your normal schedule.

You’re correct in assuming that the work on your floor is a legitimate workout. It uses muscles differently than you are accustomed to and you do expend some serious energy. Whenever you perform a task, such as floor work or painting, it’s important that you stretch afterward to prevent soreness and prevent you from becoming less flexible.

For this week, I’d like you to get in three solid cardiovascular sessions. Try to perform two walking workouts along with your exercise tape. Walk at a comfortable pace and use a natural arm swing. Also, let me know how you make out with the weight-training class. Have a good week.