Thursday, May 27, 2010

News from the Front Lines!

Well, looky here.

Signed onto Blogger this morning and saw the nice round 1-0-0 where it says followers.  Couldn't have come at a better time.  I took an extra day off (tomorrow) to make my long weekend extra long. The timing will give me this long weekend to get together those promised giveaways just in time for next week.

The latest news from the battlefront is that I went, food logs (with "cheat days"!) in hand, to see a nutritionist.  Just can't figure out why-oh-why my freaking weight keeps bouncing back up to 180 ( or higher!) when I feel like I'm doing things the right way.

Verbatim this is what she said:

"You are doing everything pretty much perfect.  I think you need to get your family doctor to refer you to a good Endocrinologist because some people, even when their thyroid is 'regulated' need more - they need extra help. I'm not going to be able to help you food wise any better than what you are already doing for yourself."

Well, not that I'm thrilled with the idea of adding yet another doctor to my repetoire, but it does make me feel better to know that I'm not crazy, I am doing what I can do, and it's not my doing something wrong! Honestly people, it really is more than the weight. I have not been feeling the way I think I should as someone who tries to live healthfully. So, I started doing some research on my own and pretty much found that I should not be having the sort of issues I'm dealing with (fatigue, muscle & joint aches) if my hormones were truly "fixed."

So, I am seeing my doc on June 7th and will ask for the referral then.  Stay tuned.

Do you know what Memorial Day is all about? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 31 in 2010). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.[1] First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

Plus, I found out that "Traditional Observances" include visiting cemetaries. The reason I found that so interesting is because I had already planned to take my 3 mile recovery run through our local cemetary. Our local VFW goes there and puts American Flags on every soldier's grave.  In this cemetary, there are many soliders dating back to the Civil War!  It's actually quite inspiring to see. This is something I have done every year and didn't even know I was following a tradition.  It's actually a lovely run, with no traffic and the paved roads are in excellent condition.  It's quiet and peaceful and I get a chance to run by the resting places of several of Mr. Helen's family members.  I usually stop and say hi at each place.

This may be it from me this week peeps. You know how I am about unplugging on the weekends. I have lots planned to fill this long weekend so I don't expect to write any more, though I may pop in to read :-) Plus we are supposed to have some spectacular weather and I am looking forward to having my first beach day - or days! - of the summer.

So tell me what are you doing for the Holiday Weekend?  Picnics, Barbecue?
Do you have a tradition?

Whatever it is that you are doing, hope your holiday weekend is filled with good things and that you will remember to say a little prayer or have a little thought towards a soldier who has died in service to our country.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

With Apologies to Mr. Sh*t

and his wonderful W.I.D.T.H. campaign, (if you haven't seen it, go look.  If you haven't sent one in, do it now!), here is this week's Challenges weigh in:

I wanted to take a photo of the ERR message, but it's so dead it wouldn't even do that...

But then suddenly it had something else to say.


I had dentist appointment followed by a doctor appointment after work yesterday and did not have time to get a new scale, therefore no weigh in this week. 

On another note - just how fabulous did everyone look on the Biggest Loser finale?  Especially all those moms - who are around my age.  I needed to see that!  It gave me another shot of hope.  I was so happy for Michael - but I'm still wondering if there is something going on between him and Ashley.  That question did not get answered!  Jillian's new show was promoted to death.  I plan on watching at least the first episode, how about you?



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Ten

1. Laurie, if you’re going to leave me a comment about being in your dream, you need to at least email me and tell me what you were dreaming about!

2. Do you watch Glee? I just love it although every time I watch,  I’m so glad I’m not in the midst of high school angst anymore. That show gave me a new saying a couple weeks ago – watch out for it on your blog comments soon: Holy Lady Ga Ga! Yes, I just wrote V-C-R. Still have 4 of them and use them!

3. One of the businesses owned by my boss is a garage. There’s also a vehicle accessory store. After Mr. Helen got his truck, I bought him mud flaps as his birthday gift. He couldn’t manage to get them on without taking the tires off so he asked me if I would check into having our guys install them. (I get a great employee discount). Last Thursday, I dropped the truck off and there was no one around to give me a ride back to my office. As I was dressed down because of EMS week vehicle washing, I decided to walk back. So, I got a 1.25 mile walk on my non-exercise day. I love unexpected exercise!

4. I am excited that we are going to get a vacation this year! Just when I thought hope was lost, and while it’s not to our second “home” in St. Martin, I managed to find us a cottage on Cape Cod. We love the Cape and are looking forward to it! Vacations are good for the soul even if they’re not good for the waistline.

5. Last week I wrote about feeling thinner. I should have used the word lighter, maybe. In any case, that feeling was fleeting. This week I have been feeling heavier even though I haven’t done one thing different. Which just goes to show that we should not rest our laurels on our feelings.

6. There’s a HUGE difference between these two statements: “I can’t have…” &  “I don’t want…” I working at being the latter sort of girl.

7. Mr. Helen came upstairs this morning and informed me our scale has completely died. He tried everything but it won’t work. He weighs about 185 and when he stepped on it it said he weighed 215!! He changed the battery and then it just said ERR. I knew something was wrong with that stupid scale!

8. Prior to this revelation, my scale dying is just the sort of thing that would put me over the edge. The thought of starting over and what if I weigh MORE and so on and so forth. Now, I simply don’t care. Whatever the new scale reads, it will read, and I will go on from there.

9. I cleaned my closet out this past weekend. I do it every year around Memorial Day. It’s the perfect time because we are transitioning seasons so the winter stuff goes away and out comes the summer. My goal was not to keep things that didn’t fit. I only partially succeeded. I gave away all the 2, 4, 6 sizes. Yes, I had totes with those sizes which is just ridiculous. I kept a few things that will fit if I can just lose 10 pounds. Everything else, I’m wearing. They are either size 10, 12, or 14 but I wouldn’t know because once I get over an 8, I cut tags out. I want to wear clothes that fit and not have my happiness defined by the size. How ironic is it that I don’t cut tags out of 8’s or lower? What sort of messed up definition is that?!

10. Which leads me to ask: Do you allow yourself to be defined by your clothing size? If not, how do you define who you are at the core of your being?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Long Haul

As a runner, I am not a sprinter.  I do not actually care for the 5K distance because in order to run them best, you have to sort of go all out right from the starting line.  I'm actually a pretty slow starter but I do tend to get faster as I go along.  For example, I ran 3.25 miles this morning and each mile I ran was almost exactly 1 minute faster than the previous mile (love being able to see my splits at the end of my run due to my Garmin!).

I have often referred to myself as a Crockpot - the longer I go, the more I heat up and then I cook steady.  (Sprinters are more like microwaves - they zap! their runs.)  I am at peace with that.  Maybe it's because I didn't even start running until I was 42 years old and didn't try a race until I was 43.  On my very first training "run" I had a 75 year old runner come back around to look for me because everyone else had finished the loop.  Humbling.  And eye opening because I had to decide right then and there if I was going to stop running or if I was going to be at peace with my pace. Ultimately, I did make peace with my pace and found out about 10Ks, 10 milers, Half Marathons and Marathons.  Not that I became like a fabulous Kenyan runner or anything but the longer distances allowed me to settle into my pace - to be in it for the long haul and actually enjoy what I was doing.

Every night I read a little bit when I go to bed.  Currently, thanks to a lovely blogging friend, I am in the midst of reading The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl.  This is Shauna Reid's memoir of losing half her body weight.  She composed the book in a diary form by week.  After the introductory segment in which she explains her background and her thought process to deciding to do something to lose weight, the entry starts:

Week 1
January 16
351 pounds
186 pounds to go

By last Thursday I had reached the point in the book where the entry read:

Week 110
February 18
222 pounds
129 pounds lost, 57 to go

I don't know why I suddenly "saw" what I was reading but it dawned on me that while she had lost 129 pounds, which is a heck of a lot of weight - but it took her 110 weeks (averaging 1.172 lbs./week).  Then I remembered that wasn't 110 uninterrupted weeks of weight loss.  She had some ups mixed in with her downs.  Suddenly bells and whistles and lightbulbs start going off in my head. Shauna is a Crockpot!

For whatever reason, this realization gave me hope.  I definitely used to be a microwave when it came to weight loss.  I was one of those people who would decide to drop 5 or 10 lbs. for an event and would do so, with a small amount of effort. I think because of that, this journey I'm on now has been extroardinarily hard. Now, due to years of dieting that messed up my metabolism, plus an uncooperative thyroid, plus midlife, I am not only a running crockpot, I have become a weightloss crockpot.

At this point I'm sure many of you are thinking, "Well, it's a lifestyle."  Intellectually, while I know that to be true, I've had my secret deadlines like anyone else trying to lose weight.  My perfectionist streak has been very angry because over the last 3 years, I never seem to make my ultimate goals and I have been involved in some pretty terrible behavior. No one is as hard on me as I am on myself.  I have punished myself constantly.  I have not let myself  fully participate in life - by not enjoying things I should have, by not having the fun I should have.  I have excluded myself from events and activities because I wasn't as thin and pretty as the other women involved.  I have sat at the edge of the pool and refused to cool off on a sweltering day because I didn't want to expose my horrendous looking body to others at the pool party.  Instead of buying something that fit, I have stuffed myself into too small clothes and spent many days in misery and uncomfortableness.  I have even beat myself with food - at first by refusing to "allow" myself to even have a taste of something I really like, because I didn't "deserve" it, and then alternately stuffing myself with too much because I had been subsisting on steamed green beans and lettuce with vinegar for days on end. 

Enough is enough.  I am done with self flagellation. Lately, I've begun to realize that it doesn't matter that I started trying to lose weight in 2007  Maybe I haven't finished yet and while I've had some ups, I've never regained all the way back to my highest weight. As nutty as it might sound, I'm pretty proud of that.

I am stopping the attempt at a sprint right here and now and I am preparing myself for endurance. I am going to make peace with my pace.  Like a crockpot, I may cook slowly, but I don't have to have a deadline to get to the finish line.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Fun

Hello blogland!  I have had something cooking in this crazy brain of mine for the last day and started a post about it.  But the more I wrote, the deeper I thought.  It's way too heavy for a Friday post, so I'm going to keep working on it and save it for next week.  As you all know, I tend to unplug on the weeknds so I thought this was appropriate for today - enjoy!

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2010 WHEN:

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :-)

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

14. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.


Have a great weekend friends!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Unrelated Things

Did you know that this week is National EMS Week? National EMS Week honors and recognizes the life-saving efforts and devotion of those who respond to medical emergencies. One of the businesses my boss owns is an ambulance company. Actually it’s one of the largest in our area. The office staff always tries to do some special things for our EMTs and Paramedics so this morning, I came in to work at 6:30 to wash the incoming ambulances! Hey it was good for me too ‘cause I got to flex my hours and wear jeans! Anyway, if you see an emergency crew this week, even if they’re just driving by, say a little thank you.

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Yesterday POD wrote a hysterical blog about wearing her pants inside out: http://janell-sufferingsuccotash.blogspot.com/2010/05/going-green.html Because I am a good blogging friend, I thought I’d share my embarrassment story with you:

I get up very early in the morning to run: 4ish AM most days. I lay my running clothes/gear out so that when I get up all I have to do is throw it on. I can’t stand having to think that early! One morning I got up and pulled on my running shorts and suddenly felt my thighs rubbing together. Both inner seams had popped. So I went to the plastic tote where I keep my stuff and grabbed another pair of shorts and threw them on. Went downstairs, had my cup ‘o joe and headed out the door (usually 4:30-4:45ish). Keep in mind, it’s almost always still dark when I head out but soon gets light. That day, I had used a route that gives me a downhill finish. But that finish lasts for a good ½ mile. As I was flying down the hill suddenly, in my peripheral vision, I kept seeing flashes of white. It bothered me so much I stopped dead to see what it was and discovered my running shorts on inside out. As it happened, the ones I grabbed had a white gusset that lined the inside of both legs. Yes folks, I had been flashing my white all over town during that 5 miler. I’m sure I gave some early morning drivers a good laugh.

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The 2 cents I put in on yesterday’s blog about The Biggest Loser probably generated a lot of passion from you people! Shelley mentioned the previous contestants weight gain, (something that we talked about all day at work), did you notice? It’s sad really. While I have never expected any of them to remain at the so very skinny place they put themselves to win, some of that weight gain was quite noticeable! Sione shocked me with how much he had put back on. With this season’s contestants, I am quite honestly concerned for both Koli and Daris. Neither one of them seems to have dealt with the emotional side of things they need to. Koli couldn’t even stay put for the 30 days – he ran away so he wouldn't have to deal with the reality at home. Biz had a good idea too: she thinks Daris chose Ashley but Ashley chose Michael and now Daris is thinking that even after he lost all that weight he still can’t get the girl. (Corletta, since you're our resident psychologist, jump in here anytime!)  Isn't it something how if the underlying issues of what made you overeat in the first place don't get dealt with you find yourself right back where you started!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If at first...

you don't succeed, try, try again.

I ate really well.
My running is going better than it has in a long time, including my pace being a bit faster.
Muay Thai is great. Mr. Helen, who has a 2nd Degree Black Belt, told me he might have to switch belts with me cause my SKILLZ are so tight.  I told him that's ok, I'll earn my own.
I started feeling "thinner" this week.  Don't ask me what that means because I really can't explain it.

Even with all that, I still don't trust the She-Devil Scale.


Maybe the fear keeps me motivated. I have to keep trying until I get out of this "decade."  I can't stop till I can drop it like it's hot.

Of course I AM Wonder Woman so maybe I should start believing in my superhero powers...


Ahem.  That's another 1.4 loss.  

Yet I can't stop thinking that I need to be afraid, be very afraid, because I've been here, done this, have the souvenirs to prove it.  But maybe just for today, I'll try to enjoy the fruits of my labors.  (Note to self: enjoy the FRUITS but not the dark chocolate covered ones.)

On another note, I just finished watching last night's episode of the Biggest Loser.  I'm really loving this season.  It seems like they all genuinely care about each other and there has been lots less game play and backstabbing.  Much more like it was when it first came on.

(SPOLER ALERT! IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT STOP HERE AND JUMP TO GIVE ME SOME LOVE  IN THE COMMENTS!)

Anyway, I just want to say that I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with both Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels about Daris' gain while training for his marathon.  His gain was so small over the course of 30 days, it was pretty much a maintain anyway.  Any good runner and/or running coach will tell you that you should not plan to lose weight while training to run a marathon.  You really do need to maintain your weight in order to be strong enough to complete 26.2 miles.  You have to take the calories in to support your training if you want your body to cooperate .  In fact, Runner's World did an article a while back where they helped runners pick different length races in order to complete other goals in their life and the distance that is best suited to weight loss is the half marathon. The half provides just enough running to support caloric burn for weight loss but not so much that you're falling apart from lack of energy due to restricting your food.

Besides the fact that I experienced the marathon distance myself four times, here's the other reason I disagree with them.  Daris actually RACED his marathon.  He was running as hard as he could to get his best time.  He trained to RACE the marathon.  The other contestants trained to finish.  The other 3 did quite a bit of walking.  You just don't need as many calories to participate as a run/walker as you do as a racer.  Period.

One of the marathons I completed one of them was a WALKING marathon for breast cancer.  This particular event they actually told us we could not run because they would not have the correct support services for runners.  I trained all summer for it and LOST 18 pounds while training.  But I was walking, not running.  I certainly did not need the sort of calories I need to sustain a long RUN.  Yes, I walked fast - I was actually the first walker in (finished in 5:47) but my point is that it was walking not running and definitely not RACING.

Just my two cents!




Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Ten with Exciting News!

Here is why when something seems too good to be true, it probably is. I found some cookies at the store that sounded delicious: peanut butter cookie with a dark chocolate coated bottom. The packaging said there were 4 cookies the box. The nutrition said for 1/4 it was 110 calories, 6g fat, 2 protein. Wow. Sounds pretty good and I usually eat something 100-150 calories for my 3 p.m. low time. Yesterday, instead of the yogurt I planned, I ate a cookie. The whole time I was eating it I kept thinking "This is an awful big cookie for 110 calories." Soooooo, I pulled the box out again and looked again (but not until it was gone, of course). That information was for 1/4 of A COOKIE, not 1/4 of the box! YIKES! That means I ate 440 calories of cookie. Sigh.

After I talked about the John J. Kelley Ocean Beach Run in last week’s Tuesday Ten, Laurie asked me what the 11.6 mile race “was.” I think she meant like 5K or 10K or Half Marathon. Well, the answer is none of the above. I’ve never actually heard the story about why the race is that distance. Actually I think it’s really 11.78, even though it’s advertised as 11.6.

During the course of that race, I will get to see this awesome sight. I’ll also see them while I train. I’m so lucky!



The great thing about being a new runner who races is that you really don’t have anything to compare to. Old runners like me have all these previous race times and PRs and such that can really mess with your mental state. Since I decided to start the half marathon training program, I need to get all thoughts of time out of my head and just train to finish and for fun.

I did make the all veggie version of the crustless quiche. It’s just as yummy as the other versions. I put broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus and scallions in it. Next time I think I’m going to use mushrooms, spinach, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Oh the possibilites are endless. Thanks again to the cooking whiz Biz for the basic recipe!

Have I mentioned that I really want to win my battle against my thyroid and thus, my scale? I want to be slender. Period. Is that so wrong?

I’m trying to balance exercise, eating right, work, meal planning, housekeeping and half marathon training. I’m trying to get my thyroid back in balance and cooperating so that I’ll quit bouncing up and down between 175-180. I’m trying to be careful with money because of all the “unexpected” expenses we’ve had lately. I’m trying to figure out who I really am and what I like. Some days I feel exhausted from all this trying that I’ve been doing.

For the last time people, the word is "LOSE" not "LOOSE". Unless you are talking about your clothes. You lose weight. Then your clothes are loose. Can you tell how much this annoys me?

Here's the exciting news! I’ve decided that when I get to 200 posts or 100 followers (whichever comes first) I am going to do some giveaways. I’d planned on doing one when I’d lost my first 10 pounds – instead of rewarding myself, I’d reward you. But it’s taking so long that I’m going this other route. Only thing is the number will have to say 102 because both Shelley and Jack Sh*t have followed me twice. Does that mean they really, really like me?

Finally, I have been inspired by Miz’ “I Am My Own SuperHero” campaign. Miz, here is my answer:


I am Wonder Woman.

Monday, May 17, 2010

No More Guilt.

It was just a GAW-JUS weekend around these here parts - couldn't have asked for better weather.  My whole mood/being felt lifted and my energy levels were crazy high.  So nice to be able to exercise outdoors!

Speaking of exercise, I decided to start the half marathon training plan!  I won't have to make a decision about the race for another 6 weeks or so but I figured what the heck.  The plan started yesterday with a "rest" day - lol!  Actually strengthening stretching is what I'm supposed to be doing on Sunday so doing one of my yoga workouts will be just the trick.  Today I ran 5K in 34 minutes which shows me I've got lots of room for improvement, even though that's not a terrible time for an easy run.  The biggest difference for me. i.e. training vs. just running, will be the addition of speedwork back into my repetoire.  As much as I dislike the treadmill, I do like it for speedwork because you set the speed and it forces that tempo.  Not quite as easy to do that when running outside. It's supposed to rain tomorrow anyway so I'll be on the mill doing 400s.

I posted a little something last Friday about being "afraid" of foods due to years of dieting.  In other words, one diet or another that I've used has told me that certain foods are "bad."  In my mid-life I am finding myself feeling very rebellious about this and a teensy bit annoyed.  Because this isn't a situation where I've eaten too many cookies and thus am getting a sugar rush or so much sugar it's storing on my body as fat.  These foods are not processed foods, they are simple whole foods.  Here some of the foods I've been afraid of and have added back into my diet in moderation of course.  I refuse to feel guilty about eating these things any more!

Eggs - this is the food I mentioned on Friday.  I had heard too much fat, too much cholesterol etc., etc., until I had gotten to the point where simple eggs became a forbidden food.  When I started putting them back into my diet 3 years ago, I tried to do so sensibly.  I try very hard not to overeat them and I buy the eggs that are high in Omega 3 fats.  I do use egg whites only sometimes but guess what?  Egg yolks are not evil.

Fruit Juice - real 100% all natural unsweetened juice I'm what talking about here.  This is not anything I even overindulge in.  I occasionally like to have a 4 oz glass with a breakfast sandwich,  but years of diets have told me that the fruit is better than just the juice.  Which is probably true overall. But for goodness sake how bad is it for me to have 4 oz. of juice once a week or so?  Besides, I decided the other day that while I really like Grapefruit Juice, I'm not super fond of grapefruit itself.  I'm going to have 4 oz. of grapefruit juice when I want it!

Fats - any kind.  Olive oil, Canola Oil, Peanut Oil, Butter, Peanut Butter to name a few. Ah, you see, you can't eat this stuff if you're on a low fat diet.  There were days when I dipped my fork into vinegar only and then grabbed some lettuce with it.  I don't have anything against that if it's what you LIKE, but see, I didn't like it.  I was scared of the fat that fats would cause.

Nuts - I realize that were anyone to eat huge handfulls of nuts, it would not be a good thing.  Really, nothing is good for you if you overdo it!  And I LIKE nuts.  I like them enough that I count out the half ounce or 12 nuts or whatever.  They're good and they're good for you.  Besides, sometimes you feel like a nut...

Cheese - While I do still take it very easy with full fat cheese, the invention of cheeses made with skim or low fat milks reintroduced this wonderful dairy back into my life.  In my humble opinion, Cabot and Sargento make some of the best reduced fat cheese on the market.  They have lots of flavor, melt well, and just taste good. Mmmmm cheese.

So, those are some things that I have been enjoying recently after years of forbidding them. When I first started having some of these things, I actually felt guilty.  How silly of me!  How about you?  Have you added some good wholesome foods back into your diet that you previously excluded?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Breakfast Anyone?

In 2007, trying to combat my thyroid, I started eating in the fashion of a low-glycemic diet. A low glycemic diet is the sort of eating plan that would be recommended if you had insulin resistance and/or any diabetes. It’s actually a very good way to eat as it does not exclude carbs but insists on whole grains.

As I got familiar with this way of eating my breakfast foods changed drastically. Prior to that I tended to be a bagel or toast sort of girl eating breakfasts that were mostly only carbs. I learned from low glycemic eating that adding protein and/or fat while consuming carbs slows the glycemic roll, even if you’re eating plain old white bread.

After years and years of eating low fat and thus being “afraid” of eating certain foods, I reintroduced eggs into my life. Wow. I had forgotten how much I love them until I started eating them. The only thing is that high cholesterol tends to be genetic in my family so while I love eggs and they have become an almost every day breakfast for me now, I have tried to limit the yolks. I do eat them, it’s just that I would tend to make my omelette with 1 egg and some egg whites or egg substitute.

While the standard egg breakfast sandwich is one of my favorites, once in a while I run across a new idea that rocks my breakfast world. Such it is with the fabulous Biz’ Crustless Breakfast Quiche. I hesitate to share Biz with you because I want her all for myself and I’m currently fighting Shelley to have her as my next door neighbor. But I cannot keep her luscious recipes to myself as I really am not a selfish person.

A few weeks back, I made Biz’ quiche recipe, changing it a smidge by using turkey breakfast sausage and low fat milks. Even Mr. Helen said it was “pretty good” which is high praise from him when it comes to “diet” food. High enough praise that I only got one piece of it as he ate the other three! (Yeah, that’s why I generally don’t tell him that what he’s eating is lower fat or whatever.)

Last weekend I had some leftover ham and decided to make a variation of this quiche and I think I may like this even more than the sausage version. For your viewing pleasure, here’s my take on Biz’ Crustless Quiche (which I have eaten for breakfast 4 days this week!):

Ham and Broccoli Crustless Quiche

4 oz. diced low fat ham (mine was 70 cals, 2 g fat/2 oz.)
6 oz. frozen broccoli florets, cooked to pkg. directions & chopped a bit
1.5 cups egg substitute
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 oz (~1/2 cup) shredded reduced fat colby-jack cheese (I used Sargento)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a deep dish pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray, sprinkle diced ham and cooked broccoli.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg substitute, low fat buttermlik, skim milk, salt, pepper and mustard.

Pour over ham/broccoli in pie plate. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until set and top is lightly browned.

4 servings, 1 serving is 1/4 of of the pie plate!

178 calories; 4.7g fat; 27mg cholesterol; 10g carbs, 2g fiber; 23g protein





As Biz would say, "A Perfect Bite!"

I think next I may try an all veggie version of this.  How great would it be to get a couple of servings of veggies by the end of breakfast?!

Finally, let me sign off by suggesting that you go wish Shelley a Happy Blogiversary.  I don't know if there is anyone left who doesn't know Shelley but if you're out there and not visiting her blog, you're missing out!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Almost a week ago, the lovely Leslie at Something Brilliant is Brewing bestowed this beautiful blogging award on me:



It was created by Sheilagh at Sixty is Good as part of her celebration of the anniversary of her blog.  She passed it on to 12 bloggers (one for each month) and they in turn are passing it on.  I think it's so much fun to see how these awards get around, don't you?

The only requirement is that I pass it on to 6 Bloggers who have inspired me.  This is always difficult for me to do and more so now that I've been blogging for a while myself.  There are so many of you who have touched me and the list grows longer each day as I discover new blogs.  At this point I'm sure I'm passing it to people who may have already received it but feel free to pick it up again and pass it on to 6 more bloggers!

Sandra at My Travels to Becoming a Better Me who may possibly be my Canadian twin - except That I do Thai Boxing and she does Hot Yoga!

Mish at Eating Journey is the woman who started the Exposed movement.  If you haven't seen it, you really should go look.  Amazing. Plus she writes another blog about her faith, God and Cows.  All the while studying to be a nurse.  Busy lady.

Katie J is On Her Way and is showing us all how to lose weight while living a real life.

Roxie at Gravel and Rust who used to live on a dirt road but is now taking a year long walk through the city wearing kitten heels.  She and I are the same age (well, almost!) which may explain why the things she writes generally hit home with me.

POD at Thufferin Thuccotash.  If you don't read her blog, you're missing out.  This woman truly ought to write a book.  Her way with words puts me to shame.

Fitcetera is one of the first blogs I ever followed.  Just love her never say die spirit!

Though the award was passed on to six, I 'd like to say "thank you!" to all the bloggers and commenters.  Just this morning I was reflecting on how much it means to me to read the things you write in your own blogs and the comments you leave on mine.

You guys rock!




Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Challenging Weigh In

Today is the end of Week 3 for Fight to the Finish and the end of Week 1 for My Long Hot Active Summer.  Looking at this weigh-in you'd think I'd be excited, but actually I'm leery.  Why?  Because my scale was acting funny.  When I first stepped on it, it read 189!!!!  That would have been a 10 pound gain for me.  After the adrenaline shot through me and I calmed down a little, I realized that is what the scale read last night when Mr. Helen got on it.  The thing is, we don't have a memory scale.  I calmly got back on the scale and went through my normal routine of stepping off and on several times.  The next reading I got was 172.  Um, that's a 17 pound difference from the 189.  Sheesh!  I stepped on again and for the next 4 readings this is what I saw:
That's a 2 pound loss from last week and if it's true, of course I'm happy.  I'm thinking new scale battery for sure and if that doesn't calm it down, it's time for a new scale.  I just hate changing scales, even though I know it's all relative.

I feel frustrated.   I could really use a shot of self assurance and confidence that I'm turning my back on the 180s.  I've dipped down this low before and seen my weight bounce right back up so I feel very distrustful of this weigh in.  Can you understand why I might feel leery because of this stupid scale?  On the other hand, it's said that the best thing you can do sometimes is Fake It Till You Make It - so maybe if I act and eat and exercise like I really do weigh 177.4 and I'm heading downward, it will be so.

I did well on my activity, exercising for 320 minutes over the last 7 days.  Should I decide to train for that race, that number will definitely go up as I increase mileage on my weekend long run. 

It's rainy and dreary here today.  I'm wearing winter clothes.  I can't believe it's May 12th and I had to put my heat on.  Then I went downstairs this morning, saw these, and it cheered me up:



My Mother's Day Roses.
Hope your day is "rosy" too!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Ten

Are you shocked when one of the “big” bloggers comments on your blog? I always am. Not because I don’t think I’m worthy – after all they’re just people like the rest of us. But because I wonder where they get the time what with all their own comments and all.

Speaking of comments, I’ve gotten some anonymous ones lately that made me wonder about the personal issues of the commenter. I mean it was obvious they don’t follow me regularly by what they said and they almost seemed to project their problem onto me.

I want to be a gardener but I’m not. Recently we bought an azalea to hide an ugly meter that is in the front of our house. My method is dig the hole, fertilize then pray. Because I do not have the special touch.

Speaking of not gardening, this year I’m trying a Topsy Turvy to grow my tomatoes. We don’t really have a big enough space for a true garden but I always try to grow a few things in some pots on the patio. Stay tuned for pictures.

1 ounce of cheese is not very much. I mean, it’s ok if it’s a slice on a sandwich but say, grated on a casserole? Not very much. But maybe I only feel that way because I love cheese.

Up until now I’ve had only 1 thing I have to stay away from because I feel out of control. I have now had to make it two things because of Edy’s (Dreyers if you’re west of the Mississippi) Slow Churned Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. There’s a graham cracker swirl in it that makes me lose control. It’s banished forever unless I can get it in a portion controlled size.

Cheez-Its are the other food. But they’re only semi-banned because sometimes I can have them and other times I can eat a 10 oz. box in a sitting. So I don’t have them for the most part. Except that I put them in my homemade Chex Mix that I only make at Christmas. Funny, because I have no problem with the Chex Mix. Biz’ brother Charlie would appreciate this.

I have until May 16th to decide if I’m going to do the John J. Kelley Ocean Beach Run. It is an 11.6 mile FREE race in our area named after our local Boston Marathon Winner. Here’s the thing: it’s always on the first Saturday in August which usually means blistering heat and humidity and the Worst. Race. Time. Ever. Not a race to expect a personal best, even though some have managed it. I love it because it’s free, it starts and ends at a beach and I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Kelley (which is a whole other story; remind me to tell you sometime). Why May 16th? Because I would train for it using a 12 week half marathon training plan and believe it or not, May 16th is 12 weeks out from August 7th.

May 16-August 7 = 12 weeks. Sigh. Summer is way too short for a summer loving girl like me. Not to mention that when I got up this morning our temperatures were below normal. 32. That’s not below normal, that’s freaking freezing.

And finally, here’s a thought to ponder:

We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation. If you don't like where you are, change it!
You're not a tree.
(Jim Rohn)

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Didn't Even Place

...in the Eating Olympics that is!  No gold medals for me, unless I could have gotten one for not overeating!!

Somehow, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Once I took the pressure off myself  and decided not to track and measure every bite of food (that I knew would be hard to find in any database), I did just fine!  The only way I can describe it is that I just ate a little.  In fact, I ate very little at the housewarming (just a hot dog) so when we had Mr. Helen's birthday dinner, I was able to put a spoon of this and that on my plate, and enjoy it with the knowledge that I wasn't overeating or stuffing myself.  For my Mother's Day event, my daughter had made us reservations at my favorite Tapas restaurant.  Which was perfect.  Eating with a daughter is very different from eating with a husband.  Mr. Helen likes to share, but he also likes to make sure there is LOTS of food.  With Mini Helen, we shared two tapas and then decided to order the special salad and burger on the menu, but we shared that too!  It was wonderful - plenty of delicious, lovely food without eating until we had to undo buttons.

I feel so good about how I ate and what I did over the course of the Eat-O-Rama that I can honestly say whatever happens with the scale this week is OK!  Leslie, you were right, I came out on the other side none the worse for wear.  This whole experience was a great reminder to me that my life is my life and my life is NOT food, or even dieting.  Life needs to be enjoyed.

The best part of all, of course, was having Mini Helen home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pondering Past Success

Friday’s here! This week has absolutely dragged for me. Maybe it’s the anticipation of my daughter arriving home today for a weekend visit! While we do love our empty nest, it’s always good to have her home.

This is the last weekend of the three weekends eating events and let me tell you this one is an Eat-O-Rama! My goal is just to survive it. Tomorrow we have an afternoon housewarming cookout for Mr. Helens niece, which will have the usual cookout foods. I am going to try to eat as lightly as possible because that is followed by a birthday dinner with my family for Mr. Helen. I know the menu for the birthday meal is baby back ribs, potato salad, baked beans, and as he said to my mother, “I guess you girls probably want something green so whatever.” Oh, and he requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

Sunday, we ice that proverbial cake with a Mother’s Day Brunch.

Eat-O-Rama. Or better yet, like the Eating Olympics.

I got up at 4:45 this morning, not to run, but to clean. Yes, clean as in vacuum, dust, mop, etc. Normally my daughter drives in on Friday but arrives very late, sometimes even after we’ve gone to bed. She called last night to say she was in Philadelphia with a friend and would be arriving home around 3 or 4 this afternoon. I had planned to do my cleaning after work today because who wants to do that while she’s home. Ha! The best laid plans…

Anyway, during my cleaning I was thinking about the eating events and realized it was the day after Mother’s Day in 2007 when I started trying to take off the weight gained from my thyroid malfunction. I followed a strict low-glycemic plan that my doctor had given me and had very good success, losing 9 pounds in 2 weeks. Of course I’m sure a lot of that had to be water weight because after that it was slow, slow, slow and up and down. That got me to thinking about what I had done so I pulled out that two week plan to look at.

In 2007 when I brought the plan home and showed it to Mr. Helen I literally cried about having to do it. He looked at me and said, “Helen, you are the strongest woman I know. You have endured much worse than this and you can do anything for only two weeks. I believe in you!” He was so sweet it made me cry more, but you know, I sucked it up and did it.

Even though I’m not as heavy as I was then, I have to admit I wonder if I was that strict with myself what would happen. Maybe I should do it again. For just two weeks. Hmmmm….. something to think about over the next few days.

Eating Olympics or not, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend celebrating the special women in your life!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photolicious: Challenges and Awards

First off, let me get right tothis week's weigh-in.  This is the end of week 2 of the Fight to the Finish Challenge.





That's another .6 down.  At least it's down! I wish I was doing better, but I totally realized when I signed up that it would be hard for me because the first 3 weeks of this challenge were filled with eating events.  I'm really trying hard though (as in eating only half of my fab anniversary dinner).  As I thought about all this I realized, if nothing else, Fight to the Finish is keeping me in check and I haven't gone completely hog wild so right there I have a victory don't I?  There's Fight left in me yet!!


That weigh in photo also serves as my weigh in for My Long Hot Active Summer Challenge sponsored by the lovely Exquisite Christine!






Remember how I mentioned I really wanted to get in better form by July 17th for Mr. Helen's All Class Reunion?  Well, this will help.  Also, my history indicates that I do really well with exercise and eating in the summer.  Maybe because I love summer so much - I just feel very hopeful and light and happy.  All of those things make it easier to stay on track.  One of the things that we are asked to do is to post beginning pictures so that when I post my ending photos I have something to compare to, so here goes.



Sigh. My first thought after seeing these was when did I turn into a rectangle?  I used to have the cutest figure.  My second thought was that for someone who was pretty much anonymous for the first 8 months of their blog, I sure am letting it all hang out!


Finally, the Fabulous Fitcetera bestowed The Incredibly Prestigious OH MY BLOG! Award on me.  Can you BELIEVE IT?  ME?!!  Especially since I'm certainly not as savvy as Karen is (she did a VLOG!).


Here's the legal stuff:
1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER!
2. Choose ONE of the following options of accepting the OMB award:
     (a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.
     (b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.
     (c) Write a “Soundtrack of your childhood” post.
     (d) Make your next blog a ‘vlog’/video blog.  Basically, you’re talking to the camera about whatever.

     (e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (hair, makeup, etc) and post it.
3. Pass the award on to at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers as yourself.  Don’t forget to tell them.

Karen, I am pleased to accept this award with the following, taken this morning, after 5 mile run, before shower.  That smile is genuine because that's exactly how I feel after a great hard run.  However, this photo is also proof that I need my makeup!


And now I would like to pass this on to these unique bloggers who I find myself checking out everyday to see what they're up to!


Mimi at 1972: The Retro WW Experiment.  Mimi is trying to take off her last few pounds using the 1972 Weight Watchers program.  Her blog is fascinating, disgusting, and hilarious all at once!


Journey Beyond Survival.  This woman writes beautifully and is living through a very, very, VERY hard disease with her baby.  Somehow, even in her darkest posts, I can't help but root for her.  I also have an ulterior motive in that I'm hoping she'll finally show her beautiful face to the blogging world!


Rita at The Giggly Bits has lost a whole bunch of weight and is in the process of transforming her whole life.  She has not only gone back to school, but has changed herself from an overweight couch potato into an athlete!  I'm linking you to her birthday post from yesterday, just because you need to see the photos.


Like I said before, for someone who was anonymous for a looong time, I can't believe that between challenges and awards I have now pretty much completely exposed myself!!  I hope it hasn't changed your opinion of me (unless it's for the better, hee hee hee!).


How are you challenging yourself these days?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Ten

I’ve been given an award from Fitcetera and I’ve also decided to take part in a summer long challenge. Stay tuned for that exciting news tomorrow! (I know the suspense is killing you.)

Lately, I’ve noticed an upswing of really nasty, vehement comments on some blogs I read. If someone’s writing is upsetting you that much, STOP READING.

My baby brother and his wife lost their entire apartment during the flooding we had here at the end of March. They lived in the basement of her childhood home. Last October, they planned their first couple only getaway since their pregnancy and subsequent birth of their daughter who is now 1. He had a business trip and they were able to add on to make an inexpensive getaway. They were supposed to leave next week. Where? The Opryland Hotel in Nashville. He says next vacation – Sahara Desert.

Shelley thinks I’m a bada$$ because she thinks I ran to my belt promotion Friday night. If you've ever read one of her Wednesday Workout updates, you'd understand why that is very flattering! Well, I’m pretty tough but I didn’t run that night Shelley, I ran the next morning to my last Biggest Loser session at the dojo. Same dojo, different event.

Speaking of my Saturday morning run: it was hot, sunny, humid, and 70 degrees yet somehow I managed to run that 6 miles at a 10:35 pace. And it felt easy. Has me thinking about doing a 10K. Of course it will only take 1 bad run to remind me that need to wait until I’m closer to goal weight before getting back into racing again.

When I was running more than I am now, I used to “run” errands all the time – I’d run to Blockbuster to return a video or run to the lab to get my blood work done.  Because, you see, to be a better runner, you have to run.

I’ve rediscovered my love of GNU bars. They’re all natural and made with 6 whole grains. My favorite is the Banana Walnut bar. It’s a perfect late afternoon-before Thai Boxing snack – 140 calories, 4 grams fat, 4 grams protein and a whopping 12 grams of fiber.

If you haven’t seen the movie, The Blind Side, please do. It’s simply wonderful.

This is a quote by Bikram Choudhury that I read in Oprah magazine that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. So much so that I put it on my fridge.: "It's never too late, you're never too bad, never too old, never too sick to start from scratch and begin again," Whenever I read it I add in “never too fat.”

Receiving my Purple Belt in Muay Thai – which puts me in the next level, has had me thinking a lot about taking other things in my life to the next level. And the hard work it takes to do that. Not sure if I’m ready but at least I’m thinking...

What are you thinking about?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Purple is my New Favorite Color!

Hello Peeps!  This is going to be a longer blog but with a lot of pictures so I hope you'll enjoy!

As I teased on Saturday,  I made it to the next level - Purple Belt -  in Muay Thai and I'm considered an Advanced Student.  They changed up the testing this time and I liked this format so much better.  The ten of us who tested were each put on our own bag.  One sensei gave the instructions and the other 4 sensei's walked around and check us.  So even though there were different levels (White-Brown) in the room, we each had to perform at the level expected of us.  It just felt so much better to me than standing in a big room all by myself with people watching. Even though people were watching, the new setup made me feel more secure and I know I did much better!  Here in photos is some of what I had to do:

Running around the room to warm up


Guard Up, Get Ready

Punches:  Hook, Elbow Strike, Cross


Kicks: Roundhouses
(the first one is higher but not as good because I let my guard hand (left) drop
the second one is almost as perfect as it gets)



In between punching rounds, we had our fitness tested
with pushups, done on the sensei's count - torture!, mountain climbers, and crunches




Standing in Set Position, Waiting to See if I Passed
I'm trying to smile because Sensei told me to stop looking so worried!


Purple Belt!
 


Finally, our anniversary weekend was a smashing success.  We left home around 2 on Saturday and drove the hour to check into the hotel.  We had taken some wine and cheese and crackers with us and afer we got settled in our room, had that while we watched a movie on HBO.  Then it was time to get ready.  I wore the dress and shoes from my holiday party.  Mr. Helen was appropriately appreciative and looked very handsome himself.  We got to the Capital Grille just in time for our reservation and were seated promptly.  I reached into my bag to take my camera out so I could take photos of our food and of course, get a shot of the two of us and no camera!  I had left it sitting on the desk at the hotel.  Boo.  So you'll have to trust me when I say the food was delicious and beautifully presented.  We ordered lobster bisque and a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing to share as starters.  For our main courses, the Mr. got a grilled veal chop with Roquefort Butter and I had one of the specials - a filet mignon finished with broiled Blue Cheese and a Raspberry Demi-Glace.  We ordered the Parmesan Truffle Fries and the Roasted Green Beans with Anise to share for sides.  The food was every bit as yummy tasting as it sounds.  I think those Parmesan Truffle Fries might be the best french fries I have ever had in my life.  They were simply amazing.  We also shared a bottle of Merlot.  During the course of the evening, Mr. Helen mentioned to our server that we were celebrating our anniversary.  Soon after she cleared away our plates, she brought us a champagne toast and flourless chocolate espresso cake!  She did this at no charge to us so needless to say she got a nice tip.  I think what I was most proud of is that I ate only half of each thing on my plate!  I ended the evening completely satisfied but not stuffed.  Plus I got a whole meal to take home! 

It was a great weekend filled with fitness, fun, food and romance.  What more could a girl ask for?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tease

Last night I tested for my Purple Belt in Muay Thai. Don't have time for anything full blown but I promise to post next week.  I have to get going as I'm going to run to my last Biggest Loser session at the dojo.  I'm going to run there and back, rather than drive, because I want to burn some extra calories before our steak-a-riffic anniversary dinner tonight.  In the meantime, I leave you with this: