Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Ten Linky Link Version

Around where I live, the last official weekend of winter, the temps were right near 70 degrees. This past weekend – the first of spring – we had record low temps of 17. Now it’s 50 degrees and flooding. Literally. Schools are closed today for a RAIN day. Makes me wanna slap Al Gore.

I will never cease to be amazed at how casual our culture has become… since when is it appropriate to go the gym or the supermarket in pajamas? I’m talking blue with little fluffy sheep pajamas. Ridiculous.

There’s a page on Facebook called Sh*tMyDadSays. If you haven’t seen it, you should go take a look – as long as you’re not offended by some rough language. A 29 year old guy just posts the stuff his dad says. It’s pretty funny. Plus, most of it is true: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sht-my-Dad-Says/201673879514?ref=mf

I have a tatoo. Didn't get it until I was 48 years old.  Got it in celebration of running and what it means to me... after all I may not be able to run the rest of my life.

Yesterday’s post on food expense generated some interesting comments. Did you see Biz’ comment? She got red peppers for 49 cents a pound. I just paid $1.99 a pound; she gets English cukes for 99 cents and I pay $2.00 and those are the sale prices. Probably also explains why her spending equates to around $35 per person per week and mine is more like $70.

Also from yesterday's comments, RedHead asked me about my iPhone grocery list app. I use Grocery IQ. How many times have you left your list at home? I rarely leave my cell phone at home so it has turned into one of my most used applications.

Stacey K and Diana both commented on my Climb post that they aren’t really fans of Miley Cyrus. Me either. But the words to that song (which Miley did not write, but happens to sing) speak to me.

It’s a small (blogging) world, after all: from last week’s Tuesday Ten where I mentioned Duke (go Blue Devils!), I found out that both Roxie and Journey Beyond Survival have connections to Duke as well. I further discovered that JBS and I l-o-v-e the same restaurant in Durham. Bullock’s Barbecue. If you ever get to Durham, NC, Bullock’s should be on your not-to-miss list. Make sure it’s one of your splurge days though because the hot out of the kitchen, all you can eat hush puppies, will make you want to slap your mama! And don't bother taking your American Express - or Visa, or Mastercard - because it's a cash operation.

If you haven’t been to Zaababy’s blog to see her update with pictures, you must do so. After reading/seeing that, I commented that it makes me want to be a better person. I don’t want my weight to hold me back from experiencing anything for the rest of my life!

Finally, the question I've been trying to answer since reading that post:

If you had no fear, what would you be capable of?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Food for Thought

When I go to the grocery store, I buy groceries – produce; staples like flour, sugar, spices; deli meats, etc.. I am not being sarcastic, I am saying that because I buy laundry & cleaning supplies and most paper goods at a warehouse club. I actually don’t even buy that much meat at the grocery store – only really good bargains because the warehouse club has better prices on that as well.

These days that means I shop at 1-3 stores each weekend. I have an application on my iPhone that is my grocery list so I sit down with the flyers and input what I need to buy, separating it by store, buying wherever the best bargains are. In other words, I work at keeping our costs down. You know why? Because it’s freaking expensive to eat healthy.

We are empty nesters so it’s just the two of us that I plan and cook for. This week, between the two stores, my groceries cost $148.45! Almost $150 to have fresh produce and non-processed foods for the week. This week, the only “meat” I bought was fresh Cod for $4.99 a pound.

Living healthfully is also time consuming. Between the shopping at the 2 stores yesterday and the time I spent on prep so that meals would be quick and easy during our busy week, I used up 6 hours of my day yesterday.

I honestly don’t know how larger families manage. And, I’m never surprised when it’s said that a lot of money is spent on frozen, ready made meals. They’re cheaper and faster than buying fresh food! Is it any wonder we are an obese nation?

Food for thought, indeed.

Here’s the recipe I’m making tonight with the fresh cod – it’s fast and delicious!

Baked Cod Mediterranean

1 ½ lbs. cod filet (try to get 1 “ thick)
1 (14 ½ oz.) can of Italian style stewed tomatoes
1 T drained capers
¼ cup sliced black and/or green pimiento stuffed olives
2 T grated Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse fish and pat dry. Arrange fish in a baking dish. If your filet has thin ends, fold them under to make pieces uniform thickness.

Pour the tomates and juice over the fish then sprinkle with capers, olives, and Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered in the oven for 25 minutes.

The pan juices from this dish are delicious served over rice or couscous.

227 calories; 3.6g fat; 95 mg cholesterol; 516 mg sodium; 6.6g carbs; 1g fiber; 15.2g protein

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em...

One thing I've learned over these three years of battling my thyroid is that if I have a disappointing setback (like Wednesday at the doctor's office), I need to take good care and be very kind and gentle with myself.

I know this will sound odd, but to me that means not being so strident about everything.  You see, I plan and execute my program at a level of unforgiving stidency that would make most people crazy.  It works for me though as I really am a person who responds well to rules. 

Over the last 2 days, I have laid the "rules" down.  For example, no food tracking.  Just trying to eat good food in reasonable portions.  At Thai Boxing last night I was 20 minutes into the second class when I realized that all I wanted to do was go home, take a shower and have a glass of Chardonnay.  So, I went to my sensei (who happened to be Mr. Helen) and said that. Then I left.  That one glass of Chardonnay tasted like the gods nectar to me.  Then this morning, no weigh in.  I've been beat up enough by scales this week.

Believe it or not, doing this helps me calm down and refocus and WANT to get back to my program.  Knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em keeps me sane and has helped me get through 3 pretty tough years.

While I drank that glass of wine I watched an episode of Ugly Betty that I had taped.  In this particular episode Betty (who is somewhat of the family nerd, a wee bit of an ugly duckling) was saying something to her sister about not being pretty enough and good enough and her sister (who is a va va va voom bombshell) looked at her and said:

"Somehow you've gotten it in your head that this is your story.  It's time to come up with a whole new story for yourself."

That's me right now.  Though my thyroid is a reason why I won't lose weight as fast as others, I will not let it be an excuse.   That's what I've been doing for the last 3 years - coming up with a whole new story for myself.

How about you?  What's your story?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Climb

Ever since I wrote my post yesterday, I've been thinking about falling and getting back up.  That it's not all about the end destination but the journey of getting there.  And I haven't been able to get this song out of my head.  It's how I'm feeling today (boldface & italics mine):

The Climb

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb

Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sometimes It's Just Plain Hard.

The hardest blogs for me to read are the ones where the bloggers never have a setback, such as an unexplained weight gain. I read some of them but still, it's hard because a lot of those folks think calories in, calories out and it's that simple. Those shiny, happy bloggers think that people who don't lose weight consistently are simply making excuses for slow or lack of progress.   They would never deign to "follow" a blog like mine because in their eyes there's something I'm not getting and or doing right.

Well, for some of us, it's not always that simple. Some of us have medical issues or really messed up metabolisms from years of dieting and work our little a$$e$ off and still only see small, teeny, tiny progress. The regular calorie in/calorie out formulas don't work for us, and neither do the BMR calculators and all those other tools that are available. We plug along, doing all the right things, and BAM! Scale betrayal. All that hard earned progress is wiped out in one single weigh in.

That pretty much describes my life since my thyroid diagnosis in 2005 when I gain 25 pounds while training for a marathon! Can you even imagine that I was running 40-50 miles a week, eating just enough to sustain myself and gained 25 pounds?! Don't take your thyroid for granted.

It took me and my doctor 18 solid months of working, working, working at it before I was stable enough that she said I could then try to lose some weight. By then I had gained another 10 pounds. In May of 2007 I began the journey I'm on now at 195 pounds.

In February of 2008 I reached the lowest weight I have been able to get to since my diagnosis: 157. I need to be at 154 or lower to be considered not overweight. Can you imagine how badly I wanted that? I could taste it, just 3 more pounds. Then inexplicably and without me realizing it my thyroid levels dipped badly and I gained 10 lbs. I was beside myself and gave up and didn't work on helping myself at all for around 3 months. That didn't help one bit and by the time I came out on the other side of it I weighed around 179.

In October of 2008 I ran a marathon. Immediately following that I gained 5 pounds because that is what I always seem to do when I run a marathon. It's like my body can't figure out what to do once I stop all that running. For most of 2009 my weight bounced between 180 and 184.

This rant is brought to you courtesy of my doctor’s scale. As you regulars know, I’m not a big fan of weighing myself more than once a week or so. But, I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and had to get weighed in. I usually tell them not to tell me and just write it down. Yesterday, I forgot it had been a while since I was weighed and the tech blurted my weight out. That weight yesterday was 3 pounds more than I weighed last Friday. My scale and my doctor’s are always in sync so that was pretty upsetting considering that I have really behaved myself since last weigh in. I’ve even gotten back in my exercise groove since the pneumonia. Ever since that really crappy moment, I have been fighting the urge to just freaking quit all of this, including the blogging.

Except for that one 3 month period, I have worked on this every single day. I wonder how many of the wonder bloggers could stand almost 3 solid years of eating 1200-1500 calories a day? Only to end up a few pounds less and no where near goal.

Now you know why I exercise so faithfully. Because what if I did quit it all? Where would I be?

Sometimes, it’s just plain hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Ten

Every year I send my daughter an Easter basket - except her freshman year of college. That year I thought she’d be embarrassed and instead I got a phone call from a very upset young lady who informed me that just because she wasn’t home didn’t mean she didn’t want a basket! Even though she’s 30 years old I sent one off to her last weekend. The result? I got a “my mom is the most awesome mom in the whole world” mention on Facebook.

I love NCAA basketball. I have ever since my Duke University freshman daughter called home and said, “I need a sleeping bag so I can tent in Krzykewskiville (pronounced She-shev-ski-ville) to get into the basketball games.” I figured if she was willing to sleep in a tent then I should pay attention. To top it off, Duke won the NCAA Championship the year she graduated (2001). Really, it’s so much better than the NBA.

One way I can tell I’m aging is the various creaks and groans in my body. Just the other day I realized when I wake up I’ve sort of been taking inventory of my aches and pains before I even get out of bed. When I do get out of bed and stand up, I stay very still for a moment and inventory again. Almost like my brain needs a minute to acknowledge that yes, my knee will hurt when I start walking.

Does anyone else who didn’t get to go to Fitbloggin’ feel like they formed a club that the rest of us are not allowed into? Even so, in reading about Fitbloggin’ I have found a couple new blogs to follow, which is a good thing.

By the way, if I follow your blog, I read it every time you post, even if I don’t comment. Does anyone beside me wonder if the “big” (popular) bloggers read all their comments anyway?

Mr. Helen has decided to go for his 3rd degree black belt. Which means he also has decided to return to teaching at the dojo one day a week. In all likelihood most Thursdays he will be my sensei. Not that I mind because he is a very good instructor. This morning I found his notes for his teaching plan Thursday. I saw the phrase “Burpees to burnout.” I’m a little bit scared.

On rainy days like today I am thankful for my treadmill. It enabled me to get in a 2 mile power walk prior to doing Bob Harper’s Biggest Loser Yoga.

Saturday when I did my longest run in quite a while and saw my ending pace, I had to remind myself that a slow run is better than no run.

Last Thursday at Thai Boxing the sensei said, “A black belt is a white belt who didn’t quit.” I’ve heard that before but this time my reaction was different: “The person who reaches goal weight is the fat person who didn’t quit.”

Finally, I’d like to leave you a quote I’ve been pondering so much I cut it out of the magazine and put it on my refrigerator as a reminder to never, ever, quit:

“It’s never too late,
You’re never too old,
Never too sick
To start over again.”
(Paige Williams)

Monday, March 22, 2010

In All Honesty

What a gorgeous weekend we had. It really was a great preview of late spring and I enjoyed every minute of it. My Saturday Biggest Loser Boot camp Class was even outdoors. The sensei took us to a basketball court and ran us like crazy – laps and sprints and caterpillar pushups and lunges and whew boy was I feeling it on Sunday. So, I decided to move that lactic acid out of my legs and take advantage of yet another gorgeous day and I got out side for a run. Ended up running 10K which is as long a run as I’ve done in a while. In fact I told Mr. Helen that I can’t believe I used to regularly run 10 miles every Saturday. I’m hoping to get back to that this year if my old creaky body will hold up.


While at boot camp on Saturday I was chatting with one of the other participants and she mentioned that her weight loss hadn’t been very good for the last couple of weeks. “Very good” is such a subjective thing, so I asked her what her overall goal for the 12 weeks was and she said “25 pounds.” (Wow. I wish I could do that, but that’s another story.) I asked her why she thought she wasn’t as successful as she wanted to be and she replied that a couple weeks ago she decided that she could relax her eating on Saturday. But the problem is that her relaxation went clear through Monday. Which means she was dieting like crazy for Tuesday-Friday and hoping for the best on the Saturday weigh in. And this was the 3rd week she had been in that pattern. She started saying things like “bad carbs” and “bad food” which then led us into quite the discussion on dieting versus lifestyle. She shared that her family has pizza night every single Saturday because it’s the one day of the week they all eat together (she works 3-11 and hubby works 8-5) and they all really like pizza. She then said she was going to ban pizza. I tried my very best to convince her that she need to figure out how to eat a bit of pizza then let it go, because Saturday pizza night IS her lifestyle. Either that or she’d have to ban the pizza personally and figure out what to do for herself while letting her family continue with it. She just didn’t get it. As much as I hate to say it, I think she may very well be successful at getting those 25 pounds off but I wonder how long it will be before she gains it all back. Because really, pizza and/or other carbs is not the problem.

Personally, I have no desire to diet, to remove foods that I really love from my eating plan. I love all sorts of foods and want to be able to partake of any and all of them reasonably. REASONABLE is the key. And it’s the key that will unlock success for me. I can honestly say each time I’ve fallen I have not been reasonable. I’m not talking about a blip on the scale, or maintaining for a few weeks. I’m talking about ignoring what I need to do and getting just exactly what I deserve, including weight gain.

Whatever way you choose to approach this, it has got to be “doable” for life. There is a woman at my job who is a very successful Weight Watcher. But let me tell you, she is on maintenance and still counts her points every day and plans for her indulgences. It is her lifestyle.

What I want my lifestyle to be, may be different from yours. But we all know if we work at it honestly, results will come. I too have had some unreasonable weekends lately and I need to admit that. Because the last thing I want is to get right back where I started from.

My ultimate goal is firmly in my sights and I need to be honest with MYSELF because really, who else am I fooling?

How about you? Are you being honest with yourself?

Friday, March 19, 2010

That's A Wrap!

It almost feels odd to not be writing a Perfect 10 update this week.  That challenge gave me something to write about  every Friday for 10 weeks straight.  Now I have to come up with my own ideas. 

First off, here's today's weight:

Even though that's only another .2 down, I will happily take it as I almost expected a gain.  I figured all of last week's birthday cake, along with this week's food tantrum, would catch up with me.  After I weighed myself I was thinking how this really illustrates that when you finally reach goal you may be able to eat more than you think you can.  I'm looking forward to goal ;-)

Speaking of cake, I'll be eating more tomorrow.  My father-in-law turned 82 yesterday so we are all getting together to celebrate Saturday evening.  Mr. Helen and I were talking about age this morning because Fess Parker died and he was 84. I said, "Oh, he had a nice long life, although when I'm 83 I may not think it's long enough!" Then I thought about my father-in-law and realized even in two years we won't be ready for him to go.

Exercise has been good this week - really my first week getting back in the groove.  I've had several really good runs along with my usual boot camp and Thai Boxing classes.  When I got back from my pre-dawn run this morning I was reflecting on how strong I feel. The weather has definitely helped my mood and my exercise mojo.  It is so nice to be out on the road instead of the treadmill!

Our good weather trend is continuing with a forecast for record high temperatures tomorrow.  I welcome the warmth as I am a summer lover.  It will be sort of sad to go back to seasonal temps next week but as long as it doesn't snow I can hang in there until warmer temps come back.

Thank you for all your nice comments and compliments about my picture.  I sort of snuck it in a couple of days ago when I was making some blog changes. 

I know lots of the bloggers I read are headed off to Fitbloggin' this weekend.  I hope you all have a fabulous time and come back with new inspirations to share!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gut Reaction

Gut Reaction: Immediate response.

I looked the definition of gut reaction up because I’ve been thinking a lot about how I respond to various things in my life and trying to figure out why I use food to soothe myself so many times. Most important, trying to figure out how to change that!

I found it interesting that when I read the definition, I didn’t really feel like that applied to me… however, when I looked at the synonyms, bells started ringing:

Synonyms: Pavlovian response, knee-jerk, reflex, spontaneous reaction, unthinking response

Anyone who knows anything about Pavlov and his dogs knows that those dogs were trained so that when a bell went off, they responded immediately by wanting food. Though no food was in sight the minute they heard the bell, they looked for food.
In modern times, the phrase "Pavlov's dog" is often used to describe someone who does not use logical and critical thinking, but merely reacts to a situation. In other words, an “unthinking response.”

I realized that I have become a Pavlov’s dog with certain things. My gut response, knee-jerk reaction is go for food. That needs to change and change fast if I ever hope to get where I want to be and stay there.

After an episode, usually in the midst of my food hangover, I run around thinking, “I’ve got to change that! I’ve got to stop that! I’ve got to get control of that!”

What really got me mulling all this over was Roxie’s post over at Gravel and Rust. She uses a phrase in there about re-wiring. It was like a light bulb went off. I can re-wire! I don’t have to respond with food! So, how do I do this? Has my unthinking reponse of food become more of a habit? Do I use the 21 day principal and undo that bad habit? Or, is it much more than that?

Now, I’m thinking, “I’ve got to REWIRE that!” I know it’s possible, I just have to figure out how to do it.

What would you do, or what have you done to REWIRE yourself?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Ten: Randomness

I just loved the comments on yesterday's post.  Funny how knowing what I'm struggling with is something you guys are working on too makes me feel better.

Chris' comment: "dude, If you are going to kill something a tub of ben and jerrys is darn tasty"  just made me laugh right out loud.

The sun is shining in New England, New Jersey and New York after 4 straight days of rain.  Maybe you've seen something about it on the news? 

All this rain has made me ponder what the poor people of Noah's Ark must have felt like.  Suicidal I would think.

I need sunshine otherwise I start to get really grumpy.

Greta at Big Bottom Blogger had some very interesting info. about increasing caloric intake in a recent post. Ironically, my best weight loss weeks lately have come when I couldn't exercise as much but didn't change my eating (thus increasing my caloric intake by not exercising). Gives me some food for thought.

Though I run regularly, I haven't road raced since October of 2008. I'm starting to think about doing a couple of races again. That's a sign that I'm not feeling so heavy anymore.

This morning for the first time in a long time I had the thought that I might actually make my weight goal by the end of 2010.  Scary thought.  And now I've said it out loud.  Oh dear, what if I fail?

I'm quite afraid of failure.  It's the perfectionist in me. It's also why I tend to approach things cautiously.

I'm leaving my 50th Birthday decorations hanging in my house for this whole month.  After all, turning 50 is a once in a lifetime thing.  Then I'm taking them down, along with all the winter window treatments, and letting the sun shine in!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Haven't Learned My Lesson - Yet.

Happy Monday blogland. Once again I took a computer break over the weekend so I have lots of catching up to do.

I am a bit frustrated with myself this Monday morning. For some reason, I took a bit of license with my food and drink this weekend. After hitting my lowest weight in over a year, somehow I mentally decided that it would OK to just eat whatever.

As I was going to bed last night with a tummy full of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Macadamia Nut Ice Cream, I realized that my relaxation had gone too far and had turned into a License to Kill. Kill my good habits, that is.

As I’ve mentioned before, exercise really is not an issue for me. For example, this weekend I got up early Saturday and ran 5 miles then went and did my Biggest Loser Bootcamp Class. Sunday, I did Bob Harper’s Weight Loss Yoga – which kicked my behind by the way. I probably burned between 700-900 calories in exercise. Yet, what good is all that if I consume 5000 calories over the weekend?!! Well, it’s good in that I maintain fitness but definitely not good to get me closer to my goal.

This morning as I was running, I started thinking about last week and realized that almost every day at some point I was a little bit hungry. I had a fairly busy week and distinctly recall sitting at my desk thinking that I didn’t even have time to stop and get my snack so I drank some water and ignored my little hungriness. The end result was that I had a very good weight loss. I expect that in order to keep moving towards my goal I am going to have to be mindful, even on the one day a week I eat whatever I want. I’m also going to have to let myself be a little hungry. Goodness knows I have enough extra body fat that it really does not hurt me to reach growling stomach hungry.

Oddly, this is something I already know yet can’t seem to get through my head. I am determined though to right my course and make the best of the rest of this week!

Why do YOU think it’s so hard to permanently learn these weight loss lessons?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Saved the Best for Last.

This is the final installment of the Perfect 10.

I can’t believe how fast these 10 weeks have gone! For today’s update, I am going to talk about how I did overall. The numbers in parenthesis are how many weeks out of the ten that I achieved my goal.

Track my food. Sometimes it’s hard, especially when you are tracking a day where things are not going so well! The one week I didn't track was the first week of my pneumonia. (9/10)

Run a minimum of 20 miles per week. I was doing really well with this until a full month of pneumonia. Still I am claiming victory in this area because had it not been for that I would have done this more weeks than not. (6/10)

Water: 64 oz. a day. Sigh. What can I say. This is still my Achilles heel! (4/10)

Lose 8 pounds. As we all know last week I weighed in a 179 lbs. and mentioned that I probably would not make my goal of losing 8 lbs. over the course of the challenge. Here is todays weigh in:


I couldn’t believe it. I kept getting off and on and taking another picture. I took about a dozen photos of myself on the scale this morning so I know that’s the real deal. (10/10)

Overall, I’d give myself a B for the entire Perfect 10. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve found this exercise to be great for me because I learned that I like small, short term goals when it comes to weight loss. But, I’d say the most important thing I’ve learned is that I don’t have to PERFECT to get good results. I just have to keep on and not quit!

This week I am combining the factoid about me with the Creative Writer Award I was given. In Wednesday’s post I gave 6 pieces of information and invited my followers to guess which might be true (or not). Here is the truth:

3. I had moved 14 times by the time I was 18 years old. My father was in the Navy when I was young. One year we actually moved 3 times. There were other years when we moved twice. Then he got out of the Navy and took a job that moved us a lot! By the time I moved to Zambia at 18, it was my 14th move.

1. I am really a brunette. Not even close.  As a child my hair was so blond it was white.
2. I have lived in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. No, but I actually have visited 46 of the 50 states.
4. I hosted a local television program. No, but I was a guest on one.
5. I have eaten fried flying ants. No. Even though these were very popular in Zambia, I steadfastly refused to even try one.
6. I have visited England, France, and Italy. Not visited, just stops in the airports!

Thanks, Steve for putting the challenge together and motivating us with your great posts and videologs over the past 10 weeks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Musings on goals

Usually I am a person who sets their eye on the prize and keeps chugging along towards it. For example, my husband and I have been talking about our desire to visit Italy and Greece. A vacation like that is quite expensive. We haven’t finalized plans yet but now are thinking about making it a Mediterranean Cruise visiting those places. The timeframe we are talking about is actually 5 years from now when I turn 55 and he turns 60. that’s a long time away but I know if we decide to do this, I will love looking at the special bank account balance go up and up and up towards that goal.

The Perfect 10 Challenge has shown me that, in regards to weight loss, I have really respond to having short term goals. I’ve been thinking a lot about this because that challenge is wrapping up this week. Last night, I made a decision to stop focusing on the fact that I surely need to lose another 25-30 pounds and to break it up into smaller segments.

  • As of tomorrow, Good Friday (and Easter!) is just 21 short days away. I am setting a goal to be at 176 lbs. by my Good Friday weigh in. While that might be easy for some, it will require at least 1 lb./week and I don’t usually lose like that. So it will indeed be a challenge, especially since I have no idea what I’m going to weigh on Friday.
  • I still have 7 weeks total left on my dojo’s Biggest Loser Challenge – which is 4 weeks after Good Friday. Once I get to Good Friday, I will make a new goal for the end of that challenge.
  • After that, we are hoping to take a vacation sometime towards the end of May so that will give me another short period to set a goal for.

Worrying and working on the whole amount for well over a year hasn’t gotten me the progress that smaller goals have. Even if I don’t completely meet the goal, I feel like there’s an end in sight and then I can reboot and re-evaluate. Besides if I am able to even partially meet my short term goals, I will get long term results. Wish me luck!

What about you? Do you prefer long-term or short-term goals?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm Not That Creative, But Thanks!

You know that sugar craving I've been having from the antibiotic I'm on?  Well, the favors at my surprise party were Smiley Face Bags of 1970's candies: Clark Bars, Charleston Chews, Bit O Honey, Mary Janes, etc.  People really enjoyed them!  Since my clever daughter came up with that idea, all the leftovers came to my house.  She had made a special bag for me with Good n Plenty (I love licorice!) and Junior Mints.  So, when it came time for her to go back to DC, I sent away all the leftovers and told her to put them in her office - EXCEPT for the Good n Plenty and Junior Mints.  Sigh.  I was jonesing for some candy so bad last night I finally looked it up and found that 33 pieces have 130 calories so that's what I did. At least they calmed my nerves.  I can't even explain this crazy craving!

Overall, I had a great day yesterday. I got my eating right back under control - almost too controlled. Though I felt like I ate a lot, when I tracked my food I'd only eaten 1244 calories and that included the 33 pieces of Good 'n Plenty. I got to a Muay Thai class last night and couldn't believe how fast one can get out of shape.  I really struggled through that class but I did make it to the end.  This morning, I got up and ran 4.5 miles on my treadmill while watching Biggest Loser.  It felt sooooo good to run!!  Hopefully I'm easing back into a groove.

I have now had 3 bloggers bestow this award on me:

Thanks to Linda, Leslie and Sunny!

Linda actually gave me the award a couple of weeks ago and I kept putting it off because I could not think of anything to write... then Leslie and Sunny also gave it to me and I've had my thinking cap on ever since.  I guess I'm not very creative - either that or I find it hard to lie - ha!

The rules are:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to 6 outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 7 "creative writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

The facts and fiction are as follows:

1. I am really a brunette

2. I have lived in every state except Alaska and Hawaii

3. I had moved 14 times by the time I was 18 years old.

4. I hosted a local television program.

5. I have eaten fried flying ants.

6. I have visited England, France, and Italy.

Take a guess, leave your guess in the comments and I’ll let you know on Friday which is fact and which is fiction!

Now you know I'm totally breaking changing the rules.  I am going to bestow this on only ONE blogger because he writes creatively all the time...  Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit, this award is for you.

BUT - your rules (since I didn't bestow on 7 bloggers) are that you have to do 7 times the work:  42 pieces of information about yourself, 36 need to be fiction, 6 should be fact.  Come on Jack, make us guess the real truth about you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Time's Up

With apologies to Prince:

'Cuz they say two thousand TEN zero party over
Oops out of time!

Okay people, it's time to get back down to business.  For someone who was trying to ignore their 50th Birthday, I have failed miserably (but in a good way - seriously, look at the pictures)!  I have been celebrating for a solid week now but really, time is up and it's time to refocus.

Not that I regret a minute of the last week because I don't.  I was living life and that is every bit as important to me as meeting my weight loss goals. Sometimes more important, as in the last week.  It's not that I have been going crazy, it's just that I haven't been quite as regimented as I usually am.  A lot of that was a time issue.  I wanted to enjoy my friends and family and my daughter's short visit - not spend time of the computer tracking my food! 

Of course, I've also been dealing with pneumonia since the beginning of February and that has put a kink into many of my exercise plans and dreams (per the doctor's orders)... BUT!! As of today I get to try a little something again. Tonight I will be taking a Muay Thai class and if that goes well, I will attempt a run tomorrow.  It has been well over a week since I was able to run and my legs are itching to go!

I have been craving sugar over the last couple of days and couldn't figure out why. You know, wanting to eat candy and sweets that I normally would ignore.  I like sweets a lot but tend to save my sweets calories for really delicious, luscious desserts.  For me to want to buy a bag of M&Ms out of the work vending machine is very unusual.   Last night I happened to pick up the information on the antibiotic I've been taking and one of the side effects is that it can drop your blood sugar and make you crave sweets!  Glad I re-read the information because it will make it easier for me to choose other things to get my blood sugar back up, if necessary.  Piece of fruit anyone?

I know some of you read Amazon Runner's blog regularly and she had sort of disappeared.  I happened to see that she had written an update and when I clicked on the link, I was directed to a random website.  I emailed her and she said she thinks there's a worm or virus or something but after working on it for hours still has been unable to fix it.  Stay tuned as she may have to scrap her old blog and completely start another one.  How frustrating!

Hope everyone in the Perfect 10 Challenge is working it out  - hard to believe this is our last week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Party Over Here! Party Over There!

Part 2 of the 50th Birthday Surprise went like this: 

Last Saturday when we were out to eat,  Mr. Helen told me that he had found a club about an hour away from where we live that had a 70's Disco night once a month.  He asked me to find a good 70's outfit to wear and told me we were going to have dinner and then dance the night away!  As I shared with you in Friday's post, I love to dance so I was excited! Last Sunday I went online and found something appropriate, ordered it, and was all set to leave my house by 6:00. Mr. Helen was SHOCKED and thrilled.   How do I look?

With the glasses on now, going out the door.

Just as we were leaving Mr. Helen's best friend called asking if we would meet him and his wife for a drink.  Best friend's wife is reserve military and was activated for the Haiti earthquake and we hadn't seen her for over a month. Mr. Helen explained our plans and said that we could stop quickly but wouldn't be able to stay.

We got to the establishment and SURPRISE! - it wasn't our friend and his wife -  it was 50 friends!!

Here we are coming in.  My head is down because I was still wearing dark glasses & was trying to see - still don't know what's happening. 
Then I saw these

A quick first dance mostly to calm my nerves

Suddenly I realized I had a surprise guest!

My beautiful daughter!!

There was lots and lots of fun, and of course, food.

There's one in every crowd.

Of course there was cake & gifts!

Yay for wine and martini glasses!
I think people have caught on that I like wine!

I've had so much fun in this last week, how could I not love being 50?!
(with my precious niece Gracie, who is only 3)

Friday, March 5, 2010


Even though the title of this blog might not make it seem so, this has been a pretty good week. 

After my wonderful 50th Birthday Celebration on Tuesday, I woke up at 2:30 am coughing…. And I coughed until I finally got out of bed at 4:00. Yes, I’m an idiot and thought I was going to run but of course once I was really up sipping on coffee I could tell I felt like crap. As soon as I got to work Wednesday, I call my doctor and they fit me in. Guess what? My pneumonia has rebounded. The doc said she doesn’t feel the antibiotic the walk-in clinic prescribed was strong enough. So now I’m back on a very strong antiobiotic and ugh! Prednisone. Steroids because the inhaled steroid isn’t fixing my lungs up like it should be. Phooey on Pneumonia!!

I can’t believe we only have one more week of the Perfect 10 Challenge – my how these weeks have flown!

Track my food. Every day

Lose 8 pounds. So my weight was up 1 pound this morning to 179.  Which means in all likelihood I won't make this goal.  Since I have been sidelined for most of February with sickness, I am not surprised.  My body needs exercise and food control to lose weight.  Sickness is not conducive to exercise.  So while I am not thrilled about the outcome, I'm not really very upset.

Run a minimum of 20 miles per week. No, see “Pneumonia” above. I did get in 14 miles before I got shut down!

Water: 64 oz. a day. Yes, and easily too. I think all the drugs I’ve been taking because I’m sick have been making me want to drink.

My secret this week is that I’m a dancing queen! I love, love, love to dance. Had my parents allowed it, I probably would have taken dance lessons but it was not to be, so I danced any and everywhere else I could. In fact, when my daughter went to Zambia to see her father right after she graduated from college (she hadn’t seen him in 16 years but that’s another story), one of the questions he asked her about me was, “Does your mom still like to dance?” She was fascinated by the fact that her dancing mom had once been a dancing young woman.  Since the challenge is almost over, I'll make this a two-fer secret week: in 1976 I won a “Bump” contest. A whole $50 - which was a lot back then!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Picture This

Yesterday was my 50th Birthday.  Here's how it was.

There were decorations when I woke up

There were cakes!

First impromtu cake at the restaurant last Saturday
(see Monday's post for explanation)

Second cake made by my coworker.  Her cheesecake is FABULOUS!

Third cake given to me by Mr. Helen who knows
As you can see, he has a sense of humor...

There was a Tiara!

There were gifts

Mr. Helen and his sense of humor strike again
The bag is full of what you see in the next picture...

A big surprise gift from two friends who gave me a lasting memory
Look at the cute running shoe!

Flowers sent to me by my daughter
Roses and lilies - my favorite!

There was me, deciding that 50 isn't so bad after all.

Mr. Helen says Part 2 is happening this Saturday... stayed tuned!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

Fifty years of life and I have been dieting off and on for at least 30 of those years.

Not today. Today I'm eating cake.
(Maybe even more than one piece.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Very Good Thing

Took a break from the computer (for the most part) again this weekend.  Some of it is a time issue for sure as my weekends have been busier.

Did double classes at the dojo again on Saturday.  First my Biggest Loser class (my body fat is down 3%!!) and then a Thai Boxing class.  That eats up my Saturday morning for the most part.  Sometimes it's hard for me to just go with the flow like that.  Remember back when I wrote my 2010 Shooting for the Stars post?  Number 12: To be more open to flying by the seat of my pants and not so rigid about planning every little thing.   I have a "usual" schedule and when I do those double classes my schedule goes to hell in a handbasket. Hard for me to do, even when I'm doing something good for myself.

Most Saturday afternoons and evenings Mr. Helen and I make a concerted effort to spend that time together.  It's too easy for regular life to get in the way and the older we get we are appreciating that dates are important.  We belong a wine club at our local winery called The Grape Nuts.  We get a shipment of bottles 3 times a year but since we're local we always take the drive and pick it up.  It's a beautiful winery and the tasting room is really nice too.  This time of year they usually have the fireplace going.   So we went up Saturday and decided to do a tasting while we were there.  Afterwards, (again on the spur of the moment!) we stopped for an early bite to eat.  One of my favorite local restaurants that has two menus:  one of tapas and the other of full dinners.  Another beautiful room with a fireplace.  It was a very lovely afternoon and evening - the kind that lingers in your memory.  Plus, I made an important discovery in the process.  Yay for self discovery!

Saturday evenings, out to dinner, tend to be my splurge time. I have no problem with that, for me it is an issue of fully participating in LIFE.  Good food, good friends, good fellowship are all a part of this process.  So, I ordered exactly what I wanted from the menu:  a 3 piece garlic shrimp cocktail, a New York Strip Steak with Chipotle Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Sauteed Broccoli.  Yum.  We were dining - enjoying our food and each other's company - not just shoving something down to eat, you know?  I was about halfway through my food when I realized I was starting to feel full.  So, I pushed my plate aside.  The longer I sat, the realization came to me that I really did not need to eat any more, that I was satisfied.  When the server came around I asked her to wrap the rest of my food up.  Mr. Helen always wants dessert so we ordered coffee and dessert spring rolls that were stuffed with mango and banana and drizzled with chocolate.  When they came, I ate only one (and I looked for the smallest one).  Arriving home I was putting my take away container in the fridge and I realized that new habits are taking hold of me and that even my splurge is no longer what it used to be. 

My fullness and satisfaction came from the beauty of the whole day and not just the food.  What a great revelation.  A very good thing.