Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trail Run Tragedy

These were the leaves I'd come to see and enjoy. I even stopped along the way to take a quick shot with my phone, and I DO NOT stop during a run.

Now I know that taking pictures of leaves during a run will never be a problem for me again, because I'll not be running that close to leaves along a trail. EVER AGAIN.

Why? Because my IT Band and some obscure muscles in my hip can't handle the steep slopes, soft-give-way-right-under-your-foot surface, and limb jumping that must be done on the trails in my neighborhood. These trails were meant for walking, my friends, and nothing else. Not for me, anyway.

This was the first run, in months, that I couldn't finish. And it was the first that I stopped running because of pain. Not fatigue. Pain. I couldn't walk properly for about a week after that run, but I got a cute shot of some leaves, right?

Then, about a week later, I attempted a run on my treadmill, figuring I was on a really stable surface, and I could stop whenever my hip called for it. Call, it did, and only a mile into that run, I called it off.

Then? I got sick. Snot all over the place, head exploding with pain, coughing up phlegm balls the size of small kittens, sick. Why? Because I dosed myself with thousands of pity-woe-is-me-I-may-never-run-in-another-race SUGAR calories. Smart, eh? So I've gotten myself so sick, that I haven't been to the gym in an entire week. That hasn't happened since, well, since I first injured my hip.

As irony would have it, staying out of the gym and not running seems to have given my hip the break it may have needed, so, I plan to go for a nice, long trail run tomorrow!??!! No, I'm not that stupid. But I do plan to get right back into the gym tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to it.

You know those freaks who are cranky if they don't get to go running each 24 hour period? The people who insist they run for fun? Well, I'm not that far gone yet, but I get them. Because I am truly, anxiously, so excited and thrilled, to go to my Interval class tomorrow. To be part of that group that sweats like crazy for an hour and pushes weights around until muscles beg for mercy. To rush out the door as though I'm headed off to see a great movie with a good friend and drive a little on the manic side, just to get my good spot under the fan, away from those absurd air fresheners that spray poison every five minutes in the face of unsuspecting oxygen-gaspers.

Do I think that my junk-food spree was rewarded with a repaired hip because of a forced recuperationfromtheplague period? No.

But I do think that God will make, and has made some beautiful things out of my messes, in spite of myself.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
-Romans 8:28

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Weigh Less Than My Husband Now

And it feels Grea-aaaat! (I see Tony the Tiger in my mind's eye right about here).

He's a pretty lean guy (my husband, not Tony), so it's harder for me to pull this off than a lot of women, so I'm giving myself some crazy credit right about now.

I've switched around my food a little bit and have been reading about becoming "metabolically efficient" when I run, and I think it is all paying off. So off we go for Thanksgiving, and I hope to come back in a few days the same weight or even a bit lighter. I'll not be going crazy at the Thanksgiving table. My version of "crazy" will be having some mashed potatoes when I ordinarily would not. That and a slice of pumpkin pie shall grace my lips. But I'm actually really looking forward to the turkey. We may talk my folks into trying a deep fried turkey this year, and if all goes well, and the house is still standing, I may have a nice pile of turkey on my plate :)

Since I doubt I'll be blogging before we get back, I have to take the time now to share a list of things for which I am very grateful:
  • Knowing and being known by God; being given the free gift of salvation, which I truly do not deserve
  • Parents who have always taken care of me and my needs; with great depths of love on top of it
  • A husband who puts up with my moods and who is faithful, hardworking, funny, and very, very, kind. He is truly the love of my life and I love our life together
  • Two precious girls who make me laugh and smile. They are healthy, and that alone is a cause for tremendous thanksgiving. They have made me a better person, and allowed me to get an idea of how much God must love me.
  • A safe home and good food to eat, warmth when it's cold, and cooling when it's hot. Flowers along my front sidewalk and Japanese Maples that always make me smile. Four very hairy, shedding cats who add tons of spice to our lives.
  • Friends. A sweet long-time best friend who knows about all of my 'warts' and still loves me. And a group of Bible study friends who make me laugh until I pee in my pants, and then pray for me when I'm broken.

When I read through that list, I am so full of gratitude it almost makes me cry. I know there will be dark times in my life again when it's hard to praise my Creator; but while it's easy in the midst of this abundance, I can't help but want to scream this list from the top of the glorious mountains we're going to visit this week.

As I don't want to embarrass my parents in front of their neighbors, my little blog will have to do ;)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Motivated Mama

Whew! It was not a good month. And it was a wonderful month. How's that, you might wonder?

Well those few weeks of waffling around with my eating were a BIG problem. One I hadn't dealt with in many months. Because of that, my net loss for the month was a whopping .4 lbs.

That said, I learned a lot and will be working diligently in the future to protect what I have gained (or lost?!) over this last year :)

The 'wonderful' of my month comes mostly in the last two weeks. This past one, I lost 4 whole pounds. That's unheard of for me!! I was getting to a point where a half pound loss was a reason to rejoice (it is, actually) but 4 pounds?!!! Crazy-amazing, Biggest Loser-esque type loss in my humble opinion.

So I've hit a brand new low, and I am really excited about it. I have plans to keep up with Keelie and her Holiday motivation plan, and my first thing was to set a goal for January 1st. It was to hit 145 by then, but I think I need to change that a bit. Hallelujah! So, my new goal is to reach the 130's. 139.8 would be just fine by me.

I'll have to plow through Thanksgiving, a Disney trip with LOTS of eating out, and some Christmas parties. Then Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Can I do it? Yup, I think I can. But it's gonna take some work.

Anyone else up for an end of the year challenge?

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Road Race!!

Posting about this race has been put off for far too long...lots of unhealthy food has gotten in my way, but I'm pushing through, and moving right along.
Just to be clear, the above pics are not of the actual hills I ran during the 6K, but I did tackle these hills a few days later when we went to the NC mountains to see the leaves. That said, the hills I did run during the race felt like the pictured hills.
So the days leading up to the race were less than stellar. I ate like a maniac with a desire to destroy all healthy cells. As I mentioned in another post, my BFF was in town. She also happens to be my favorite binge-buddy, and we did horrible things with food that week; both of us are dismayed and are working on not repeating that again.
Anyhoo, I really didn't want to run the race. I was worried about how I'd been eating and how I'd feel while I was running on junk food. I also had a little performance anxiety since my husband decided to tell people at work that I was running a race. In addition to that, this annual race starts and ends right in my own neighborhood, so the chances of random friends/neighbors showing up to watch (and judge!!) were freaking me out just a little.
My husband and BFF really left me no choice and kicked me out the door in time to run. Accompanied by my two 'prodders' and our combined four kids, I walked from our house to the starting point and pinned on my very first race numbers. Then I started to lose it a little when I saw our Pastor (also a neighbor) walk over with numbers of his own pinned on his shirt.
I had no idea he was planning to run (or be there!). He's been on a big health and running kick and has moved well beyond the 5 or 6K race distances. In fact, the next weekend, he told me, he would be running a Half.
I pleasantly inquired about his wife (a sweet lady and friend) who also was training for a Half, and he let me know that she'd be there shortly. Yay. Now I not only had spectators I wasn't expecting, but fellow runners who'd know exactly how pathetic I was at this running thing. I gave Husband and BFF ugly looks. Husband was clueless. I think BFF could read my mind.
What could I do then but run? So I went to the starting line behind Pastor and Wife, and tried to get my iPhone set up with music and the Nike Plus App I like to use. The race started, and I spent the first 1/4 of a mile fighting with the Nike program while simultaneously falling into those drainage/gutter things along the edge of the road. One thing I hadn't thought about during my practice runs was what it might be like to run as part of a herd.
I finally had to give up on my running App and just switched over to a favorite Playlist; I put the phone back in my Spibelt, strapped it around my waist and looked up for the first time since we started the race. Wife was just ahead, so I decided to try to keep up with her.
Then I started to question my sanity. What is the purpose of this racing stuff? What the heck would inspire me, or anyone else for that matter, to purposely do something so uncomfortable? What is the meaning of life??? Okay, the last question didn't occur to me at that moment, but I was almost there.
Then I just ran. I followed Wife. I lost Wife. I caught back up with Wife. Repeat.
My heart rate monitor stayed pegged at about 178 throughout the entire race, and I knew I wasn't going to push any harder than that, so I just did what I could do, and was excited to still be able to see Wife just a few strides ahead most of the way.
I really wish I'd had someone in my head to transcribe my thoughts during the race, because they'd probably give me a good chuckle right about now. I remember being surprised to pass by some big muscular guys, and to find some really 'fit' looking runners walking up the big hills. I lost Pastor early on, along with a girl I regularly see in the classes I take at the gym.
The most beautiful sight in the world was Husband and BFF with our kids just a few yards from the finish line. Pastor (who probably ran home for a shower and meal and then back) was there too, cheering Wife and me on to the finish line. That was, oddly enough, one of the best parts. I kept up with Wife! She mentioned her desire to run her Half at a pace just under 10-minute miles, so I thought I might be able to stick with her. Actually doing it was so nice.
We stuck around and cheered many of the other runners on to the finish line. A good twenty minutes later, people were still coming in, and my oldest daughter kept asking if they were part of the same race I was in :)
Here's the really fun part: the next morning I arrived at church, and Wife handed me a bronze metal!! She and Pastor had stuck around until the end and heard them call my name for third place in my division. How crazy funny and awesome is that, all at the same time? My time for the race was 36:35, so I did run just under 10-minute miles. And I didn't die. And I didn't quit. And I will run another race, because, while I still think running races is a nutty idea, I've got my own kind of 'crazy' going on, so I should fit right in.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Keebler Devils

This is just a quick post to protest the Keebler Elves newest sin: they have stolen from the Girls Scouts.

My childhood BFF was here all last week (one reason for my lack of posting) and we slid into old habits together: eating food that's not really food while simultaneously throwing our blood sugar all over the charts. I gained 5 pounds in one week. Seriously? It took me a month to lose that.

Anyway, not one to cast the blame on myself ;) I am planting it firmly in front of the feet of the Keebler people. Now, instead of only having to avoid my favorite cookies in the world (those coconut/caramel things, along with Thin Mints) ONCE a year, now I have to do it every time I visit my local grocery store. Which I do at least twice a week.

They've gotten their hands on the Girl Scouts' recipes, and have made exact replicas of one of my favorite treats/worst nightmares.

I guess shopping 'the perimeter' is what will keep me safe, and those darn cookies out of my line of sight.

Onto healthier endeavors, anyone interested in how my first race went??!! Well I'm going to include details in my next post, but I wanted to take a couple of pics first, so I can share photos as well as words....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Will Run For Gadgets

Or, more specifically, for running gadgets!

I am all set for the race (running gear-wise). I was putting my iPod in an armband to run, but when I recently switched to an iPhone (which is bigger), I was in a real pickle. I have the phone in a protective case that's a real pain to remove, so I went on a hunt for a belt with a pouch, and I found that cute little Spibelt!
It doesn't bounce around on my waist, whether I have it on my stomach or turned around to my back, and it could hold money and a key if I really needed it.
Also pictured is my heart-rate monitor. I had a Polar once upon a time, and also another brand which recently quick working. I really wanted a new one, but didn't want to spend much, so $35 was my total for this Timex. It seems to work like a charm, except when I'm on my treadmill ;) I guess there's too much interference... But where I really need it is outside anyway, so I can't complain. It's doing a great job of helping me stay at a decent pace; no slacking, no over-doing it.
My last, but not pictured, and favorite gadget of all? My iPhone. More specifically, the NikePlus app that I have on it. I just downloaded it before my last run, and was I in for a treat, or what?!!
Since I happen to live a street away from where the 6K I'll be doing next week is located, I've been running the exact route for practice. I'd mapped out the mile markers in my car so I could check on my pace.
Well, this NikePlus thing does it all for me. It tells me (through the music that I have playing) when I've hit each mile, and what my pace is. When I'm all done, I can look at a map of where I ran, what the elevation was, and what my pace was at different points. My girls got a big kick out of looking at all of this on the computer when I got home.
I was so inspired, I ran an extra mile just for fun. They were calories well earned, because my best girl-buddies and I went out to eat at an Italian place last night, and I ate my fair share.
I didn't plan on running much after this 6K, but I've heard of this little race down at Disney World (the Princess Half-Marathon) and I'm interested. With the Nike app, my training, if I decide to go for it, sure would be more fun to do.
Question for those of you with feet :)
Are there shoes that you prefer for running? Anything I should know about running shoes, specifically? I have a pair of New Balance that I'll use for the next month or so, but I probably should start looking around for a new pair.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Turning Back Now

I have officially registered for the 6K a few weekends from now. I'm excited, scared, and hopeful all at one time. Oh, and a little bummed! My BFF will not be running with me after all because of temporary joint issues, so I'll have to go it alone. Which is sorta where the scary part comes in.

I was a competitive swimmer when I was young and into high school. I ended up hating the sport because my finishing place and times were so darn important. I was so stressed out about it, and ended up quitting because it was driving me crazy.

When I started playing soccer, I realized what I'd been missing in a true team sport all those years! Not nearly as much pressure on self, and a real sense of team-work. I loved it. Then I rowed in college, and that was really in a league of its own, team-mentality-wise.

So here I am again, doing something where individual place and time is a focus (for some) and it's running, which is not at all a natural talent area for me. What is wrong with this picture?

I guess I just want to be able to check a race off my list of to-do's. Or to celebrate what has been many months of hard work and discipline. A grand wave goodbye to years of unhealthy habits.

Whatever it is, I'm doing it, and because I'm stubborn, there really is no turning back now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Think I Can, I Think I Can....

And I did. I finished my run in under 40 minutes, and if no one had been around to see, I might just have danced there in the middle of the road for joy! Well that's one reason, but truthfully, I was in no condition to be dancing after that last hill.

I still hate the hills, especially the big one at the end, but it feels so good to see improvement, and I'm definitely going to run that 6K next month. Best part? My BFF is planning a visit, and may run it with me!!!

One thing running is doing for me that's not so great, is making a couple of my classes at the gym seem too easy. Today's was one of those, so I'm thinking I may add an extra set of risers under my step next week.

Another big bonus of running, along with all of the hard work I've been doing at the gym? Jillian is not so scary anymore ;) I did the first level of The Shred many months ago, and didn't put that disc back in my player again, until a couple of days ago. I did level one (both of my girls did it with me) and it was a piece of cake. I was still sweaty and my heart rate got up there for a bit, but it was totally do-able, and if I actually enjoyed working out with Jillian, I probably would have done the other two levels that day....

My weight isn't budging, which is terribly annoying, but I'm feeling good, and I know it'll drop eventually.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bok Choy, Baby

If you're a blogger, and I read your blog, you probably influence me in some small way. Whether it's dusting off The Shred, running better and more, or cooking up some interesting foods, this lady takes to heart a lot of what you all have to say.

So, it should come as no surprise, that after reading about Bok Choy yesterday, I looked around for it at the grocery store tonight, and came right home to make/cook it. I live in the South, but I don't "fix" meals ;)

I ran right over the computer to check the recipe, and noticed my error: I bought Big Bok Choy, not Baby Bok Choy. I'm very new to the Bok Choy world, and yes, I had to read all of the labels on the veggies until I found what I was looking for. There didn't seem to be a Baby variety, but I may have missed it somewhere near the micro-greens.

Have no fear! I google recipes all of the time, so I looked up one for cooking Bok Choy and found one that seems to apply to the Big version. They cut theirs into manageable pieces, which, if you notice the bouquet sprouting out of the biggest bowl I own, made a whole lot of sense.

I put a couple of pats of butter in my pan, and stuffed all that I'd cut (about half of the bunch in the bowl) over it. Then I put a few dashes of soy sauce on top. It wilted and shrunk a bit, and when I tried it, I was quite satisfied, but I didn't really want to eat it all alone, so I topped my chicken noodle soup with it.

I was making the soup at the same time the bok choy was cooking because I wanted to use the chicken stock I made with the bones/skin left-over from our pastured chicken. When you spend $16 for a wee-little chicken, you tend to want to make use of all of the parts. I wonder what kind of art project could make use of some bones. Or is that too morbid...

To the stock, I added a can of beans, a bag of frozen peas, a cup or so of pearl onions, a bag of frozen corn, and a couple of cups of hubby's favorite gluten-free noodles. The bok choy on top was a nice addition to my bowl, but I learned a few things from my experience tonight:

  • Bok Choy is a choking hazard. It was mentioned in the post I mentioned above, but I didn't take it seriously. Future references to choking on new foods will be respected.
  • One person should not try to eat an entire pan of Big Bok Choy. The Baby stuff perhaps, but not the Big kind. Binges aren't only for ice cream. I may remember The Bok Choy Binge for years to come, especially if what I think may happen to my digestive system later tonight actually happens.
  • Putting soy sauce (not gluten free) on bok choy is a bad idea in a home where the only other person willing to try said vegetable, is gluten-free. It leads to bok choy bingeing.
  • Cats do not care for bok choy.
  • Grocery stores sell Big Bok Choy in bunches not suitable for a lone diner.
  • The Clean Plate Club membership seems to be a lifetime membership, and is more fun for its members when foods other than bok choy (in astronomical portions) are on the plate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Did It! (Almost)

I'm still hoping to run my first road-race, and it's next month. You'd think I'd run more than once a week if I were really serious about this, but you'd be wrong ;) I just want to finish in under 40 minutes, and if I can do that once before race-day, then off I'll go!

I figured I'd try to pace myself this time by figuring out where each of the 4 miles ends and checking my time at each point. I ended up running 11 minute-miles pretty consistently, and then wimped out and walked the last quarter of a mile. I really wanted to finish, but the last half-mile is ALL uphill, and I just couldn't pull it off.

But I did get farther than last time, so I'm moving in the right direction, correct?

It was 99 degrees here today, and I'm so sick of this heat, but I think I may give it another try on Wednesday...perhaps it'll only hit 95?

If you run, have you noticed much of a difference in your pace or endurance as you've lost weight? I need hope here folks :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me and a Large Fungus

I got the idea for the massive stuffed mushroom from Whole Foods, where I saw a pre-stuffed, enormous portabella begging for me to take it home and enjoy. Then I saw the price tag, and sticker shock is an understatement. So, I made my own, and it was a glorious thing! I stuffed it with chopped onions, green peppers, tomatoes, chives, and garlic. Then I topped it with shredded Blarney Castle (Kerrygold Irish) cheese. A wee bit of freshly ground black pepper covered the cheese, and in the toaster oven it went for about 40 minutes. Yummy! And quite low in calories for the size of the snack.

In other news, I'm getting low in the 150's, and really ready to charge into the 140's. I'm finally getting close to my goal, and I can hardly wait. Given the fact that I only lost about 3 pounds last month, I'm not even hoping to hit 125 by the end of the year, but I can wait...Now that I'm able to go out in public and feel healthy for a change, the waiting isn't nearly as hard as it was 40 pounds ago.

A sign of joy in my emerging form? I bought a new pair of pants last week at the Gap. They're size 12s, and they fit like a glove through the derriere and thighs, but the waist is actually a tad too big. I'm not a belt-wearer, so as soon as my rear end shrinks, I'll be headed back out to replace them ;) Pics are sure to follow...as my BFF has already asked to see these new pants o' mine.

Do you remember a "first" article of clothing that you bought when you'd lost some weight and were starting to feel happy about your current size?

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Brain is Faster Than My Legs-Running Help Needed

I don't seem to have enough ability to match my ambition. I am interested in running a local race next month that benefits a free medical and dental clinic in our area, so I asked a former runner about the course and clocked it in my car.

The distance is right about 4 miles, and it's got some big honkin hills, so I thought I should give it a shot just to see how I'd do. Today. At noon. In 90+ degree heat.

Did I mention that my stomach was growling like crazy when I left for the run, and the last thing I'd eaten was a cake-pop (this concoction on a stick) and a truffle. Both were given to me as a door prize this morning at a big sale. Healthy, I know.

I made it about 3 miles and then couldn't do anymore. I walked, much to my chagrin, the last mile, but still finished the course in about 40 minutes. What this tells me, is that I'm running too fast for my current condition. I don't even run 10 minute miles on my treadmill, so what the heck was I doing out there? I have no way of knowing my pace since I don't have one of those nifty Garmin devices.

Then there's the problem of technique. I know this sounds really stupid, but I don't know if I'm running properly. There have to be some tricks of the trade that I don't know about, right?

So, if you know anything about running, HELP! How do you set a good pace for yourself, and how do you handle going up and down hills? Any other tips that I don't know, since I'm so ignorant about this I can't even come up with many intelligent questions?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mommy, Don't Skinny Up! (And a Jeggings Pic)

I don't ever want to forget what my youngest daughter said to me today, so I'll put it here. "Mommy, don't skinny up!"

She was in my lap, which there's more of now, and was nesting as she tends to do, and urged me to quit losing the soft, squishy, fat to which she's become accustomed. For the same reason I loved my mother's extra padding, my daughter likes mine.

But what's special about this is not that I'm gonna disappoint the poor girl and keep trimming down, but that she used the term, "skinny up". This is well beneath her typical vocabulary, and as I thought about it, I realized why.

We don't talk about fat or skinny people. We don't talk about pants that, "make me look huge", or thunder thighs and muffin tops around here. With two growing girls in the house, I have made every effort never to criticize my body in word or attitude within a ten mile radius of them, because I desperately want them to focus on more important things than fad diets, butt sizes, and superficial body assessments.

They are healthy. They eat well. They get plenty of exercise, and they live in a beauty-obsessed culture which I'm doing my best to shelter them from for as long as possible. So when it comes to Mommy losing weight, they just don't have the vocabulary for it, because all of these months, Mommy has been going to the gym to "get healthier" and they've not really associated this with my shrinking fat cells.

They may have not even noticed, as gradual as this process has been, if it weren't for the ladies at church who keep bringing it up in front of them. Their praise is something I really want to appreciate, but it's been sending a signal to my girls I really wasn't ready to address. But I have now talked to them about it, being the 'more info from home is better than less' type mother that I am. I've talked to them about why we don't have junk in our house. Even so, sometimes people can eat pretty well and still not get enough exercise (their understanding for why I was heavier before).

I hope it has all made sense to them. I think my youngest realizes that no matter what, Mommy will have a squishy hiney and belly she's welcome to sink her little self into.

So onto these lovely pictures....taken today to share with you all that I too, am a trendy chick. (My buddy Lynn is laughing hysterically right about now, because she knows that when it comes to most trends, my knowledge sits somewhere even with a man who's been hiding under a rock for the last century).

Truly, my Yahoo homepage mentioned the new "Jegging" trend, which is how I found out about it. Jeggings are the combo of jeans and leggings, for those of you who have more important things to read about. I saw some celebrity examples of this new fashion trend hitting our very own streets of America, and folks, they are hideous. Worse than high heels and tight jeans with leg warmers on top. Worse than blue eye shadow. Worse than what I did to my hair in the 80's.

But, when I saw them, my mind's eye flickered to that pair of size 10 jeans with stretch from Land's End that have been sitting in my closet for at least a year, waiting for a butt skinny enough to cover.

And my butt? Not skinny enough yet ;) But I can zip em! Here's where the blogosphere shouts, "Just because you can zip them, doesn't mean you should wear them!!"

I know, I know. I won't be seen dead in these jeggings until they are less 'egging' and more 'jean'. So, another 15 pounds or so might do it. In the meanwhile, I thought I'd pass along a chuckle or two, at my butt's expense.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh Muscles, Why So Wimpy?

I've noticed something that bothers me just a tad.

Each week I do three interval classes (Step and weights combo), one or two Power (BodyPump) classes, one Yogalates, and a Step class. Every now and then something comes up, but that's my usual routine. During the Interval and Power classes, we invariably work most muscle groups, including the biceps.

So why are my biceps not getting stronger? I've increased my weight for all other exercises, but I struggle like crazy with my biceps. They are bulkier, that's for sure, but what good is the bulk (which I could do without) without the extra strength?

Are any of you muscle-people who can offer some sort of advice or info on the subject?

In other news, I think my hip may be on the mend. I may have to test it with a 6 mile run just to be sure, but if all is well, I will be one elated lady!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fat Day

Have you had one of these? A day or time that you felt SO MUCH BIGGER than you really are?

I'm having one of those. I didn't step on the scale (I'm usually a daily weigh-er) today because I know I'm too vulnerable to that number, whatever it might be. So I'm avoiding the device for the next few days, while I carefully watch all that I eat, and get in my usual exercise classes.

I know why I feel so big: my food for the last few days has been less-than ideal. Lots of calories have been devoted to chocolate and useless carbs. I think it's time to get all of the chocolate I own out of my reach :) I usually can have it in the house without it causing problems for me, but lately, not so much.

If I could blame my poor choices over the last few days on something, (other than myself!!) it would have to be a lack of sleep. I've been up way too late reading very good books, but still have to get up in the morning for various reasons (kids, church, kids, and kids) so I've hit some days with a sleep deficit.

What's more fun than taking a nap for a nice recharge? Why, chocolate, of course. So Dove has been my pick-me-up. And she's truly let me down. So far down, instead of feeling like 158 pounds or so, I feel like 180 or more. And that just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Unless, like me, your fat is not just on your limbs, but also in your head.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have You Lost Weight?

I've gotten this question now from about everyone at church. Some ladies phrase the question more enigmatically, almost like I'm supposed to only understand the question they're asking if, in fact, I have lost weight.

But the few stranger-ladies at the gym who have asked? Well they just get right to the point. No minced words in group fitness at Gold's gym.

I guess they noticed because I switched my schedule around and wasn't going to a particular Zumba class on a regular basis. When I came back for a visit with some friends, these ladies popped out of the wood-work (it's a HUGE group) before class, and just fired away: "Have you lost weight? How much? How'd you do it? Are you buying new pants anytime soon? Taking donations?"

Okay, so the last two questions weren't really posed, but I can read minds :)

I was flustered, and I passed up a golden opportunity. In my surprise (yes, here in the South random people are known to make friendly conversation, even in regards to somewhat personal information. But I'm still stunned that people notice any changes in my form) I just rattled off the basic information, and when it came to the "how" question, I brushed it off with an "eating less, moving more" response.

So I drove home feeling like I'd failed. Because one of the ladies was well into the obese category, and really seemed to be looking for some advice. And I wish I'd had several hours to sit down with her and go through it all: I blog and read inspirational blogs. I don't eat out much anymore. I don't eat 'junk' but once in a blue moon. I don't keep junk in the house at all. I like the security that counting calories gives me. I track all food and exercise and stay within a daily calorie budget. I try never to say, "I blew it". I try to eat every 3 to 4 hours....

The list goes on and on, and all of this is the result of learning some hard lessons over the 20-odd years I've struggled with food and my weight. But Zumba was starting, and I was flustered. And 'what works' for each individual (in my opinion) is as different as we are unique in our person hood.

How do I fit all of that into a pre-Zumba nutshell?

Now on to why I have that Happy 101 button up at the top of this post...

A lovely fellow-blogger, Blessed Mama, over at Blessed Vegan Life, passed along this award to moi! I will in turn, list 10 things that make me happy, and then 10 blogs that do the same:

  1. Hanging with the ladies who are in my discipleship group from church
  2. Cuddling with my girls and husband
  3. Driving home after a good, hard, workout
  4. Iced green tea
  5. Seeing a new low on my scale :)
  6. The change of seasons, especially Fall and Spring
  7. Sinking into my comfy bed after a busy day
  8. Remembering what it was like to feel my girls kicking and rolling around when I was pregnant with them
  9. Reaching a goal I've set for myself
  10. Remembering the hope in all of God's promises to me

And here are just a short list of the many blogs that make me happy:

  1. Diane at Fit to the Finish
  2. Keelie at Real Fat
  3. Lynn at The Banded Blubbery Blogger
  4. Karen at Real Food Rules
  5. Kim at To Dream the KIMpossible Dream
  6. Lindsay at PancakesNPajamas
  7. Chris at A Deliberate Life
  8. MrsFatass at Did I Just Eat That Out Loud
  9. Heidi at One Step at at Time
  10. Syl at Live, Smile, Run

Take a look at their blogs and enjoy, along with several others in my blog-roll. I truly get so much out of keeping up with all of the bloggers on my roll!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Blog Title, and Pics!

I'm so excited!! I've decided on a new blog title, thanks to some gentle but firm opinions that I avoid the "fat pig" territory. Now that I know my impressionable girls glance at the computer while I'm blogging, I've realized how foolish it was to even consider name-calling (myself!) that way. SO, Foodie Gettin' Fit it is.

Ironic that I'm splaying pics of chips all over today's post, but they're SO GOOD (tasting), and not horrible (nutrition-wise). I don't eat chips often, but I made my Trader Joe's/Whole Foods run today, and everyone in the house loves these chips, so I picked up a couple of bags.

Next to these lovely crunchies, is my favorite guacamole in the world. I could smell the chopped cilantro wafting through the air as I walked through the produce section of Whole Foods and wasn't sure what contained the most of it, so I bought both. One small container of the fresh guacamole, and one large container of the pico de gallo hopped a ride in my cart. The pico is quite spicy, especially when you pile a tablespoon on each chip ;) But, it hurts so good, if ya know what I mean.

I tried to find the Carrot Cake Larabar that I saw mentioned on Amelia's blog, but our Whole Foods must not carry that flavor, so I went to the bakery and picked up a container of chocolate almond biscotti. One piece has 25 calories, and it's pretty low in sugar, so that's my treat for a while. This biscotti is SO crunchy, my teeth couldn't handle eating more than a few, so it's not a food I have to worry about over-doing.

When I look at the pic below, a song pops into my head. Anyone? Anyone? If I Like Big Butts coursed through your synapses as well, then we might be on the same page. Suffice it to say, I will not be getting a butt enhancement anytime soon. (Still can't believe that's truly a surgical option, but it is, and there's a billboard on 75 stating that, "Size Matters" referring to ladies' derrieres.

There's a spoof on that song, by the way, that my husband and I came across, and we get quite a good chuckle. This version is safe for the kiddos!

On to my rear-end shot. I have to admit, making my blog debut backside first is kinda odd. I'm still face-shy...but I'm coming around. In the meanwhile, I wanted to make a record of where I am right now: these pants are a size 12, and I bought them a few years ago. I've never actually worn them, and I actually may never do so in public! I've not worn shiny pants before; perhaps 'shiny' shouldn't be donned by a butt bigger than a size 8 or so?

We can all plainly see that I'm not a size 12 yet. The saying, "Just because you can button it, doesn't mean you should wear it" fits perfectly here. Could the seams of my underwear be any more obvious?? My big plan is to put these bad boys back on in a couple of months to (hopefully) see a nice change; and less of both my rear end and the underwear that covers it ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fat Pig to Fit Chick

Is that too harsh?

I'm not satisfied with the title of my blog anymore, and I need a change. I don't have 100 pounds to lose anymore!! I am more than half-way there, and I want a makeover for my blog.

As I was trying to fall asleep the other night, Fat Pig to Fit Chick was all I could come up with. I thought I'd even use a couple of farm animal graphics (trying to be creative here...), but I really don't want to offend others who are struggling with their weight.

"Fat Pig" isn't exactly a term of endearment, and I wouldn't want to be called one. In fact, I shouldn't even refer to myself that way, because it's just not very nice...but it kinda fits where I was last year. (And pigs have their cute days too, right?).

So, I need some thoughts. Am I gonna send other bloggers out there into a fit of tears by referring to my 220 pound former self as a "fat pig"?

Edit: Okay, how about Back Fat to Fit Chick? I remember the moment that I was really and truly disgusted with how big I'd gotten, and that was in the shower one day when I could feel my back fat touch itself without my even bending to the side much. Ick. Perhaps that title would be a little less harsh than Fat Pig.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Granola, Past and Present

I haven't made it in a long time, but I like to read about the chow over at Pancakes and Pajamas, and Linday posted a recipe of some granola she'd made. What I noticed first, was that this was not my mother's granola!

Mind you, I LOVED the granola my mom made while I was growing up. Her recipe was loaded with oats, wheat germ, sesame seeds, honey, oil, nuts, and dried fruit. My favorite part was getting a big clump of oats and honey. Yummy!

But I have to say, Lindsay has solved one of the problems I had with that recipe: I don't want to load my family down with sugars (from that honey), nor did I want to pour oil in just to get those clumps. And clumps make the granola, if you know what I mean.

So, (if you haven't already looked at that recipe!) I switched to the use of nut butter!! What a genius idea. Lindsay, if you're reading, THANK YOU!!! I can't add wheat germ unless I want to poison my gluten-free husband, so I use ground flax seed instead. In place of the maple syrup (which I bet tastes SO good), I'm using some chicory root extract for natural, no-sugar sweetness. I throw in chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and raisins. And, ta-da! I have a granola that my girls and husband love, and it's loaded with crazy-healthy stuff.

I tossed some on top of unsweetened Greek yogurt and had a nice little snack the other day. I imagine some berries would make it perfect. If this batch of granola lasts long enough, I may have to run and pick up some blueberries to add to my next bowl of Greek Granola Goodness.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nothing's Broken But my Pride

I'd be a wealthier woman if there'd been a video camera at our gym today...

I went for an Interval class with an instructor who finds great pleasure in driving a group full of sweaty people hard for an hour. Don't even think of picking up a water bottle for a quick swig; she doesn't stop, and she doesn't wait. And we pay her for the pleasure.

Back to my episode. Ironically enough, I crossed paths with a blog today that mentioned embarrassing gym moments. Little did I know, I could have planted my little mishap smack-dab in the middle of her post.

Our interval class involves the use of a Step for the cardio portions, combined with sections using hand weights, resistance bands (an evil device), and a weighted body bar. Sometimes the use of these tools is combined with balance exercises on the step, or simple tapping up and down on the step while doing upper body strength training.

Toward the end of the class (and after a particularly grueling round of lunges and squats) we were doing sets of soccer-drill-like-thingies that involve hopping from side to side over the narrow section of the step. Quickly.

I have done this particular move in the past, with this same instructor, during this same class before with no trouble. Perhaps the lone protein bar I'd eaten all day (4:15 pm class) wasn't cutting it for fuel. Or maybe I just got lazy. Or the tread on my shoes grew an inch while I was mid-air.

Whatever the case, I caught my right foot on the step as I was leaping over the step to the right side. My right food trapped my left foot, leaving me essentially foot-less, and 161 pounds of momentum kept the rest of my body moving at a nice clip. To the right, and toward to floor, where I landed on my right hip (the sore one, of course) just to the left of a nice lady who asked if I was alright. I'm so very thankful that I wasn't next to Big Sweaty Man today; because chivalry is not quite dead, and with my luck, he would have offered a drippy hand to help me up.

Did I mention that I howled? I screamed like the girl that I am on the way down. Not than anyone but the nice lady next to me could have heard me over the loud music. For once, I'm glad that our instructor plays the music at a decibel level that will probably bring on deafness in my 40's.

On the bright side, I got a very nice workout in, and my food was glorious today. And even better, my hip seems to be no worse for the wear.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Warts and All

Will you love me still if I have fallen from grace?

Boy, have I fallen! After weeks and weeks of nearly pristine eating, I have really dug myself into a whole, and it started on this most recent trip out of town. My mother put a platter of chips and dip in front of us when I was hungry, and it's all been downhill since then. Right on down to the filled donuts. (My arteries are begging for mercy).

Remember my elation when I came back from my mother-in law's house and had lost a pound? Well, I was equally emotional when I came back from my mother's up a pound. These were less desirable emotions than before.

So I'm hoping to crawl out of this hole, and I know God is more than able to help. Prayers are always appreciated.

While I bare my soul, I might as well lay it all out there, right?

I was literally talking about a wart in my post title. I have a warty beauty right on my foot, and I've been fighting it for years now. No dermatologist has been able to conquer the little beast. I heard about laser wart removal, and drove an hour to a doctor who uses lasers for this purpose.

She warned me that it would hurt. Well, yes indeedy it did. She warned me it would turn black. It's grey now, and darkening by the hour. I would post a photo of it, but many of you like food as much as I do, and (as much as some of you might want help destroying your appetites) I don't want to cause involuntary regurgitation.

But I plan to update the progress of the wart removal, as well as my quest to leave this pitiful weekend of food blunders in the past...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bye-Bye Boobies

I feel juvenile using that term. If you're a guy, feel free to skip this post as I ramble about my mammary glands.

They're shrinking. I knew they would, but having to shop for a smaller bra because the one I was wearing was beginning to laugh and snicker, "Yeah right, honey" each day was not nearly as fun as shopping for smaller pants.

I honestly don't care about bust size. If I were alone on a deserted island, being flat chested would be preferable, because boobs make running, jumping, and shimmying down trees less feasible.

But since I don't live on a deserted island (and hardly ever shimmy down a tree, for that matter), I am inclined to appreciate what God gave me, because my husband appreciates what God gave me. It's not much, but it'll do, and now it's less than before.

Fortunately, I'm shrinking in proportion to the rest of my body, however. I began to realize that if I kept the boobs I had while heavy, I'd begin to look fake; top-heavy; like the ladies at the gym who have been altered. And I'm all about being natural, so I should be happy about this, right?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Something's Fishy...

at Publix!

They've been carrying the most amazing Sockeye Salmon, and I've eaten it four times this week. I just can't seem to get enough of the stuff. Prince Charming doesn't like seafood, but my girls have been enjoying it with me, and it's been so simple to prepare. The time I ate it with the fresh pineapple, I put some of the pineapple juice in the dish while it baked, but otherwise, I pop it in at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes with a little pepper and it's perfect.

I usually prefer fish that has a mild flavor, and sometimes salmon is too much for me, but for some reason, this fish has had the most amazing, subtle flavor. And, it's on sale :)

Big One loves hummus, and I hadn't made it in a while (Sabra made me lazy!), so I decided to whip up a batch. I had some nice organic lemon juice around for the salmon, so into the blender I threw:

  • About a can and 1/2 chickpeas (without the liquid)
  • a few good squirts of lemon juice
  • several shakes of salt
  • 10 twists of pepper
  • a good drizzle of olive oil
  • small pour of Cumin
  • and a slosh of the chickpea liquid

The blender handled it all fairly well, and Big One approved. I cook by feel and taste, so I didn't even try to guess accurate measurements for everything :)

I like my hummus on toasted-until-crispy whole wheat pita bread, but the girls had it on organic corn chips today. I did too, since we're all out of pita. And pity me, salmon too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Icky, Sticky, Potty Seat Covers

They're just one of the things you'll encounter at Six Flags!

We took our girls for a fun day at the park. It was a mere 95 degrees in the shade, but daunted, we were not.

What happened right before my favorite hat flew off my head? My husband told me I shouldn't worry about my hat flying off my head, so no need to take it off. There it lay, in the grass below the tracks of the roller coaster, looking helpless while I gave my husband evil looks for doubting my wisdom in gauging the risk of high-hat-removing-winds on a roller coaster...

Then, after sweating a fair amount, the girls and I stopped in the ladies room as we all needed a little relief. I took Little One with me, and Big One took the stall next to ours. I dutifully placed the paper potty cover on the seat, and plopped LO on the pot. After she peed, she and the cover stood up. Together. As in, they took vows to never part ways, no matter how much swatting, picking, scrubbing I did with a nice clean wad of toilet paper.

So I was left using my previously clean fingers to pick little pieces of potty-cover-paper-laced-with-kid-sweat off my daughter's rear end and upper thighs.

But I still had to pee, so not learning from history, I too, sat on the seat neatly covered by a paper protector. And it stuck to me too (amazing!). But for some reason, even though I was just as sweaty, if not more, the paper came off in one piece instead of 3,000. Fortunately, Little One was there in the stall to verify that I was pulling my shorts up over a paper-free behind.

I asked Big One about her experience, and she too was accosted by her potty cover. There must be a way around this...

In better and more fun news, I'm almost in the 150's!!!! This, despite taking three whole days off from working out. I haven't done that in months, but I really needed the break. I almost shrieked when I hopped on the scale today! Reward massage, here I come!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Big Sweaty Men

I usually am not bothered by them. But I've learned to steer clear of them at the gym during group fitness classes. Not because they're any smellier than I am, mind you, but because they share the wealth...

Their wealth of perspiration. If this weren't a health hazard, I wouldn't mind so much. But I am a germ conscious person, and when the guy in front of me flings a few droplets ON MY LIPS while he's kicking 'corner to corner' on his step? Well that's just too much for me to take.

I thought this was an isolated incident, so I didn't think to much of it when an entirely different guy plopped down on a bike next to mine in a spin class. There's not much arm flinging that goes on in those classes, so I thought I was safe.

Well this guy got rather enthusiastic toward the end of our class and clapped his drippy hands up high. Where did his sweat fly? Right at my water bottle which was happily perched in front of my bike in the cup holder thingy. I was so darn thirsty too.

So if you're a guy at my gym, who takes a position near mine during a class, please don't be offended if I surreptitiously relocate. I just can't take it anymore

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sporting a Nursing Shirt, and I'm Not, eh-hem, Nursing Anyone

I'm back in town, but while I was packing, realized that I'm running terribly short on shirts that fit. Many are too big. Many are too small, and I didn't really want to do laundry while we were away, so I packed an old nursing shirt that fits right now and looks cute.

Fortunately, my 7 year old didn't remember it; nor did she look at my chest and salivate. My husband is another matter ;)

So, what's better than an evening out without the kids with the man of your dreams at the Melting Pot??? (Where I ate all four courses... and my husband can't eat gluten so I gobbled up all those unhealthy but very yummy dipping treats for the chocolate with no competition)?

Coming back home to see a new low weight on the scale!!!

I have a hunch though, when it comes to figuring out how that happened, in spite of our fondue-fun.

Although I ate well, and didn't really eat more than my share of the 4th of July festivity-food, I did work out. I ran three miles on my treadmill at home the day we left. Then I ran three more on my sister-in-law's treadmill a couple days later. Which, by the way, must have a minuscule incline to it even when it's set to zero, so I think I worked harder than I usually do.

But the real deal involves my first outdoor run in, oh, about 15 years. I don't know what got into me. Perhaps the slight incline of the borrowed treadmill. Or maybe it was the lack of a fan to blow on my face (my treadmill has one of those built into it, and it is AWESOME!) that drove me to run outside in South Florida at noon.

Let's see: treadmill inside with A/C and overhead fan, or outside with no fan (barring the breeze brought on by the plethora of passing cars) on one of the hottest days of the year in the tropics. I earn every one of my blond hairs on some days.

I didn't know how far to go, so I just decided to run out for 20 minutes, and then run back. The kicker was that the slight headwind that kept my face from burning, disappeared on the way home (with the cars at my back) and my upper arms started getting chills. I was wondering about heat stroke, and if goose-flesh is one of the symptoms. The clouds that formed a nice overcast layer when I left, miraculously parted and I got a sunburn on my chest.

My husband is not a runner, and when he spots someone running along the road he jokes, "Where's the fire?!"

Well, two fire trucks passed me on Del Prado while I ran, and I wanted to chuckle, but was too hot to expend the extra energy. He told me later that he heard them too, and was worried that I'd killed myself running. I was the only runner out that day...At first I thought that was just because elderly folks don't seem to run that often. But then two young bikers rode by. And now I have come to believe that only an idiot (or a natural blond?) would opt for a mid-day run in South Florida in July.

But I sweated. A lot. And this may be how I lost the weight this vacation :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Off to Grandmother's House We Go

Travelling and not losing my momentum has been a real challenge in the past. I don't know if it's because trips were one of the times I was allowed to eat junk food growing up, or just because I feel justified in taking a "vacation" from my healthy eating plan too. But in either case, I have to really plan not to make a mess of things when I travel.

Add travelling to staying with in-laws, and we have a recipe for some real upsets if I'm not super careful!

I'll be bringing protein bars with me when we go so that I always have a measured quantity of food that will fill me up and keep me on the straight and narrow. Other than that, I'll probably visualize some difficult situations and plan how I'll deal with them before-hand.

The fact that my kids are "clean eaters" is a real help to me though. They don't eat any of the typical junk foods that I might enjoy, so just knowing that they're watching how Mommy eats should help keep me accountable. My husband is also a healthy eater, so he's always good company when everyone else in our extended family is downing the stuff that's not part of our usual fare.

The best part of my plan? I've got a work-out plan in the works. My gym has reciprocal privileges with others around the country (Gold's) so I plan to go to a couple of classes.

How about you? During vacations; especially ones to places where you have little control over the menu, what tricks do you use to increase the chances that you'll come home with a proud smile on your face?

Monday, June 28, 2010

What I'm Running Away From

We always hear that it's not good to run away from your problems, right? Well, I have a new twist on that old advice that says it's just fine, as long as you're sneakers are in good condition.

Yesterday I ran four miles on my treadmill (in about 43 minutes) for the first time in at least five years. Though I am still not at the pace I'd prefer, it felt really good, and I ended up with more energy than when I'd started.

I realized, as I huffed and puffed to my favorite play list, that I'm running away from some things:

  • Overly stuffed fat cells
  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and early death
  • Depression and anxiety symptoms
  • Sore feet that carried too much weight, and rusty joints
  • Missed physical opportunities with my children
  • Missed physical opportunities with my husband ;)
  • The shame that follows a binge
  • The embarrassment the comes with being heavy
  • The sadness that comes with feeling like a failure

I'm sure I could add to this list, and perhaps I will, as I think of more. But to focus on the positive side, here's what I'm running toward:

  • The healthiest and longest life that God is willing to give me
  • Special memories made in all sorts of locations, during all kinds of activities with my precious family and friends
  • Long days at the pool, in a SWIMSUIT, rather than in pants
  • Happy times shopping for clothes that look nice and fit me well
  • A good example set for my girls
  • A body that is capable of running and playing and lifting things
  • Days that don't revolve around food and its over-consumption

Again, I'm sure this list will grow as I think of more benefits that come with the direction I'm running.

How about you? Are you running away from something and/or toward something else?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fruit Like Candy

I really hate some things about summer: the heat, humidity, mosquitoes, Japanese Beetles, monstrous weeds, etc.

But then there's the fruit. The sweet, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth ripe fruits that only come this time of year. I'm certain eating healthfully is much easier in summer than any other season.

First, your bathing suit is quick to remind you if you're backsliding. Second, it's almost too hot to want to be too full. And then there's the amazing selection of fresh produce to enjoy instead of munching on less healthy snacks.

My lunch today is pictured. That's a heap of plain Greek yogurt on top of a whole peach, and several scoops of watermelon. Yummy. And I am crazy full now. I may have overdone the watermelon scooping a tad.

On a less healthy note, I found an ice cream brand I've been looking for lately. Clemmy's makes a full-fat sugar-free ice cream that's not made with any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors. I believe they're using sugar alcohols for most of the sweetness.

I bought a little container of chocolate and one of vanilla. It'll take 200 calories from my daily budget for one little half of a cup, so I won't be eating this often! I give my girls one scoop of ice cream each week, and I think I can go with that schedule too. I took a little spoonful, and it was amazing...It's a good thing I'm not an ice cream fanatic. On the downside, the creaminess comes from cow fat, and I try to limit how much of that I eat. I prefer the coconut milk ice creams, because I believe that fat is healthier...but I have yet to find our favorite kind made with anything other than agave syrup, which I've come to find is not much better than sugar or corn syrup :(

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm a Food Sneak

Not the kind I used to be: sneaking food behind the backs of my children, husband, friends, and parents. Boy, have I eaten my share of calories in junk food behind the backs of others.

The kind of food I've been sneaking lately has all been healthy. I sneak some extra protein into a smoothie, or some extra fiber into my oatmeal. I sneak Omega-3 oils in the form of a capsule, because I really can only eat so much salmon.

I snuck some eggs into my girls today, in the form of "bread pudding". I didn't really know what to call it, so that's what it became. My oldest daughter (almost 9) asked me if I was using a recipe. "Yes", I said. (My own, as I make it up, loosly based on something I may have seen in Fannie Farmer!). She was skeptical about what I was making, and didn't want me to force her to try something she might hate. Like spinach, gasp!

I snuck in a bunch of 'heal' ends of the loaves of bread I was saving for the birds :) Sorry, birds! My girls ate your whole wheat crustiness without even knowing it.

I snuck in 6 eggs, a bunch of cinnamon, some nutmeg, and a couple of bananas. Then I threw in a handful of raisins and about 1/4 cup chicory root extract, and baked it all for about 40 minutes.

They LOVED it. There's only one serving left, which may be split between them for breakfast before church tomorrow.

I wonder if I could get some spinach in there next time without their knowing???

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Do You Do With 8 Pounds of Blueberries?

You make Blueberry Crisp!! (Lots of it)

You are looking at a 9x13 dish that is nearly empty after I took another serving after this photo was snapped.

But there is redemption for the four of us who are responsible for downing nearly the entire batch! It was healthy :)

Here's my recipe, if you want to give it a whirl:

  • 2 pound box of blueberries (hubby brought home 4 of these boxes from a youth group fundraiser at work!) or 6 cups-worth of fruit
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tsp Purevia or Truvia

Mix all of that together (I did it right in the dish).

  • 1/2 cup Fava and Garbanzo Flour (hubby is gluten-free)
  • 1 cup rolled old fashioned oats (some GF people are sensitive to oats, but hubby is not)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 hand fulls of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 stick of grass-fed organic butter
  • 1/3 cup maltitol syrup

I am guessing on the amount of maltitol syrup I put in. I just poured directly into the mixer as it was going, and I think I used that amount. I tasted a bit of the topping, and it was just a tad sweet. I also probably used more than 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. We love cinnamon, and it's good for blood sugar control, so I'm generous on everything with that! Finally, I think chopped pecans would taste better than the walnuts, but I don't have any of those in the house right now.

Mix the topping ingredients together until crumbly, and then spoon it onto the berries. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (berries are bubbly). This makes a dessert that is not that sweet. You can really taste the berries because they're not overwhelmed by gobs of sugar.

One of my girls suffered through eating the berries because she wanted the 'crisp' part. She's not big on cooked fruit. The other daughter is responsible for eating about half of the entire pan. (She's stick thin, and ate a good dinner, so I let her get another huge helping).

I guesstimated about 280 calories for a 3/4 cup serving. I've had three. Ouch.

But I ran 3 miles today, so I certainly earned at least one of those servings :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Protein Bar Advice Needed

Check out that ticker! I may be solidly in the 160's after all. After hitting 169.8 for the first time yesterday, I was prepared to see a hop back and forth into the 170's for a while, but perhaps I was wrong, and I'm done seeing that nasty little 7! One can hope :)

So I have a protein bar dilemma that I was hoping one of you might be able to help me solve.

I'm picky. Not with most nutritious foods, mind you. But with what I'll probably eat on a daily basis, I need to be selective. I am a protein bar junky- meaning, I eat one for most breakfasts. It's easy, and cranky-hungry-must-eat-now me, can handle unwrapping a bar, first thing, rather than whipping up some gourmet and healthy breakfast that I know many of you do on a regular basis. I'm just not there yet. Hence, my reliance on protein bars. Plus, I'm a night owl, so when I'm running late in the morning (which is usually the case) I can easily grab a bar on my way out the door, and eat it in the car. Try doing that with your gourmet breakfast, would ya?

Anyhoo, I do have standards:

  • It can't taste too much like dog poo
  • It can't be soy-based (if it has a little soy protein, fine, but the main protein should be something else)
  • It can't be sugar-laden
  • It can't have artificial sweeteners. I'm okay with a little sugar alcohol, or chicory root extract.
  • It should have close to 20 grams of protein
  • It should have some fiber
  • It shouldn't be over 250 calories, or so
  • It shouldn't have artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

So, I said I was picky.

Know of anything that fits these criteria??? I would be so very grateful for your input!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm Just Overweight!!

I'm a cheering maniac today!!!

I finally hit the 160's after waiting for what felt like an eternity to do so. If you look at my BMI tracker, you'll see I am also officially overweight, rather than obese. I never thought I'd be happy to be overweight, but considering the alternative right now, I'll take it!

Also, today I completed a 40 minute incline/jogging program on my treadmill. It's the toughest one the machine offers, and a couple of months ago I tried it and had to quit about ten minutes in. Today? Finished with flying colors, drenched in sweat. It felt so good to know that I've made progress, cardio-wise. I know it helps that I'm lugging a bit less weight up that 10% incline, but still I can see my hard work paying off!

Finally, I'm having a hard time taking compliments. I actually rolled my eyes at the sweetest friend at church today, when she walked by and told me that I, "look[ed] really good". I felt so bad, I walked right back to her and apologized. She didn't even realize what I'd done, and totally understood. But it emphasized my problem with praise.

I know things are better. I know, compared to Frump Mama that I was prior to these last several months, things have gotten better, and an hourglass is starting to emerge. BUT, I know I'm not done. I still have a good chunk to lose, and that is probably where my unwillingness to acknowledge compliments originates. I suppose I must work on this...

Finally, a question for you healthy-eating bloggers: what are your thoughts on the Vitatops/Vitamuffins. Do you buy a mix and make your own, or buy them in the store? I'm new to the Vita scene, and have enjoyed them so far, but they are so pricey. I'm may experiment with a recipe of my own and see what I come up with.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Outback Steakhouse Diet

As we drove to Outback for dinner last night, I thought to myself, It'll figure if I finally lose weight after a big meal tonight.

Well, sure enough, I did. After two weeks stuck at the same stupid weight, I dropped a wee little bit. After eating: a 6 oz sirloin, a fairly dry salad (with croutons and cheese), a dry sweet potato, my daughter's mashed potatoes, and two slices of bread without butter.

Then? We came home, and I ate about 10 marshmallows (no sugar/sweetened with maltitol, they're GREAT!) and went about 1000 calories over my budget for the day. Go figure.

I did jog 3 miles in the morning, so maybe that helped a bit?

Today, I'm all about eating my veggies. I made stuffed red peppers, which, if I do say so myself, are super-yummy. The only problem, is I can't fully enjoy the flavor, because my tongue is still injured. By whom or what, you may wonder?

One of my Body Pump instructors, that's who. She thought throwing Fire Balls (you know, those super hot, cinnamon balls from childhood...they still make those!) during our class, perhaps to signify our burning muscles, would be motivating.

Well, motivating, it was not. What it did do, other than overshadow the pain in my legs, with a pain in my mouth, was destroy my sense of taste for the last few days. You know how hard that is on this Foodie?

Monday, June 7, 2010

3 Mile Run and a Pic

I hopped on the ole treadmill for a 3 mile jog yesterday, and it actually felt pretty great! I think the cardio work I've been getting at the gym has really helped me use oxygen more efficiently. Less gasp, more huff.

I started off at 5 mph, and worked my way up to 5.3 at the end. The entire she-bang took me 35 minutes. Since I'd like to do a 10K race next summer, and perhaps even a triathlon, I figure I should start keeping track of my pace-progress. I'm still feeling a little shame about my slow pace. I used to be ashamed of my 10-minute mile pace during soccer season in high school, and I can't come close to that now. Oh well. At least I have a goal in mind, right?

The best part? I burned 450 calories, and used most of them up on a big hunk of Irish Cheddar cheese. Tisk, tisk.

Although my weight has been fluctuating (mostly in the UP direction) lately, I am feeling a little less self-conscious about swinging my derriere around at Zumba class. Our gym is doing "summer" themes this summer (you don't say!), and pictures were taken of us this last Friday night. And posted. On Facebook.

I'm not one to complain or anything, but the gym prohibits the use of camera-phones for "privacy" reasons. Should this not extend to the classes themselves? Where some of us are wearing skin-tight pants, and contorting our bodies into the least ladylike positions known to man?

Well, I'm past all this now, and since I'm on the web, I figured I should share the fun here too: I'm that tiny figure in the blue shirt, over on the right side of the photo, a few rows back. What you can't see, is the Zumba scarf I'm wearing on my backside that jingles when I shake and shimmy. Many of the ladies wear these scarves, and I love that they'll all throw reason to the wind, and be willing to make idiots of themselves along with me, all in the name of fitness and fun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Harsh, but True?

I came across an email written by a natural health-guru/doctor, and it struck me, not only with it's harsh nature, but also because I've read some blogs lately that have mentioned childhood obesity and parental responsiblity. I'm interested in your thoughts...

Angry meals on the menu

If you hate your child or grandchild enough to let him stuff his face with Happy Meals, then nothing the health police say will save your little critter.

But that won't stop them from trying. Santa Clara County in the nanny state of California has banned toys in junk-food meals that don't meet targets for fat, calories, sugar and sodium. Soon, restaurants there will face a $1,000 fine if they dare to serve up a plastic toy with their plastic food. That'll teach 'em!

But really, I can't think of a more perfect little message for the age of ObamaCare, where nutrition will be legislated and anyone who doesn't meet some D.C. bureaucrat's carefully negotiated vision of good health will be forced to pay, pay, pay. And believe me, you will pay.

Listen, I know a Happy Meal isn't much more than death in a cute little box... but I don't trust a bunch of politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats when it comes to setting the rules for a healthy meal. You know they'll get it wrong every single time.

Besides, teaching your kid good eating habits is YOUR job, and if you don't want it -- tough. For most parents and grandparents, a Happy Meal isn't even a meal anyway -- it's a contract with a child: "If I give you fries and a cheap toy, will you shut up for half an hour?" But kids are like terrorists -- you can't negotiate with them. And if you don't have the nerve to tell your child he can't have a Happy Meal, then you're badly unprepared for everything else heading your way as your tot grows up. Remember, hell hath no fury like an overweight sack of raging teenage hormones.

Would you like fries with that?

Never coy when it comes to these toys, William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

So does this guy have a good point, or has he fallen off his rocker?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cantaloupe Bliss

I am not a super-fan of melon, but the cantaloupe I ate for lunch today rivals the most sweet and perfect fruits ever grown.
I threw in 21 grams of slivered almonds and chopped pecans for some crunch, protein, and healthy fat, and enjoyed my own little bowl of fruity heaven.
This made me feel a little better after going Round Two with a sports bra (if you wear a bra, read on). Round One didn't go so smoothly, so I figured I should purchase a new bra, whose elastic was manufactured sometime after 1995, in a size more appropriate for a grown woman, rather than a teen soccer player.
I went to the local outlet stores and tried on enough bras to lift and separate all of the bra-less women featured in National Geographic magazine, and walked out 45 minutes later with two bras which set me back $50. Aren't outlets supposed to make shopping a less guilty pleasure? Now that I've worn both bras to the gym, I now know, I have paid dearly for misery. The kind of misery that makes breathing difficult.
Though my butt and belly may wobble, my chest is a strong foundation upon which you could place any structure, without concern for instability.
That is, until I reach my van after class. Then, all bets are off, and I am the nutty woman whose arms are retracted under her shirt while she curses and swears until she is free of her binding undergarment.
I drive home, free at last. And carefully avoid potholes and speeding. (Because who wants to face a cop with sweaty lap-boobs?)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pants on the Ground

Yep, it's happening to me. The ole pants are getting too baggy, and I'm between sizes, so the next size down are just a little bit too snug, and the current ones make me look like Frump Mama.

I'm apparently not the only one who's noticed this. My sweet friend, Lynn lent a pair of her pants to me while I was there for a visit. I'm not sure if this was because she was embarrassed to be seen with me, or because she was worried a stiff wind might cause me to take flight, leaving her with a tricky rescue attempt (or my kids, until my husband arrived in town to take them off her hands...).

It's not just my one pair of over-worn capri pants that are getting too big for my junk-in-the-trunk. My favorite pair of Land's End work-out capris are too. They gradually slide down as I wiggle and shake to the musak at Gold' Gym during group classes. I've found that I must wear matching (black) underwear under them, so the wigglers behind me won't realize that 10 inches of my underpants are peaking out from under my pants.

The underpants/pants phenomenon is something else, isn't it? I mean, the pants fall down, yet the underpants creep up, because there's less butt to cover. So I guess either way you look at it, I'm going to be covered. That is, until my underpants are so big, they fall on the ground too...that guy will have to pen another catchy song just for me then, won't he?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bathing Beauty

Well, I won't go so far as to stay that, once I walked through the gate at my BFF's swimming pool, I shocked others with my physique; that men fainted, and women grumbled in jealousy, BUT, I did go to the pool. In something other than capris and a t-shirt.

That has been my usual attire; at least for the last 5 years. I have been ashamed of myself for getting as big as I have, and my poor kids (save one trip to a beach, with the same wonderful friend) haven't gone swimming with me in way too long.

I sucked it up, and sucked it in, and wore a new Land's End suit (tankini with a swim 'mini' skirt, and halter top) in a size 14 on top, 16 on bottom. It wasn't too painful...I even flopped down on a lounge chair to get some vitamin D! Then I got in the VERY chilly water to play with my girls for a little while.

This is big for me. Now, I just have to work up the nerve to get semi-naked (dans la swim suit) at my own pool back home. See, my entire church lives in the same neighborhood that I do, and something about all of those people (the ones whom I should feel most comfortable with seeing all my flaws) getting close-range viewing of my bulges and cellulite just doesn't sound so appealing. So, I'll be working on my courage :)

Now for the REALLY amazing news? I haven't binged. Not once since I left my home to visit dear BFF, seven hours and two states away. This is huge for two reasons: I habitually binge while traveling. I typically take a vacation from food-reality when I take a physical vacation. The second reason, is that BFF and I are long-time, big-time, binge-buddies. It's bad, because we should have been a good influence on each other all these years, but boy we haven't been. I could down a seriously sickening quantity of doughnuts with BFF in my company.

So, not only haven't I binged, but I've worked out twice so far, counted all my calories, downed a zillion portions of veggies, and LOST weight. At least her scale says I have :) I'm hoping mine will sync with hers...And to be real, I give this amazing accomplishment's credit to God. I know it's not me. I'm a sucker for a vacation and my BFF's company around food.

I finally feel like there's serious hope for me. And that is truly huge wonderful-ness :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tug O Bra

What's the rule about swim suits? If you can't get into it well while it's dry, don't even think about trying while it's wet, right? Well, this rule also apparently applies to sports bras.

Being the dedicated exerciser that I've been lately, I set my alarm early, so I could sweat a little before church. Feeling smug about my discipline, I got up, got some water, and hunted for a more snug sports bra since the one I've been wearing lately doesn't really do the trick when I'm bouncing up and down in Step class.

When I pulled it over my head (this bra has no hooks) the stretching caused it to crackle a bit. Perhaps the elastic is a little past its prime, since the little sucker was worn last when I played soccer in high school....a mere 16 years ago (and 65 pounds too, but who's counting?). Now that I think about it, the bra is a real classic; almost antique.

My chest looked bound. I could almost have passed for a man, I was so squished, and fat was pouring out along every edge of the fabric. I didn't have cleavage; I had a new butt, only in front, and a bit high. But alas, it was ON! And off I went, to jog 2 miles, all before church. I was patting myself on my bumpy back.

I survived both miles, sneering a little at my slower-than-high-school pace, and then rushed to get ready for church. I removed my shirt, socks, and pants, then went for the bra. I succeeded only in getting the bra above the "nurchies" (my youngest called them that back when she still nursed) but that is where it stayed. I tried, and tugged at the sweaty thing, but it was determined to remain in place. I can't begin to tell you how absurd I looked with an elastic band wrapped around my chest above, what gravity and childbirth has lowered substantially the last several years.

I had no one else to go to for help other than my poor husband. So, I bobbed down our stairs, manually keeping the goods in place, and asked for his assistance. It took him a few good tugs to free me, but it worked . And the bra is now retired. Know any 12 year-olds who need some extra support?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Pay for This

I occurred to me, while my legs were splayed in a very un-lady-like position, that I pay to be tortured. I pay the local gym instructors, to demand that I put a resistance band under my step, with my feet in the handles, so that as I lay on my back, my feet are pulled in opposite directions. The torture part comes in when I'm told to squeeze my feet together until my inner thighs and abs rebel and shake uncontrollably. Others around me wonder if I'm seizing. But the instructor (who is quite pregnant, by the way) knows better. She knows she's conquered another stay-at-home mom who just wants to be fit and trim.

I find myself wanting to be present while she's giving birth, so I can "encourage" her with her own words: "Are your abs sore yet? No? Well, maybe we should do this again, until you really feel something!"

I'm usually a very sweet person. I wish laboring mothers peace and comfort. Usually. This lady, and her band of ultra-fit cronies, has my respect. But I'm short on compassion, just now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It Ain't Pretty

I've noticed a few things over the last few weeks that I though I should jot down. That, and I'm procrastinating. I really hate cleaning our house...so blogging is my respite!

1. When I work out, I don't look too cute. I mean, there are bulges and jiggles, and sweat pouring every which way. Then I 'hover' on the floor, as directed by the evil instructor, and my shirt flops down exposing the 5 inches of belly sag that used to cover my babies before they were born. Me getting fit isn't all that pretty, but hopefully, it'll lead to a pretty me :)

2. Shouldn't they make those sanitary stickers that cover the inside of a lady's swimsuit larger for larger sized suits? I ordered a slew of Land's End bathing suits last week, hoping that one would fit and look half-way decent, and I noticed how little the sticker looked. My eyes could be getting worse as I age, but more likely, my suits have grown in that time, and thus, the sticker looks like it's there to serve as a bull's eye of sorts, "Put your bottom here!", rather than to protect the rightful owner of the suit from everyone else's, well, bottom.

3. Another swimsuit note: are they worried our butts might come popping out of the leg holes of the suits, or what? I know, at a size 14/16 I am bound to have my share of bulges, but the leg openings of each suit I tried on seemed to be small enough to cause gangrene to set in. The "swim mini" skirt covers this unfortunate deformity, but really, other swimmers will begin to notice the purple color seeping throughout my lower limbs eventually.

4. 179.4 looks better than 219.4

5. It's incredibly easy to consume an entire day's worth of calories in one short sitting.

6. All of the ladies I've met recently who are trying their hand and losing weight and getting fit, are VERY careful with their food intake. There are no free rides out there. I don't know if this makes me feel better because misery loves company, or just because I know I'm not alone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Me, the Hovercraft

The dreaded plateau has struck again. I know it'll pass, but the waiting is a real pain in the neck. I keep dreaming of nasty things I can do to my scale if it refuses to budge one more morning...death by water, putting batteries in with the plus/minus sides backwards, dropping from a two-story window?

Other than a hefty meal at a Mexican restaurant the other night, my food has been pristine, my work-outs beefy, and my mind clear. I'm ready for the 70's folks!

I have made a list of rewards for each 10-lb increment lost. I ran out of originality and had to repeat a couple:

170: new swim suit
160: massage
150: eye-lash dye (weird, I know)
140: outfit, or a couple of shirts
130: massage

My husband has promised to buy a new bridal set for me when I reach my goal. I get the band to go with the solitaire when I've maintained my new weight for at least a few months. I have clothes for all of these sizes, because I've been in the 120's since having both of my girls...but it'll be nice to by some new stylish stuff to wear out and about.

I'd love to cash in some of these rewards, if only I'd quit hoviering right around 180....

Friday, April 2, 2010

They LIE!!!

Aerobics instructors, that is.

I just joined a new gym in our area (LA Fitness). Well, it's new to our area, anyway! And I started out by attending the Body Works class. This is a class that uses weights throughout the session to tone various muscles. The instructors are trained by evil, evil people. So, when instructed to use a heavy weight, you should really reach for the medium weight, for example. At one point in the workout, I had to drop my little 2.5 lb weight because my shoulder muscles were screaming for mercy.

The next day, I took a Step class with abs. It's been at least 10 years since I've done one of the these classes, and fortunately, not a whole lot has changed. But there were moments when I literally laughed as I watched the entire class do some combination off of Broadway while I looked on as a spectator rather than participant.

Today? There's not one single task I can do without hurting. Peeing, petting the cat, blinking...it all hurts. Strangely, eating is no problem :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Check This Out!

So if you don't post and entry to your blog in, oh, FOREVER, then your weight may have changed significantly since your last diatribe. Hopefully, this change is for the better. And for me? I noticed I'd lost nearly 7 pounds!

This is such a good thing, because I need a boost lately. Not so much to my eating and exercise plan, but to my mood. A big change to a weight ticker is a nice little nudge.

I've gotten a few comments lately from friends, which has been gratifying. It's kinda funny to watch them struggle. The skinny ones always have a harder time with this. "You look great! I mean, have you...um. You look really good!!" This is where I can choose to help them out and volunteer, "Thanks, yes, (to answer the question you couldn't bring yourself to actually ask) I have lost a bit of weight."

The pastor at our church has gone on a big diet, which he's posting details about on his Facebook page AND a blog. Last month the man lost 25 pounds. This morning I told him that I'm happy for him and all, but it's just not fair. I kill myself (odd, I put it that way, since I'm treating my body better than ever before, eh?) to lose 7 or so, and he peels off almost 4 times that. But I'm glad he's posting about his success, because I try not to make comments about men's appearances as a general rule, so he's helping me side-skirt that by talking numbers. Numbers are good.

Now to something that has me really optimistic: a friend I've been sitting next to in a Bible study for months now (and who is funny as all get out, and has such a good heart), just sort of blurted out that she has had an eating disorder in the past, and is so stuck trying to lose weight now. She and I are the only two in our group who need to drop weight, and I assume that's why she opened up to me about it. But I'm SO excited! Not because she struggles as I do, but that we know about eachother now, and can support eachother. We've already planned to go walking a couple of times a week together. Now we can chat and burn fat. What more could a woman want? That was a stupid question now that I think of it: a size 6 swimming suit that looks good on, calorie-free chocolate, and my BFF local instead of 7 hours away...those would be nice too :)