Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sometimes Simple is Best

A few weeks ago I happened upon the show “Thintervention with Jackie Warner.” My initial reaction was to change the channel as I slightly remember her having some sort of other show that I didn’t really care for. But MizFit has been mentioning her lately so I decided to sit through the show and see what it was all about. I ended up getting completely sucked in.  Lucky readers, because of this you now get a review!

As I watched I became intrigued by this show as it almost seemed like a kinder, gentler version of the Biggest Loser. By that I mean, these people are losing weight but not a quite the same pace as the Biggest Loser people do. The official description of the show explains why – they are not locked down anywhere:

In Thintervention, Warner of the Bravo series Work Out will do what she does best – kick butt and inspire drastic lifestyle changes for her overweight clients who are struggling to lose weight and get healthy for good. Warner will push them to their limit at her gym and inspire them with intense workouts at amazing locations. Not sent to a weight loss camp or facility, instead Warner works with them in their real lives surrounded by the everyday distractions and stresses of family and work, making the chances for long-term success greater. Progress will be checked through group therapy and daily weigh-ins. Warner will do whatever it takes to keep her clients on track - even if it means surprise ambushes at their homes, work or when out socializing. In typical Warner boot camp style, she will accept nothing less than full commitment to change and will confront those that do not show her they are sincere with their fitness goals.

This show has now become a show I tape (it’s on Mondays at 10 p.m. – way past my bedtime) and generally watch when I have a rain-induced treadmill running day. Since it’s a workout show it’s pretty motivational and keeps me interested enough that I’m not constantly thinking of when I can get off the dreadmill.

The contestants, participants whatever you want to call them are real characters. There’s a woman who loves to party and drink and shows up for the workouts hung over – a lot; there’s a guy who is gay and proud of it and is hilarious. This week when Jackie told him to unleash his inner warrior he said, “Inner Warrior.  Really?  I'd name mine Ethel.” (Usually when he comes on the screen I have to grab the handrails of the treadmill because I know I am going to be laughing uncontrollably.) There’s also one of the women from The Housewives of Orange County, a mom type, a young woman who won’t take responsibility for herself and is lazy, a diva type, and a straight guy (who seems disgusted with all of them). Like I said, a cast of characters!

I think I’m finding this show appealing because either I am one of those people, or I know those people. They’re not locked away somewhere, and while they are doing this thing with Jackie Warner, they are also having to deal with their real lives. Seriously, the Drinking Lady? If you go on the website and look at her food diary, right in there she’s got 2 Tequila & Lime, 3 Mimosas. I don’t know whether to laugh or be horrified.

Another reason I’m really enjoying this show is that Jackie genuinely seems to care about her participants and while she’s tough, she’s got a good balance of tough love and tenderness. Ultimately she’s making them responsible for their own actions. There is a weekly group session with a counselor just prior to their weigh-in and it is pretty remarkable the stuff that is coming out. I’m sure there’s a lot more that we aren’t seeing too.

This week the group had weighed in and the losses were not great for quite a few of them. Jackie points out that most of them are supposed to be eating 1300-1500 calories a day, most of them didn’t exercise prior, which is an additional 500 calories a day burn and that if they were really doing this they would probably be losing around 5 pounds a week!  Therefore it showed her that there was a lack of commitment to the journey. While I didn’t agree with everything that was being said, a statement made by the counselor struck me.  It was along the lines of:

“When you find yourself reaching for something that you know isn’t in your plan, why not just STOP, tell yourself NO, and then back away from it.”

Maybe this show should have been named Back to Basics because that’s really what seems to be about. Living the way we would teach our children to live: if it’s not right, back away. Back away from self destructive behavior:  one simple step that, if practiced, would have a powerful effect on the end result.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Ten

1.  The holidays are upon us.  I know this because the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas candy is out in all the stores already.

2.  Speaking of candy, Splurgie is doing her No Halloween Candy pledge again this year.  Turns out her idea of "Fun Size" is being able to fit into a great pair of jeans.  How about that.

3.  I want to love the holidays, in fact, I think I really did used to love the holidays, but each year I'm finding them more stressful and exhausting, therefore I've begun to dread them. I want to change that way of thinking but I'm finding hard to focus on "fun" and "family."

4.  Both extended families live nearby and there is always the tug, tug, tug to get us to come in their direction.  Each family has also had some really bad, hard stuff go down over the last couple of years, so if we choose the tug of one over the tug of the other, one or the other is serving up big portions of a guilt platter.

5.  Which means that we end up running around like lunatics trying to get to everything.  Like I said, exhausting.

6.  I'm really not looking forward to Christmas at all this year because Pam's ashes are going to be scattered.  I'm finding that I so want this to be OVER.  I want to move on.

7.  Mr. Helen mentioned that he wants to try to get his son/my stepson to come for Christmas, mostly I think, because it should will be the final goodbye to Pam and Little Mr. Helen did not go to either of the memorial services.

8.  It's a super long story, that I won't go into here, but suffice it to say my stepson is 29 going on 12.  Our relationship (and yes, I include Mr. Helen) with him is tenuous at best.  So while in my head I know that Mr. Helen needs to see him (emotionally and spiritually - it's his son for goodness sake!), I dread it.  It will be stressful no matter what.

9.  Right about this time each year I begin to think:  If I really buckle down, and really behave myself, and really make good choices about my food and exercise, I might be able to be the thinnest I've ever been for the Holidays! I might even let people take pictures of me!

10.  Exhausting I tell ya.  Did I mention I'm sort of dreading the holidays?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Soup's On!

Here it is Monday again kids! 

On Saturday I did another virtual run with Shelley, running 6.44 miles.  After I stopped my Garmin, my first thought was "why didn't you just run another couple of seconds so it would be 6.45?"  I'm crazy like that - I like nice round numbers.  But I digress.  She completely rocked her 6 mile run!  She's doing so well and it's a lot of fun to see her new runner enthusiasm and tenacity.  When I got home and was writing in my running log, I realized that not only had I exercised every single day last week - 7 days in a row with no days off - but I had run 28 miles.  That's quite a bit for me when I'm not training for any race.  It was just a really good running week.  And, as I told a friend, all those little runs add up when you do it enough days in a row.

I was glad to have this weekend at home, not being obligated to anything.  Especially since we had what was most like our last "summer" day on Saturday.  It was 85 degrees!  I was so happy for the warm temperatures, I didn't even mind the humidity (Um, after my run that is.  During my run the humidity was kicking my butt!

Over the last couple of weeks, I've found myself slipping into my every-season-but-summer groove: I spend Saturdays cleaning and shopping and Sundays cooking, if we are home. 

I don't know about you but I even prep veggies as I find them to be a challenge to make during the busy work week, unless I just want to open a can and dump.  I'm also always looking for ways to sneak in veggie servings without actually crunching a carrot stick.  Last week our newspaper ran a recipe and it looked good so I cut it out and bought the ingredients.  I ended up modifying it because, well, sometimes the things a recipe asks you to do are too time consuming or not practical.  Anyway, it was so easy and came out SO GOOD!!  Therefore,  I've decided to be a good blogging friend and share my version.  Aren't you glad you stopped by today?

Roasted Zucchini Soup

3 pounds zucchini, cut into chunks
1 large sweet onion (like Vidalia), cut into chunks
3 T olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 14 1/2 oz. cans light and fat free chicken broth
3 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.


In a large bowl, mix chunks of zucchini & onion, olive oil, sprinke with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Dump out onto a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 35 minutes. The vegetables should be browned on at least one side and be tender.




Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Put the chicken broth into a large saucepan, bring to a boil, then add the vegetables. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.



Remove from heat. Using a stick blender, blend until mostly creamy with a few small chunks. Stir in grated parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 one cup servings, 95 calories, 6g fat, 9g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.6g protein per serving.

This was so delicious, almost like a "cream of" soup without the cream. The pictures really don't do it justice and as hard as I tried, I couldn't get a good "soup on spoon" shot.   I'll be having a cup of soup along with my salad or sandwich,  every day for lunch this week.  What an easy way to get in some veggie servings.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Report Card: In Which I Celebrate and Kvetch

Every so often I like to check in with myself… give myself a report card so to speak. I think it’s a very good thing to reflect and be honest about the various goals in your life – in all areas of your life. These last few days I have been specifically focusing on health.

Without further ado, here is an illustration of my current report card:




I know! How confusing is that? How is that even possible? And why didn’t I just give myself a “C” which would be the mid-ground between the A and the F-?

Because when it comes to my health, I seem to have developed two very distinct areas:

1. Exercise/Fitness
2. Food/Nutrition

Of course, the ideal, especially if you’re trying to be your healthiest, would be that the two would work together. In my case, they have not been for a while.

First, the “A” grade. That would be my exercise. I have been and continue to do really well with that. There’s not too much that puts me off… illness of course and once in a while the miscellaneous things that life throws at me. But honestly, I do a pretty good job of running around 20 miles a week and getting in two 1-hour Thai Boxing classes. With winter approaching, if it was like last year, I found myself at Thai sometimes 3 times in a week.

This is an exercise program that fits my life well and I really do not have any problem staying committed to it. Not that there’s not room for improvement. Ideally I would strength train… have I mentioned how much I hate/detest dislike strength training? Did I also mention that I just dropped my gym membership because I hate dislike gyms and hadn’t been there in over a year (since I started Muay Thai)? Actually one of the reasons I started Muay Thai is because it provides body resistance type strength training.

So I think my exercise plan and my faithfulness to it deserves an “A” (if the strength training was in there I’d give myself an A+).

Now to the “F-.”

By now you’ve deduced that it’s the food/nutrition area. How clever of you!

As you know I’ve been trying mindful eating while at the same time having some serious issues with my stomach. Then I had problems with not being hungry. Since I already have a pretty screwed up metabolism and a thyroid problem, I knew this couldn’t possibly be good. So, I decided to take the advice of others and eat a little, even if I wasn’t hungry, especially if I knew hard exercise was I my future. That helped alleviate some of the stomach issues I’ve been having. Good, right? Well, not exactly. As these past few weeks have gone on, I have been feeling heavier. Since I hadn’t been on any scale for those weeks, it was simply a feeling. Then the "feeling" literally translated to my clothing, especially in the waists of some of the slacks I’ve been wearing as it has gotten cooler. This was worrisome to say the least.

I decided this didn’t have to be either/or. I would eat mindfully, then the next day I would input the food into a calorie tracker to see what exactly my body was demanding. I’ve been doing that for the last week. As it turns out, I’m averaging around 1900 calories a day. I’m not going to tell you they are 1900 nutritious calories each day because some days they are not. At all. Even with that number, technically, at 1900 calories a day and my current weight, I should be losing something, albeit slowly.

Tuesday night, in the midst of looking for yet another item I had misplaced (that has got to be my personal worst symptom of menopause!), I found a small notebook I had also been looking for since July. In this notebook, I had written down my starting weight and measurements on July 1, 2009 which is when I started Muay Thai. I figured if I didn’t lose any weight, maybe I’d see improvements in another way.

Finding that notebook made me want to know the numbers.  On Wednesay morning I took my measurements and then weighed myself.

I weigh 6.4 pounds more than I did a year ago. My bust is 2 inches larger; my waist is 2 inches larger (grrrr). The only place I saw any improvement was in my arms, which are 1 inch smaller. This doesn’t surprise me because we do so many pushups in Thai I lose count. (Note: When I whined to told Mr. Helen he said he thinks the bust measurement is also because of the pushups, as he thinks I look more “lifted.” And I did have a girlfriend recently ask me where the boobs had come from all of a sudden.)

Based on those numbers, my conclusion was

Scale + Measurements + Food = BIG EFFING FAIL.

I don’t mean to take up your valuable time but seriously peeps, I AM SICK OF THIS. Actually no, I don’t mean that. What I mean is I AM SICK OF MYSELF and my half-assed ways that are leading to a double ass. I’m tired of out-eating my exercise, I’m tired of being so good at exercise only to make piss poor food and beverage choices that not only set me back, they set me over.

My head knows that I need to change my ways, but my heart and soul can't seem to grasp it. My thyroid is one messed up mo-fo and I cannot play games with food and food choices. As sick and tired of myself as I am, I cannot for the life of me figure out why I continue on this self and body destructive path. Why can’t I realize that I have a medical condition as well as a mental condition going on here? Because I’ve ALWAYS said, if I had to stop eating/drinking/doing something because of a medical condition I would. But here I am and I haven’t.

Here I sit. With my A and my F. One pretty much cancelling out the other.  Yet still I know, for sure that...


...even though I still can't figure out how to make the switch turn on.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phlogging through Hump Day

Per your request, photos of some of the things I've been writing about lately!

The Cooking Light Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
It turned out so good, I had only two portions and Mr. Helen ate the rest.  He was eating it as a snack!

One of my portions.
I put Cholula on it because it's not spicy at all.  But I wouldn't change
the recipe either because Mr. Helen does not like too much spice and I can always add what I want.
If you like Mexican flavors, this casserole is for you.

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Potatoes, Red Onion

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits to go with


The headlamp
I have to wear one on my early morning runs now.
This is a new one.  I went to use my old one last week and it was so stretched out it wouldn't stay on!


Pam's Life is Good Hat with the Runner


The bracelet Pam was wearing when she passed away.
The runner earrings - aren't they cute?!


The Sign!
It's sitting on a shelf that we see each time we go downstairs to our Family Room.

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

Monday again bloggy peeps.  Where do the weekends go?

Yesterday and again this morning, I had two FAB-U-LOUS runs! A little faster than I've been running, which makes me happy, but more importantly the runs just felt good. You know - the sort of run that leaves you with a smile and feeling optimistic about the day!  Gotta admit I like starting my week off this way. I don't know about you but I find it so much easier to stay focused on my goals for my mind and body when my head and attitude are in the right place.

The wake for our friend on Friday night was good, although we didn't hang out there.  Since this was Mr. Helen's best friend's family I was surprised when I got home and he said to me that he didn't even feel like going.  It was purely emotional for sure and we both admitted that we feel a bit tired from all the deaths lately.  So we agreed not to go and hang out there - just give out our hugs and go on our way.  It was the right decision.

We had planned to go visit Mr. Helen's youngest sister and her husband this weekend because they live close to The Big E.  We haven't gone in several years and they have never been, even though they've lived here all their lives! We were supposed to go Friday night but the wake put that off until Saturday morning.  Which meant we ended up missing Nick's funeral, but I'd say based on our emotional state, that was the right decision too.

We had a wonderful time and were on our feet walking from 11 am to 5 pm!  As hindsight is always 20-20, I wished I had worn my HRM because it would have been interesting to see the calorie burn.  Not that we were walking fast but simply because it was for so many hours.  Strangely, I did not find myself tempted by fried fair food.  Well I briefly considered buying some homemade potato chips but the portion was so large and I couldn't get anyone to agree to share with me so I didn't.  Ya'll know my favorite food group... so I ended up buying a smoked grilled boneless pork sandwich.  Yummy!  And, a couple of hours later, I bought a napoleon at an Italian bakery.  While I enjoyed it, I wasn't wowed and wished I hadn't bought it. 

The coolest thing happened too.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before but my SIL Pam, even in her deepest darkest most awful moments of treatments and even in the last weeks of her life, when asked how she was doing would reply, "It's all good!" With a smile.  Well, Tricia (my SIL, Pam's sister)  and I were walking through the Craft Commons looking at all the stuff we could buy but didn't need.  As we came upon this vendor who had all sorts of hand painted signs I looked over, and right there was a sign that said, "It's All Good."  I grabbed Tricia and pointed and we both started crying. Then we went in and each bought one.  When we told the crafter why we were buying them, she added a bronze heart to each sign for us. 

We ended up spending the night at their house and while there Tricia, who has been given the responsibility of disbursing Pam's personal items, gave me the bracelet Pam was wearing when she passed and her "runner" earrings.  Do I even need to say how honored I am to receive these items?

As we drove home yesterday Mr. Helen and I both remarked about how we felt Pam had been with us enjoying every minute.  Stay tuned this week and I'll try to get some photos up of all these things for you to see. 

So, I start this week with an attitude of gratitude.  So grateful for friends and family, for good runs and bad runs and the simple fact that I CAN run.  It really is all good.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Collect

Tonight, we attend yet another wake.  Given yet another gentle reminder of how precious life is, as Mr. Helen's best friend's father died on Monday night.  He had a good life - fathered 13 children and lived to be 88 years old!  Still, it's hard when your friend's parents start dying, because you realize yours are probably not too far behind.  I had a special place in my heart reserved for this man.  He was a St. Martin (French West Indies) native but held dual citizenship in the USA.  After he retired he lived mostly on the island with some trips here now and then.  St. Martin was where I met him for the first time when Mr. Helen and I took our delayed honeymoon/10th Anniversary trip there.  He was soooo happy to see Mr. Helen, he actually cried real tears and was shouting (imagine this in a West Indian accent) "Ah, me boy you come home to da island!" over and over.  When I was introduced he said "Ya done good me boy, real good.  You went an' married yourself Helen a Troy!"  Sleep peacefully Nick, it won't be the same without you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Both of my Muay Thai classes were hard this week and my body is feeling it.  On Tuesday our dojo Kyoshi taught. She hasn't instructed on the nights I go in a long time. It was great to have her!  Her classes are deceptively hard.  You're going along following her instruction but by the time you leave, you're whipped!  Mr. Helen was my Sensei last night and holy I'm too fat for this, he killed us.  He ended the class with us laying on our side then we had to lift up off the floor and do a roundhouse kick from the floor!  By the time you get to black belt you're supposed to actually be able to lift yourself up so that you're actually on the ball of your foot that's on the floor while you kick with the other.  I was lucky to get my hip up off the floor.  The idea is to train so that if you're in a real fight and get knocked down, you can sweep the person's legs right from the ground.  As I said to KCL Anderson, "Maybe in about 50 pounds I'll be able to get up like that but not right now!"  Let me just say when I leave hard classes like the two I had this week, I'm very glad when I've made good choices in regards to eating.

In addition to the Muay Thai I've already run 15 miles this week and I'm looking to get another 5-6 over the weekend. I'd like to keep my base over the winter at 20 or so miles a week. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is my niece Gracie's last year of preschool.  Since you all enjoyed the other pictures I couldn't resist showing you this one.  Here she is (right) with her BFF Lily.  She cracks me up with how she's got her feet just so and the fact that she does not have a backpack, but rather is carrying a purse!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One evening this week I posted my status on Facebook as "I feel fat. And I haven't even had dinner yet. Ugh."

I believe that the true problem was my continuing stomach issues. On that day, for some reason, everything I ate (even though I was hungry) made me miserable. By dinnertime, I didn't even want to eat because I "felt" fat and uncomfortable. I ended up having a shot of Pepto as my dinner and going to bed fairly early.

But I was fascinated by the comments I got. Which now has me both leaving you with this thought and asking you?

Is "fat" a feeling or is it a reality?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Community Spirit

Our good friend JBS has written a post today that got me thinking and thinking hard.  I wasn’t even planning on writing today but combined with her post and Leslie’s award to me yesterday, I feel compelled to write.

Leslie gave me this little beauty:


which both delighted and shocked me.  I don’t know if it’s my own insecurities or what, but I just have a hard time believing that anything I write is of substance.  Maybe it's simply because I started this blog to blather on about my own feelings whenever I felt like it.  Surprises me every time that people actually want to read what I've written and that it means something to them.

The rules of this award are to summarize your blog's philosophy, motivation and experience in 5 words.  Here are mine:

Peace of Mind and Body

Then JBS goes and thanks me in her post today and I’m thinking “for what?”  I should be thanking her for bravely sharing her journey through Bipolar depression and her Chickadee’s life with Rett’s Syndrome.  In today’s post she asks that we share the community that has lifted us up in the last year.

And so, I shall.  For starters here is my community somewhat combined with bloggers I wish to pass this award on to (in no particular order!):

JBS, whether you like it or not, I include you.  You're the same age as my daughter dealing with some huge things that I can't even imagine. Everytime I pop over to visit, you take my breath away and make me center myself on what is important.  You help me stop with the bullsh*t, selfish thoughts that drag me down. 

Miz, who will probably get a ton of these awards.  She always seems to have just the right comment on a post and it's usually one that is very different from the others.  I appreciate her insight.  She always makes me go "hmmmmm."

Roxie, because you fasccinate me with your thoughtful, soulful exploration of life.  You want to be your best self and live your best life and it shows.

Janell, because noone can weave a story, whether happy or heartachy, like you can. One post I laugh my butt off, the next you make me cry.  Thank you for sharing your crazy life with us.  I know you say you're lazy about writing but if you ever get to writing a book, I'll buy it.

Biz, because you make me want to be a better cook.  As much as I love to cook, I think you love it more. Along with your love for your Tony and Hannah that you openly share with us, you work hard to create a healthy life while fighting diabetes.  All of that together is so inspiring.

Shelley, who has relit the fire in my running shoes.  Her excitement and enthusiasm for the new life that she is creating after a weight loss of over 100 pounds is infectious.  I wish Shelley and I were neighbors so we could be running partners too!

And, Leslie, if you didn't already have it, I'd give it to you too.  You always say your posts are too long.  I say they are your heart and soul and we like them and you just the way you are.

I would be remiss if I didn't include this guy:

Little Helen, Mr. Helen

He and I are complete opposites but he makes me a better person.  Many years ago he convinced me that not all men were scum and neither were all step-fathers.  He jumped in with both feet, scooped us up and carried us away just like a knight in shining armour.  Sure, we've had our ups and downs but hung in there because ultimately it's the right thing to do.  In the last year he introduced me to the martial arts and proved to me that yes, indeed, a chubby white chick could do it.  He's my biggest cheerleader and deep in my heart I know he just wants me to be happy and be the best me possible.

It's all good.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Ten: Pic(k)s of the Week

1.  This is what the sky looked like when I was on my run and 1/4 mile from home this morning.  Note to self:  It is dark and time to wear your headlamp so you won't get tangled up in the crap nature and people are leaving on the side of the road!



2.  Remember how I mentioned that my own idea of how I looked and how I really look is skewed?  Well, according to this article, I am not alone people.

3. "When I make myself sit down at the table with nothing but my food, suddenly a whole bag of chips doesn't seem as compelling." That came from this woman who started at 250 and currently weighs 129 and has maintained that for three years. Certainly puts a whole new spin on eating mindfully and without distractions.

4.  Probably most anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has done some form of a crazy diet.  This is the one my sister just did.  She told me about it in case I wanted to try it but recommended that I try to have 3 days in a row where I didn't need to exercise.  That tells me a whole lot about the diet before I even took a look at it.  I should mention that she lost 4 lbs. in 3 days.  Oh, and I should mention that she's 5'8" tall and weighs 141.  Makes me wonder if we are ever, EVER satisfied.

5.  Roxie's post last week made me want to take up Salsa dancing.  For the entertainment value.  I'm just saying.

6.  I believe in equal opportunity for men and women.  I was so glad to see that men finally got to have an opportunity that women have been experiencing for years, in regards to their clothing.  It's about time!

7.  Speaking of clothing, I recently discovered New Dress A Day: 365 Days, 365 New Outfits, 365 Dollars.  I have absolutely no sewing ability but I love to see what other people do.  I really admire this woman's work!

8.  By accident, I think I've found the holy grail of BBQ:  http://amazingribs.com/.  As you all know, I have a particular fondness for pork and cannot wait to try his rib recipe.  But there's all sorts of other things there too including sauce recipes from every BBQ region in our country.

9. The temperatures in my area have changed pretty drastically over the last 10 days or so.  In fact, I pulled out some of my capri length running rights as 57 degrees at O'Dark-Thirty feels pretty chilly.  As long as I've been running I still always have a few runs when I'm under or over dressed when the temperatures change.  That is unless I remember to use the What to Wear tool from Runner's World.  It's dead-on correct every time.

10.  Lastly, I leave you with a couple of photos of my niece Gracie taken by my sister and me.  My sister and I have often made jokes about how we each gave birth to the other's daughter. My daughter is very much like my sister and my sister says Gracie is very much like me. Gracie will be be 4 years old at the end of this month. Gracie is a girly girl.  She loves, dresses, accessories, jewelry and already can't wait for makeup.  She is the only toddler I've ever had compliment me on my nail polish.  I love her so much and just seeing pictures of her can make my day better.  Maybe it will make your day better too.

Labor Day Beach Girl

She was told to get ready to go shopping - she ran upstairs and came back down like this.
I think she's perfectly accessorized!

Always has on her jewelry - the ring is from her brother,
he won it just for her at the arcade on the beach day
She melts my heart...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stop Procrastinating!

After all the frustration I was feeling on Friday, it turned out to be a very good weekend.

If you read the comments in Friday's post you would have seen Shelley daring asking me about training with her virtually.  This really came about because Shelley is training for a half marathon on November 20th and had sent me an email with some questions.  When I responded I expressed to her how lucky she is to have the long run training group that she's working with and how I wished I had the same.  Her immediate reply was, "Why don't you train with me virtually?"  I promptly deleted her email and ignored her.  Which is what prompted the question again in the comments.  As it turned out, I was planning on running 5 miles anyway so I decided I would run "with" Shelley.  It was a beautiful, really almost perfect, running day here... 65 degrees, bright blue skies, sunny, with a breeze.  One of those days when you feel like you can run for miles and miles. (I don't think Shelley had the same great conditions but she rocked her run anyway!!)  I ended up getting a runner's high,  so I came home and just felt happy, happy, happy - and hungry!  I made myself a breakfast sandwich with a Fiber One English Muffin, 1 Egg, 2 links of turkey breakfast sausage, and 1 slice of Cheddar Cheese.  So good!

Saturday afternoon we took off to take care of some home issues that needed to be resolved - you know those things that you have put off just as long as you can. (These are also the things that are making finances feel tight so I was anxious to see what we could rid ourselves of!)  First up was buying a new garage door opener.  Ours broke in the spring and all summer we have been pulling the door up and down manually.  However, our driveway is only 1 car wide so when winter comes and there's snow on the ground and we need to swap the cars around, it would be quite a challenge to not have the garage door working properly.  We were delighted to find one that included installation for less than the amount we had budgeted!  By the time I get home from work on Monday, the garage door should be working properly again.

Next up was to price out either a new vanity top or a whole new vanity for our bathroom.  The people who owned the house before us used what we think was meant to be a living room or dining room console because  part of the vanity had to be cut to drop the sink in and the top of the vanity is shellacked wood.  Who on earth would put shellacked wood in a bathroom?!  Yes, it looks nice - or it used to.  Even when we bought the house 4 years ago there were already a couple spots that had worn away from water sitting on it.  Over the last year, the wood around the faucet area has actually started turning black and splitting and the faucet started to drop back.

We've been saving and saving and thought we didn't have all the money we needed, but decided to at least price out what we want so we'd know how much more we had to save.  We went to Lowe's and picked out one of those nice smooth surface tops with the sink.  It was exciting just to do that!  Our salesman asked us if he could place the order and we explained that we didn't quite have all the funds for it yet.  He turned and said, "I can offer you 12 months, zero percent financing if you apply for the Lowe's credit card.  Besides, in the future we run deals all the time where if you spend $299 you get anywhere from 12-18 months at zero percent.  Why not borrow Lowe's money at no charge?"  I sort of sucked my breath in because Mr. Helen is so anti-credit card (much more than I am) but to my surprise he looked at me and said "Want to?"  (The only reason I even felt comfortable with doing that is because Mr. Helen IS so anti credit card that I know there's no danger of us abusing it  - just like we don't abuse the one Visa we have). So we did! Since we already have a big chunk saved it will be paid off by Christmas but it should be installed within a month or so. Yippee!

As we were leaving Lowe's Mr. Helen looked at me and said, "Well, since we got such good deals today, I think we can afford to go to the Taste this afternoon."  Yippee again!  The taste is put on by the local YMCA and there are around 30 restaurants that serve appetizer sized portions of food.  You buy $1 tickets and then walk around and choose the things you want to eat.  It cost us less than the price of a movie with popcorn and provided some fun in the midst of all these other dreadful adult things we've been having to deal with.  This year we tried samples from restaurants we've never been to.  But better than that, we had the whole afternoon walking around in the beautiful (if a bit chilly) sunshine - talking and being with each other.

Sunday is my day to grocery shop and meal plan, especially as the cool weather sets in and I'm not wanting to be at the beach. Even though I kept thinking in the back of my mind that I would run, I never did as I got caught up in my cooking, which I love to do when I have the time.

I used the slow cooker and made steel cut oats for breakfasts; roasted bone-in chicken breasts with fennel, potatoes and red onion and seasoned it with thyme and sea salt; made a pan of baked ziti (Mr. Helen loves pasta, sauce, cheese); roasted asparagus; and made a Chicken Enchilada Casserole from a Cooking Light cookbook (this dish was for me!).  I'll let you know later in the week how that came out.

I also finally got around to making Biz' Buffalo Chicken Chili.  Usually I make recipes exactly as they are written, the first time.  However, things conspired to make me create my own version of Biz' chili. When I got home from the grocery store I realized I had bought regular ground chicken instead of ground chicken breast.  No biggie - I just eliminated the Tablespoon of olive oil from the recipe.  Then, as I was reading I realized there were no onions!  Of course, because Biz and Tony hate onions!  I couldn't imagine chili with no onions so in they went.  I replaced 1T of the chili powder with Chipotle Chili Powder and ended up using only black beans because I couldn't find "chili beans with sauce."  What are those Biz?  Can I tell you that it still came out soooooo good.  I ate a bowl for lunch and will be eating it several times more for lunch this week.

With a dollop of sour cream!


As I contemplated the weekend and how much I had enjoyed it, a conversation I had with my mother last week came back to mind.  I had been expressing all the stressful things that have been going on around us, including the finances, when my mom said, "Honey, whatever it takes, you need to take care of a couple of those house things.  You need to keep setting aside your running time - it's YOUR time so don't let it go.  You need to cook things you like to eat, not only things that HE likes.  It's not selfish, it's really OK.  You can't control the big things, like death, but you can get in control of the smaller things. I just think if you do these simple things you are going to feel better.  Just go buy a new garage door opener, they're not that expensive!" 

Mom was right.  More than right.  I do feel better and more balanced just from simple fixes of cooking good food, having a bit of fun, running with Shelley.  And of course, the garage door opener. I'm beginning to think that procrastination may be the root of all evil, not money. The relief I felt also made me wonder why we (and I mean the royal "we")  let stuff get so out of whack in the first place!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Collect

Ahhh Friday.  The vast wasteland of blogland.

Just as a followup, on yesterday's post.  First of all, I knew some would misunderstand what I was trying to express and sure enough you did.  That's ok.  But I want it to be clear that not having nutritious healthy food around is not my problem at all.  As I refuse to look at food as "good" or "bad" my snack box has a variety of options for me to choose from.  The choices I made were what I made at the time.

Yesterday morning as I was gathering my lunch and snacks,  I made the decision that I would eat whatever I'd packed, whether I wanted it or not. Maybe that's not the best way to go about it but I it was what I chose.  I ended up feeling a whole lot better than I have been lately. Which made my Muay Thai class last night way easier to get through. Not that it was easy. But doing 250 crunches when you don't have a stomachache & headache is a lot easier than if you do.

This has been such an odd week for a variety of reasons.  Instead of feeling like summer is wrapping up and I can look forward to a couple months of structure before the Holiday craziness sets in, it has felt all over the place.

My days are filled with a whole lot of nothingness as my employers still can't decide what to do with me. The anniversary of my bosses death is October 31st which means I've been on standby for almost a year. While I've been looking around, as we all know, maybe the only thing as bad as the job market is the housing market.

I've already whined talked about my food issues lately a couple of times this week so no need for a repeat, but that is one of the things making me feel unsettled.  Then there's the weather.  It's like a switch got flipped and summer went right down the garbage disposal.  There's a definite feel of Fall in the air.  Plus there's the darkness.  I'm already back home from my run before it's even light these days.  Of course, that's if I can get myself up to run.  Because honestly, between the cool and the dark, I just want to burrow under the covers and stay there.  I feel like I want to hibernate and it's only September 10th.  That can't be a good sign.

A good friend experienced a very serious choking episode this week.  This was his post:

"Very lucky to be alive. I would have choked to death if not for the Heimlich Manuever performed by our friend James, who knew it from his Army days. Even then, I could barely breath and could not clear the obstruction until our friend Cathy, a nurse, gave me instruction what to do. My throat is very sore, and I am still a bit in shock, but I am grateful to my friends."

He choked on a piece of canteloupe.

After my initial shock as I read through his comments I saw this one:  You scared the heck out of us ... and we are all in awe of James now. But remember what I told you, this ain't no dress rehearsal, go buy the Blue Ray or whatever the heck it's called and every stinking accessory and enjoy it.

I was once again immediately reminded of how short, sweet, and precious life is.  It isn't a dress rehearsal, it's the only life you get. I want to live like I am dying and not have regrets and experience big things,  but I'm not sure how to balance all that with our finances as they currently are.

We have been hit with many bank account draining things this year and as we are not people who live by credit card, things are quite tight. So even though there are endless possibilities for the weekend: a benefit dance for the homeless, a"Taste" featuring a bunch of restaurants, and the local fairs are starting; everything except staying home and cooking our own meals costs money. Normally I don't fret over these things but when Mr. Helen does and says it out loud, it makes me fret too. I've always had a huge fear of being a working poor person. Now maybe you understand why I go to work day after day to a job where they don't know what to do with me.

I am aware that one of the areas I wanted to work on in 2010 was being able to not need so much structure and to fly by the seat of my pants more often.  Be careful what you wish for because it feels like I've had NO structure lately - that all my best laid plans have been ripped right out from under me.  It's disconcerting and I don't like it.

And now as I go back through this for proofreading, it seems that what I'm really looking for is balance - in all areas.  That's a tricky one, isn't it?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

All or Nothing At All

I need some structure.

See, here’s the thing: I am a person who responds to structure and schedules and actually finds comfort in them.

With mindful eating, I am finding the lack of structure terribly disconcerting. As I mentioned in a couple of posts, I’ve had some days where I didn’t even feel hungry until 3 or so in the afternoon. Then, stomach growling hungry and I can’t figure out what to eat because nothing seems appealing or “sounds” good. So I didn’t eat and promptly got a severe headache and a stomach ache.

The funny thing is I’ve had some times in my life where I’ve fasted for medical or spiritual reasons. I know I can go without food so I don’t think it’s purely psychological. The headache alone is physiological evidence that I need to eat.

When this happens during the week, it makes it terribly hard to figure out what to pack for lunch or snack or whatever. I honestly do not have the cash flow to just run out and buy whatever I want so I have to make an educated guess. So I do. It’s not working so great.

This past Tuesday, once again I found myself not feeling any hunger. I didn’t overeat on Monday and I had run Tuesday morning so I was really surprised that I didn’t want to eat. But I hung in there and sat at my desk working and sipping on plain old water. In the back of my mind I was a teensy bit concerned because Tuesdays tend to be double workout days for me – a run in the morning and an hour of Muay Thai in the evening. I know from experience if I don’t fuel and hydrate my body properly I can crash for sure during Muay Thai and that’s no fun.

Anyway as the morning went on, I decided that I would eat WHATEVER I wanted if I ever got hungry. Finally around 1:30 my stomach asked for food. I had brought a salad and spicy noodles and I didn’t want either. So I began rummaging through my snack box to see what else I had available. This is what I ate: a handful of Wheat Thins, 3 mini Mounds, 2 shortbread cookies and a True Delight granola bar.

Within a couple of hours, I was experience the biggest sugar crash ever. DUH. What the hell did I think was going to happen? The sugar crash was followed by yet another stomach ache and I ended up taking a shot of Pepto Bismol before Muay Thai to calm my stomach down.

KCL Anderson (who I know in real life) has been working this way of eating for a while now, keeps telling me this doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. But I can’t figure out how to not firmly be in one place or the other.

Honestly, I’ve counted calories for so long, sometimes I catch myself adding them up in my head, even though I don’t mean to. (For example, without much effort I can tell you that I knew everything I ate at “lunch” yesterday was around 600 calories and that as I compose this post I've already eaten about 800 calories, even though I haven’t looked up a thing.)

So here I am, caught in this dilemma… do I just pack nutritious food and eat it when I’m hungry (talking true hunger here, not emotional) even though I really don’t want it? Simply because it’s better to force myself to eat nutritious calories (vs. empty sugary calories)?

All of the above said to express what I mean when I say I need structure. Running around all willy nilly and not being mindful doesn’t work because then I’ll eat nothing but slices of pepperoni and cheese, handfuls of chips and drink wine (or any food readily available and convenient). But being mindful isn’t working either since I can’t seem to figure out what the heck to eat and I end up running around all willy nilly with a stomach ache and a headache.

Aargh!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday Ten

1.  Earl was a non-event here but we did get waves of soaking rain. That lasted for just Friday night.  I had taken everything off the patio but when I got home Friday I got Mr. Helen to help me drag all the plants back out so they could be watered by nature! Then we had 2 pretty windy days but it was sunny and no humidity to speak of. Honestly, we had more rain and wind during the Cape Cod Nor'easter that wrecked our vacation - and I have the photo to prove it!

2.  Spent Labor Day at the beach with my 3 year old niece and 6 year old nephew.   Gracie is very talkative and busy, but thank goodness really well behaved.  It's just that I'm not used to have to answer so many questions about, well about EVERYTHING!  Jacob is just a typical boy and he wanted to spend most of the day in the water body surfing.  By the end of the day, we were exhausted.  I swear I haven't slept like I did last night (without the aid of sleep medicine) for years.

3.  You guys know I've been trying to eat without "counting" and to eat what I want. No food off limits;  no counting points, calories, grams of anything.  .  Lately, I've had days where I honestly did not get hungry until around 4 p.m..  Then I was stomach growling ravenous hungry.  Then I couldn't figure out what to eat because nothing sounded right.  So I found myself standing in front of the fridge just staring.  So I decided to wait to eat.  Then I got a stomach ache and headache that wouldn't quit.  Frustrating, that.

4.  Every Monday I go read the Post Secret Blog.  I can't begin to tell you how many of the postcards that are sent in I could have written myself. 

5. I recently acknowledged to myself that I am not a fruit lover.  I am pretty picky about the fruits I do like - which tend to be summer fruits:  berries, peaches, melons.  The banana is probably the only year round all-purpose fruit in my arsenal.  Even then I go through waves of dislike even with them.  When I was at the grocery store the other day and was looking at the fruit (and not buying any) I began to wonder if I really don't like the fruit or maybe I just don't want to pay $4.99 for a container of berries.

6.  I do love veggies though and have often said if it were not for pork (in every form, i.e. bacon is one of the 5 food groups, right?) I could be Jewish and vegetarian.  What I don't like about veggies is that I really only like fresh veggies and those require some thought and preparation if you're not going to "salad" yourself to death.

7. I read Geneen Roth's books years ago, before she was Oprah's muse. This one was one of my favorites and I gave many copies of it to women friends. I was looking for my copy to re-read ithe other day and couldn't find it so I'm going to order another one. What I like about this book is that it is plain old practical. Which is probably why I don't care for Geneen Roth or the books she's writing now where she's trying to be spiritual.

8. I think I've reached the point in my life where not every single thing has to be some big spiritual exploration. In fact, sometimes I think I've reached the point where I don't want to do anymore exploration, digging, reflection, etc.  Sometimes we overeat because we do - and it has nothing to do with years of abuse or whatever. Sometimes it's just a choice we're making. There is some wisdom in plain old, "stop eating so damn much."  AKA Close The Piehole.

9.  By the way, I feel that way every time I see some thief, criminal, child abuser, alcoholic, drug abuse or other character on the TV saying, "Well, you know I did that because I was abused as a child," or "My parents were neglectful".  I think I'm getting old and cranky because I just want to scream, GET OVER YOURSELF AND MAKE THE CHOICE TO BE A BETTER PERSON!

10. When I saw the full body photo vacation photo of myself and realized that I look worse than I ever could have imagined, it puzzled me. I wonder why I have such a disconnect between what my brain thinks I look like and my actual looks? Because if I could connect those two things, maybe I would actually manage to lose some weight.  Or maybe not.  But I sure would like to figure out that disconnect.  Which probably would require some digging and reflection, which I'm tired of right now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not Hungry

I would like to hear from some of you who eat "mindfully" "intuitively" "according to appetite."  Since there aren't a whole bunch of those types of bloggers who follow me (or at least I don't think there are), I hope if you do you'll go get some friends and answer these questions for me:

1.  If you went a whole day and were never hungry, what would you do?

2.  If you feel hunger and can't figure out what to eat - i.e., nothing "sounds" good, what would you do?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Batten Down the Hatches!

It's Friday already friends.  I don't know about you but I just want to dance with joy because it's a long weekend too!

Did those of you using Blogger notice the new "Stats" tab at the top of your dashboard (and also on the the page where you create a new post)?  Wow it that interesting.  If you're feeling that people don't care because they don't comment, you should look at that... I can't believe how many times my blog is viewed even though folks don't say anything.  You like me!  You really like me!  (Sorry, I'll make Sally Field go away now.)

Anyway, I pointed that out because I just noticed it and figured some of you probably haven't yet. And also to say that I've lost track of how many times you guys have told me you enjoy the Tuesday Ten and sure enough, one of the Tuesday Tens is the most viewed post in the one year history of Doing A 180.

Those of you who expressed concern about me not blogging may feel relieved to know I'm not going to stop, I just need to wrap my head around the fact that I'm not REALLY a weight loss blogger. Or at least I'm not one yet. (Hmmmm, maybe I'll just consider myself a Running, Thai Boxing,Chubby Middle-Aged Lady Blogger...)

I will probably blog less than I have - maybe a few times a week instead of everyday but I'm going to just feel it out while I reboot.  I'll keep the Tuesday Ten for sure, as long as I can think of ten things to say.

Earl is coming to visit where I live.  Although by the time he gets here he'll just be knocking on the door a little,  Still, we've put everything we can into our garage and are hoping our neighbor's giant tree, that they've been slowly cutting down, doesn't fall on us.  Schools are dismissing early and I'm considering leaving work early as I really don't want to drive home in a tropical storm.

Here's what the calm before the storm looked like this morning



I sort of starting feeling that bad weather and rain is haunting Mr. Helen and me lately but then I realized, we've got plenty to eat, a couple of Netlfix movies (as long as the power stays on) and a home to stay dry in (as long as the darn trees hold up!).  Best of all, we have each other.

Happy long weekend my friends!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Celebrating an Anniversary, Sort Of

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog. But I had other things to say so I didn't menion it.  I've written many, many more posts than I ever thought I would. I have to admit, I have enjoyed the outlet.  And before I go on, I would like to give a high five with two snaps and a Z formation to Katie J who was not only my very first commenter (two days later on September 3rd), she was also my first follower.

The reason I started blogging was because it was 6 months before my 50th birthday and I was trying to lose weight and hopeful there would be big changes before the Big 5-0.  I was looking for inspiration.  I found it everywhere, especially from other bloggers.  Now here I sit 6 months before my 51st birthday, pretty much where I was a year ago, weight wise at least.  I have been up, down and all around about a seven pound range but I cannot seem to get any weight off permanently.

I suppose I should be really grateful for what amounts to maintenance because if I'm anywhere close to last year's weight that means I've gotten good at maintenance, right? Too bad it's at an unhealthy weight!!

Unfortunately, no matter how you look at it, reality bites.  And I tend to be very realistic and factual about what is going on and how I look.  Maybe it's vain but I do care how I look.  Maybe I put too much stock in it, but I cannot learn to love my body the way it is now. Besides, (this is an answer for you Chris) I wake up a whole lot of days and don't really feel that great.  I know it's from the extra weight I'm lugging around.

I wasn't always the fat girl.  In 1992 I quit smoking - after smoking a pack a day for 18 years. (Which means I've been smoke free 18 years - woot!)  I did the stereotypical thing and over the next couple of years gained 50 pounds.  In 1995 I went to my first ever organized diet program and lost 60 pounds in 20 weeks.  But I couldn't maintain that without drinking only water and eating only lettuce or other steamed vegetables so I got realistic and gained back around 10 pounds.  I was fine with that because I was older and really didn't expect to be able to maintain a high school weight.  I maintained the "heavier" weight (a whole 140 lbs.) and maintained it easily for 8 years.  Then the whole thyroid business happened and I gained 45 pounds - 30 of them over the course of a summer while training for half marathon.  I've just never been the same since and can't figure out what my body needs to get back to a reasonable weight.

So when I see photos like this, it depresses me, it upsets me, it disgusts me.


That's the bottom half of our historic (or should I say hysterical) vacation photo.  I cropped it upward for the Tuesday Ten because I wanted you guys to see the rain and wind, and not be as HORRIFIED as I was when I realized just how bad I really do look.  I had to buy that outfit while we were on vacation because I only had summer clothing with me and it was quite chilly - around 60 degrees - and of course, raining.  When I tried it on at the store, I thought I looked sort of cute and preppy.  When I saw the photo I realized I'm just an out of shape fat blob of a middle aged woman. No wonder people always look SHOCKED when I say I'm a runner. Which also makes me wonder what people think when they actually see me running!

No matter how grossed out I am, at least for the last couple of years, nothing has changed.  I cannot seem to find the magic. I wish I could figure out how to make something "click." You know the magic click I'm talking about. For whatever reason, it's just not happening -  it's not happening physiologically which in turns means it's definitely not happening mentally.  This immediately makes me consider putting myself on a strict "diet" again.  Yet the thought of dieting and/or tracking and counting food makes me want to jump on the Crazy Train and head straight out of town.

Yes, I'm disappointed. Quite disappointed. So now I'm at a crossroads: what do I do with the blog and more importantly, what do I do with myself and my weight?

There's an answer out there somewhere, I know.  I sure hope I can find it soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Getting Some Things Off My Chest & Other Random Thoughts

Can I just share something with you all?  I really appreciate that you cared enough to respond to my posts over the past couple of days, I do.  I love the fact that I have people who follow my blog and really do mean well and want to cheer me up.  I also know that when I leave the blog open to comments, I will get all sorts of responses.  Perhaps after I say this, I won't have so many followers, but some of the comments I got both here and on Facebook - including one from my own sister - struck a sour note with me. 

Saying "find the silver lining in the rainbow" doesn't help me. Nor does, "well you should be glad you GOT a vacation," " be glad your husband isn't dead," "be glad you don't have cancer," etc.

In fact, those type of comments sort of piss me off.  I don't need a reminder that I'm lucky to have been able to try to have a vacation or that there are people who are lots worse off than me. It makes me think that the person who is responding to me thinks I'm an idiot.  An uncompassionate person who doesn't understand that people have death, disease and destruction in their life.  Guess what?  I know that.  I acknowledge that. I have experienced quite a bit of that myself over the last 18 months.

But what I am going through  - most of which I choose not to share on this blog but that includes the two disastrous non-vacations we had this year - that's MY situation and I'm allowed to feel however I want to about it.  Even if you think it's petty and silly.

Regarding our vacation, there WAS NO SILVER LINING. It WAS NOT RESTFUL OR RELAXING. It got cut short by 3 days. We lost around $750. We did not enjoy each other's company or the fact that we were not home because the stress built every day.  It was EXTREMELY STRESSFUL, evidenced by the fact that even my husband who NEVER REACTS TO ANYTHING, reactedIT SUCKED PEOPLE, IT SUCKED.  And that's just the facts. 

Now, this doesn't mean that we won't get over it and that maybe even one day we'll laugh about most of what is going on in our lives right now including the bad vacation.  In fact, Janell's comment on yesterday's post actually did make me laugh out loud.  Because I know for a fact that one day we will look at that picture, say "Wow. Worst. Vacation. Ever." and then laugh. But right now, it stings.  Probably because we put too much hope in it, but still, it stings. 

There will be other vacations and we've had some wonderful ones.  Been blessed many times with great vacations as a matter of fact.  Which is why I know for sure we'll get over it - and over ourselves in a few days.

And now you've learned something about me that you might not have known:  I can be very direct about how I feel.

Okay, everybody breathe. 

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In other news, I have to thank Shelley for posting a photo of the zucchini spaghetti she has been eating.  Which I found catching up on my blog reading.  Can I just say, oh my goodness, it is so good.  I have been sick and tired of salads lately and all this week I've been bringing a bowl of that to work with me as my veggie.  Yummo!  Thanks Shelley (and Biz too since it was her idea initially)!

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I saw this on the news this morning:  Even people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity can offset their risk of being overweight by being physically active, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine.

It always makes me thoughtful when I hear things like that because I know for a fact that I can out-eat my exercise.  Done it many times... including for the last couple of years.  A 5'6" woman who runs 30 miles a week and participates in Muay Thai Boxing doesn't weigh 180 because she's not exercising enough.  The plain fact is that food factors in.  I suppose it's actually my biggest factor, especially with the thyroid issue.  I have yet to figure out what calories to take in so to speak.  And believe me when I say I've tried all sorts of variations from 1000-2000 calories a day.  Nothing seems to have been able to break whatever is going on in my body.

So while I say hurray for anyone who manages to fit in exercise, exercise alone is not the answer.  It really is a whole life thing not just one thing.

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This morning while running speed intervals on my treadmill I watched Huge.  Huge is a show that has been on ABC Family over the summer and is about a Fat Camp for teens.  At first I wasn't even sure if I liked it, but there was something about it that kept me watching.  Maybe because it ended up being so much than just a show about a fat camp - it had teen angst, summer love and brought back memories of my own summers at camp. 

The show I watched today was the season finale.  There was a scene that really struck me.  One of the campers found out in a previous episode where the key to kitchen pantry was hidden.  She used that knowledge to sneak herself and another girl in there and they grabbed a tray of brownies and started eating them then rearranging the leftovers on the tray so it wouldn't be noticeable that some had been taken.  One of the girls was just shoving the brownies down her throat.  The other was chewing then spitting it out into a napkin.  When asked why she said it was because then she could have the taste without the calories.  Then she said, "That's what I miss about being a kid:  being able to eat a brownie and not feeling guilty about it."

My immediate thought was my goodness, isn't that what we all want?  Peace with food.  Being able to eat and not feel guilty about it, no matter what the food is that we're eating.