Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Ten

1. As I mentioned in yesterday's post we had a bit of a meltdown, which was good for better clearing of pavement but also good for the soul.  My street is interesting in that this time of year, with the way the sun moves, there literally is a sunny side of the street.  Not my side.  For comparison, look at this photo.  The picture on the left is my across the street neighbor's back yard where that little snowman was.  The picture on the right is our side.

2. I noticed the other day that two of the search terms that led someone to Doing A 180 were "heel fracture vs. plantar faciitis" and "torn plantar fascia."  I'm really sorry whoever you are.  If you actually read any of those blog entries you know I had both.  It sucks.

3.  I meant to blog a bit about our Valentine's Day but the every-other-day storms were just about all I could handle last week.  It was memorable because Mr. Helen ended up grilling our petite filet and lobster tail in the unexpected 6 inches of snow we got that evening.  The hardest/fastest snow was falling just as he needed to grill. Crazy!

4.  I told Lori this the other day but I'll say it again here:  I'm trying to find balance between tracking for knowledge and over-tracking my food.  By over tracking I mean I look at what I've eaten and I'll see that I have blank number of calories "left" for the day.  So I eat something, even if I'm not hungry.  So completely silly to do that, especially as I'm not dealing with blood sugars or anything like that.

5.  I've officially made my first purchase for my vacation - shoes of course!  It almost felt a bit ridiculous buying them because there was feet of snow outside so these shoes didn't match that.  But I was in a TJ Maxx and that's a store where if you see it and like it you better buy it.  I love the blingy little detail on them.

6. My last Svaroopa yoga class is tonight.  I have really enjoyed this beginners series and learned a lot.  Do you know last week the instructor asked me if I would be interested in getting certified so I could teach classes myself?  That was flattering.  Not sure what I'm going to do after this, but I do want to try to keep a bit of yoga in my workouts!

7. We went out with some good friends to celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary! This is my friend who did the Dr. Oz diet and has been going to yoga classes with me. We were out with them a few weeks ago and they confessed they usually don't do anything, but I insisted something needed to be done because 40 years is a big deal.  We made a reservation at a fancy restaurant where the portions are small but delicious and we had a great time. Our waitress had a candle put in their shared dessert because she said she couldn't stand to bring them the plain dessert when it was such a special occasion. They were only 18 and 21 when they got married - her parents forced it because they wanted to live together lol!

8.  I LOVE the You Tube for TV feature I found on my DVD/Blueray player. I've been adding videos to my favorites lists so that I can do a little something extra a couple of times a week.  Even though it's still inside exercise, it provides a rounding out of my exercise and works my muscles in different ways than running.

9.  I'm becoming convinced that my body got the message from my two week jumpstart - eating regular this week I lost another 2 pounds! I don't know why I'm squinching the toes on my right foot - maybe anticipation?

1. Of course now that I'm on a bit of a roll, Friday of this week is when I'm having the double scope procedures:  a colonoscopy AND an endoscopy.  Each one has their own prep so I'm doing both at once.  Starting today I have to eat a low residue diet, which basically means no fiber, no vegetables, the only fruit allowed is apple sauce or banana, no grains.  Pretty much the opposite of how to eat healthy.  It's going to be an interesting week.  Of course I'll weigh myself Friday morning, just to temporarily see that number lol!  But the next weigh in I'm really excited about is March 10th when I see my doctor again.

Monday, February 24, 2014

9.5 Mile Heart Healthy Weekend - With a Bang!

We got a bit of meltdown which meant for some rainy, foggy, crappy days leading up to Lori's Heart Healthy Weekend.  But on Saturday morning, the skies were a brilliant blue, the temperature was 40 degrees and climbing and because of the meltdown, I knew I could actually get outside to participate.

My favorite things in this world are running and the beach.  I was able to combine the two as I set out on Saturday morning.  I decided to take a ride, park my car at our city beach, then run over to the nearby state parks, where I knew there would be very little traffic and plowed, paved areas where I could run... to the beach front there.  I set out wanting to run around 10K because I'm working on increasing the mileage of my Saturday long runs.

It's about 1.3 miles from the parking lot at the beach to the first park, Camp Harkness.  This is a park and facility that serves disabled people, but anyone is welcome to walk/run/stroll their beautiful grounds.  Here's my run:

I took off towards the actual campgrounds with the plan to run the loop around which would bring me past the beach and back to the connector to Harkness Memorial State Park. All fine and good until I came upon this:

This is in a part where normal vehicles are not allowed, however the maintenance trucks can get through here so I thought it probably was just this one spot. I decided to sort of tip-toe and get through this, and then I came upon this area where tip toeing wasn't going to help.  Because of the previous days' melting and refreezing, this was solid ice.

Alrighty then.  I turned around went back around to try going around the other way.  On the way, I passed the Equestrian Center.  In the spring and summer you see lots of horses and the campers get to ride them. So great!

The road was clear as far as I could see, so I took off.  Suddenly, another runner came from the direction I'd just been - he must have run into the ice bog too.  Look closely, he's wearing SHORTS.  People, it was not that warm and it was breezy!  We ended up passing each other several times throughout my run.  Great minds think alike when it comes to finding a safe place to run I guess.

The road looked clear as far as I could see and I was getting so excited about being able to run outside in the glorious sunshine.

Because I knew at the end of this road was THE BEACH!  I got to run to the beach!

Of course around the bend from the beach was the other side of that icy mess so I turned around to go back.  There is a beautiful huge house on Camp Harkness grounds.  Not sure what it's used for but what a view it has!

The geese like to wander around on the lawn.

I decided to cut out of Camp Harkness and make a short loop through Harkness Memorial State Park, the other part of the land bequeathed to the state by Edward Harkness.

I've always loved this house, which seems to be closed up.  Such a classic New England look and wouldn't it be fun to have a house with a porch like this?

I started my loop to run past the mansion, which can now be rented for weddings and parties.

As I looped back towards Camp Harkness, I  noticed an older gentleman get out of his car and begin to walk.  Guess what?  He was wearing shorts!  As I passed him I said, "Sir, I just have to ask, what is your threshold for shorts?"  He replied, "Oh around 32 degrees.  But don't you realize it's spring young lady? Those are robins in those trees!"  OK, I guess his definition of spring and mine are totally different lol!

I finished up my loop and headed back to the beach where my car was parked.  I can't even describe how deliriously happy I was... felt like my soul was waking up from a long winter's nap.  As I got about 1/3 mile away from my car, I was in the neighborhood sort of behind the beach.  It's a typical small beach community with narrow roads and a low speed limit.  I was running along and realized there was a car coming towards me and I could hear another car coming the opposite direction.  It was almost in slow motion as I realized neither car was going to yield, there was another car parked in the street, and there wasn't room for all of us... I was going to get hit!  Instinctively, I hopped over the snow bank towards the sidewalk. I felt myself start to lose balance and realized I'd jumped onto the ice I'd just been trying to avoid when I stepped OFF the sidewalk.  As I went down, my thoughts were "OH NO! My Garmin!  My phone!"  The next thing I knew, I was face down, flat on the ground with the breath knocked out of me.  I laid there a few seconds to assess and crawled forward on my stomach to get to pavement so I could stand up. Here is the scene of my demise:

I was shook up but nothing seemed to be broken, including my precious Garmin or phone, so I walked for a minute to clear my head.  I began to run and was nearly back to the car when I looked and saw these seagulls sitting on the ice in the cove. Silly birds don't you know how dangerous ice is?!

When I got home Mr. Helen looked me over and other than a bit of road rash and breaking every single fingernail on my left hand, I seemed to be OK.  We agreed I'd probably be sore on Sunday - and I was. My left side seemed to be the worst - my wrist, hand and knee were all a bit swollen and more sore than bruised.  Oddly enough my right shoulder is sore too.  So I probably thudded down on it after my left side made contact.

I decided I would take a walk to assess further and get some kinks out.  Ended up walking a bit over a 5K at a pretty good pace.  Probably my last outside exercise until next weekend.  Yeah, that's satisfaction on my face right there.

Once again, take that winter - and ice - you're not gonna beat me down!! 6.4 miles on Saturday; 3.17 miles on Sunday for a total of 9.5 miles. I'm happy to have been able to participate in Heart Healthy Weekend.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Five

1.  Have I mentioned that I despise winter?  I can't remember it bothering me as much as it has the past few years.  I'm talking bothering me to the point where I'm looking at employment advertisements in Florida and I don't care if Mr. Helen comes with me or not.  Then the other morning the weather guy mentioned that on the shoreline of Connecticut we usually get about 18 inches of snow in a season.  Last year we had 51 inches but that was because of the February blizzard that dumped 3 feet.  This year, we've had no blizzards, just one storm after another and we've had 55 inches of snow.  At least I feel vindicated in my hate.

Poor Patio!
But at least we can put our snow there - on city streets they're bringing in bucket loaders to take the snow away, it's made the streets so narrow.

2.  As much as I dislike winter in general, this year my distaste comes from the way it's messing with my running. I really miss outside winter running.  I fondly remember looking forward to and enjoying weekly 10 milers.  It has been so bad that not even my reliable running places, like the cemetary or the state park, have been able to keep their roads clear. Many times I've told people that winter running can be the best running you do, as long as you have the right gear.  I must have been talking about winter running when we only average 18 inches of snow.  Or maybe winter running in Texas.  Certainly not what I've dealt with this year.  I just can't bring myself to do 10 miles on a treadmill - there's nothing good about that.

3. Though we've had a bit of a warm up into the 40s, that sort of temperature brings rain, flooding, roof collapsing, and all sorts of other issues. (P.S. Today we are forecast to have thunderstorms - oh and possibly a little twister or two.) Not to mention that we just have so much snow on the ground right now, it's just not going to melt that fast as we're heading back downward with our temperatures.  Without new snow, everything just looks dirty and blah.  I shouldn't worry about the dirty gray look though, we're already forecast for 2 new storms next week.

Poor azalea is nearly buried.  Hope it comes back.

4. I think what bothers me more than anything, is I feel like winter is winning.  It's beating me down and affecting my will and ultimately my health. I've had several times in the past month where I've overslept because I turn the alarm off and go back to sleep.  It's like I can't face the cold, the dark, the treadmill, and the piles and piles of snow that are out there. If you know Doing A 180 you know Helen doesn't like to exercise in the evening, but especially during winter.  Most days it's home at 4:30, pajama attire by 4:35.

Ok, even I'll admit that the miniature snowman made by our neighbors little kids is cute. 

5. But you know what?  Quite by accident I discovered that our smart DVD/BlueRay player that allows us to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime or various other services also has YouTube.  I wondered if I could watch an exercise video through that so I tried it - and it worked.  Problem was that the size was not much bigger than my computer screen.  All of a sudden a dialogue box popped up that asked, "Do you want to try You Tube for TV?  It's new!"  So I exited and found that and not only did it make the picture bigger, you can go on You Tube on your computer or smart phone, find a video, then link it to the TV and that's where it plays.  So the picture is the full TV screen!  I may never buy another workout DVD in my life!  I was so excited, I put it on pause, ran upstairs and put on workout clothes, and did a 30 minute workout on the spot - at night, after work.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Dr. Oz Diet: Pros, Cons, and What Now?

For the past two weeks, I did the Dr. Oz. Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Plan.  I did it not thinking about weight loss per se but hoping to sort of reset my body as I'd had weeks and weeks and MONTHS of being completely stuck and going no where fast.  I tried to console myself that at least I kept off some of the weight I lost last year, but ultimately, it came down to a health decision and wanting to feel better to say I'd give something a try one last time.  If it took something a bit drastic so be it.  My friend Ann was dealing with her own health issues so we held hands and jumped in the deep end together!  Here's the wrap-up from my perspective.

  • Obviously the weight loss:  This week I lost another 2 pounds.  Now, that doesn't seem like much given what I was doing but traditionally on any diet I've done, week two is either a maintain or even a slight gain.  I am thrilled with that two pounds!  So, in two weeks I lost a total of 10.6 pounds which is the most I've ever lost in two week in my entire life, including back in the day when I had a young metabolism and good hormones. I declare this plan to be very good as a jump start into a new eating plan or to get you off a plateau.
  • Restrictive food list.  If you don’t mind eating from a pretty limited food list, this plan is for you. If you're willing to follow it to a 'T' you really can't help but lose weight.
  • Reminded me that sometimes a good snack doesn’t have to be complicated.  One of my favorite snacks/side dishes was simply half an avocado cubed with about 10 grape tomatoes halved – mix together and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Really worked as a detox – cravings stopped within a few days and made it very easy for me to decide if I was really physically hungry or just head hungry.
  • The breakfast smoothie is actually very good, especially with the added yogurt.  I will most definitely keep this in rotation as a breakfast option for myself… especially on the weekends when I tend to eat breakfast a bit later.

  • Restrictive food list:  I definitely prefer more variety in my diet.  Could a sister just get a pork chop and a sweet potato please? I've never been so sick of brown rice in my whole life! Definitely reaffirmed my belief in everything in moderation rather than deleting and deprivation.
  • I like to cook and felt for someone like me, who works full time outside the home, it required quite a bit of prep to get through each of the two weeks.  My friend, who does not work outside the home, didn’t prep a thing until she was ready to eat.
  • I wouldn’t want to try this with a large family – unless your significant other is willing to cook every else’s meals and you only have to deal with your own.  In fact I wouldn't want to try it only with a significant other either, unless that person was willing to be super supportive.  Mr. Helen was.
  • As with any real "diet," I had about three days of being super hungry.  Between actual physical hunger, head hunger and cravings, you feel a bit crazed.  I was glad that I work in an office alone and that I could only get to whatever food I'd brought in.  This is just another reason why you need support - Ann and I did quite a bit of messaging and texting in the beginning.
  • Somewhat difficult to be social, when the socializing is food-related, again because of the restricted food list.  My friend actually gave up after the third day in a row of eating out (they had out of town guests) and ate a piece of pizza and had a glass of wine.  Thankfully she got right back on track.
  • Two weeks is a long freaking time… I was ready to throw in the towel about 10 days in but just hung with it because I’m stubborn, because I promised Ann, and because Mr. Helen agreed to put off our Valentine’s Dinner (which we made at home). Ann actually gave in a couple more times in the second week. 

What Now?
I most definitely feel ready to move on from this however, as I said last week, once again I’ve been reminded that not all calories are equal, as much as I’d like them to be. It's funny how "extras" can so easily creep into your diet even though you think you're being careful. It was worth it to go through this because it has given me an excellent jump start and reminder about portion sizes and how they relate to food choices.

I plan on going back to a varied, healthy diet with sugar and alcohol being treats (as before and as they should be) and counting calories.  If I see my weight loss starting to slow drastically or plateau, I would very much be willing to do the Dr. Oz plan again – only maybe for just one week at a time.  I’m even thinking I might do 2-3 weeks calorie counting, 1 week Dr. Oz but again, I need to see how it goes as I rotate other food back into my diet.  As much as I love vegetables, woman cannot live by vegetables alone - not to mention that it may be a very long time before I eat brown rice again.

I’m definitely feeling “clean” and motivated – we just booked our tickets for our vacation to St. Martin, which means 10 weeks to a bathing suit.

Frequent questions are being answered by Dr.Oz here.  Any questions for me? 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Riding Through the Storms

Peeps,  we are having another storm today.  Here's the thing, we haven't been having huge amounts of snow all at once, but we keep having storms every couple of days.  It has stayed really cold too - not above freezing during the day and either single digits or low teens at night.  Which means none of this stupid white stuff is going anywhere.  Also because I live on the coast what tends to happen (as with today's storm), is that it snows 6 inches, then goes to freezing rain/rain/sleet for a while, then as the temp drops, back to snow for another 3-6 inches.  The grand result is you get up the next day with all new snow - that's on a coating of ice - to clear.

I suppose the biggest stressor is trying to get the driveway cleared so I can get to work.  Just by coincidence Mr. Helen took off today and tomorrow so that takes a lot of pressure off me.  He can deal with the driveway and I get to drive his 4WD truck to work. Happy Valentine's Day to me. (Truthfully he offers me his truck every time the weather is bad because he has a 7 minute drive to work and stays on the shoreline vs. my 20 minutes where I drive inland and it's often worse inland.)

The next stressor is getting my exercise in.  Outside running is dangerous and because of the amount of snow, I had to put my car in the driveway which means no treadmill.  I've been flopping around like a fish out of water trying to figure out what to do.  Today I was reduced to these.  I put my computer on top of the fireplace downstairs, clicked and went to work.  Still not the same as my running though.

Tracy Anderson 8 moves for a total body workout.  Yes they were hard and no I did not do 30 of each but I did manage 15 each.

Leslie Sansone: 3 mile fast walk.  Ummm, yeah, not so much.  Sadly, my heartrate barely rose but I'm hoping that maybe I burned some fat since it was lower intensity and at least I moved, right?

In prepping my food for this week, I made a new soup and in the midst of this cold, annoying winter it has brought some sunshine to my life!  Biz actually found this soup recipe and suggested I might like it.  I looked at it and while that person had halved a recipe, I wanted a lot of soup as most days I'm eating a cup of vegetable soup as a snack.  So I surfed around the internet and came up with a version that makes 8 cups.This soup is so good - light and summery tasting, because of the lemon I think, but creamy and filling with no cream!  It actually reminds me of the roasted zucchini soup I make but I think I might even like this one better!

Low Calorie, Low Carb, Yellow Summer Squash Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped (mine were large if you have small ones you might want more)
8-10 cups yellow summer squash chunked up (~6 medium squash)
32 oz. low sodium chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Heat olive oil in a stock pot, add onions and saute until onions begin to soften and clear.  Stir in garlic, squash, thyme and salt and saute for a couple more minutes until garlic is fragrant. Pour chicken stock in and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until squash is soft.

Let cool a bit then using a hand blender (or a regular blender) blend until the soup is smooth and creamy. Stir in lemon juice.

Makes 8 cups, nutrition per one cup serving:  75.4 calories; 3.6 g fat; 82 mg sodium; 563 mg. potassium; 7.7 g carbs; 2.4 g fiber; 4.7 g protein.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Diary of a Diet Detox: The First Week

DAY ONE:  Yum, this smoothie actually tastes pretty good.  I'm going to sip it slow and make it last. It sounds silly but I feel sad. I miss my eggs!

I'm so hungry - eat vegetables - I'm so hungry - eat some more vegetables - I'm so hungry - is it lunch time yet?

Dang, this ratatouille might be the best I've ever made.  Sooooo good.  I wish I'd brought some of my chicken.  I miss protein.

I can't believe I'm hungry again! Let me have a couple tablespoons of hummus with some pepper strips.  (Seriously I could eat this entire container of hummus!)

Hungry again!  Eat a baby cucumber dipped in the rest of the yogurt that has been flavored with dill and shallot salt. Eat 1/2 an avocado - good fat that should calm me down. Hmmmm is it time for dinner yet?  Drink a big glass of unsweetened decaf iced tea.  Still hungry.  Sigh.

Dinner time!  Measure out 6 oz. of chicken, put 8 roasted asparagus spears on the plate.  Grab another bowl and measure out 1/2 cup of brown rice, add 1/2 cup cauliflower rice and put 1 cup of roasted broccoli on top.  Heat it all up and... finally I feel full!  Except.... I sure do wish I could have a couple of Dove Dark Chocolate Promises.  Only 13 more days to go.  Sigh.

DAY TWO: No wonder Dr. Oz said don't do any 'extra' exercise.  I'm waking up sooooo hungry.

Decide to take 3 oz. of chicken for lunch - maybe that will help with the all day long hunger.  Or maybe it won't.  Sucked down my breakfast shake in about 5 minutes flat.  Hope I don't regret that.

Ok, I'm just going to give in and have a handful of nuts.  I think I've eaten every vegetable under the sun and now it's a satisfaction issue.

Whoops!  That was two handfuls, which is why I was trying to avoid them...

Yoga was good AND calmed me down.  That feels better.  Ann and I got to talk and she's struggling with the hidden Hershey bars at her house but she said she wouldn't eat one simply because she knew she'd have to 'fess up.

Good grief, why did I say I'd do this?  I want chocolate!  Just one piece! Just ONE Dove Promise! I don't think I can take do this another 12 days.

DAY THREE: Home with a winter storm today.  I am going to be very conscious of my hunger to make sure I don't eat mindlessly.

Spent a good amount of time texting back and forth with Ann whose husband and grandkids were at her house.  They'd had a dozen Dunkin' Donuts and pizza.  She said if she made it through today she'd definitely make it all the way.

Mr. Helen made himself breakfast... I still miss eggs and it smelled soooooo good.  My response was to get out of the house, go to the garage and run for a whole hour on the treadmill.  Exercise always calms me.  Smoothie tastes really delicious after that.

Not feeling as crazy hungry today... such a relief.  Makes it easier to think about what I really want to eat instead of grabbing at food. Really astonished that I wasn't wanting to eat all day, especially since I was at home.

11 more days.

DAY FOUR: Didn't wake up hungry this morning!  I wonder if the nuts I've eat the last two days have helped with that?  Maybe I need to just suck it up and measure out an ounce of nuts to eat each day.

Hmmmmm my running is beginning to "feel" better and easier.  I bet I'm losing weight.  It's tempting to get on the scale but NO.  I don't want to be over excited or completely discouraged by a dumb number.

Tired of eating the same food over and over.

Definitely a person who needs more variety, but it's only for 10 more days, right?

Still missing my breakfast eggs/egg beaters.  Also miss oatmeal and quinoa.  I wonder why he didn't offer a choice, instead of only 1/2 cup brown rice all the time.

Weirdly, I'm not missing cheese all that much.

DAY 5:  Found an article where Dr. Oz was interviewed about this plan and he said he would have approved coffee except that people won't just drink it black.  Black coffee is OK.  Ahhhhh now I don't feel like I've been cheating.  I'm glad I didn't give up my coffee!

I read a blog of a (young) woman who did this for just one week (she also got sick of the same food over and over) and lost 10 pounds!  That would be so cool... next to impossible given my age and hormones but jeepers!

Now that I think about it, I've been fighting mind hunger all day.  At least I've been able to stop and ask myself if I'm really physically hungry.

Finally thought to look at paleOMG to see if she had any recipes I could use.  Whaddaya know, her Friday recipe was for a Southwest Turkey Meatball with no grains or breadcrumbs!  Didn't want the dipping sauce but I could have made it with yogurt in place of the mayo to make it fit what I'm doing. Got to thinking I wanted a different vegetable so I went for green beans and ended up with homemade stir-fried Szechuan green beans.  Criminy these were as good as what I'd get at a restaurant... but I controlled the ingredients.  Gonna make a big batch of these to have next week for lunches - think the spicy goodness also hit the satisfaction note I've been looking for!

DAY 6: Finally it's Saturday and I'm NOT eating chicken or turkey or ratatouille or any one single thing I've eaten all week.  I'm having a nice piece of fish!  So excited for that protein change, although I have to say the turkey meatballs hit a very good spot.

Glad my mind - and the hungries - have calmed the heck down.  It has made it easier to think clearly about what I want to eat and also to use my creativity to come up with things like with the green beans yesterday.

Mr. Helen is being super supportive - it's almost funny that he asks me if it will bother me if he has his ice cream.  I appreciate it though.

Tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm not afraid of the scale for a change.

DAY 7: I have been reminded once again that all calories are not equal.  Well, maybe the calories are equal but what the body does with calories from various sources is not equal.  As the week wore on my hunger died down to the point that I decided to track my intake for a couple of days.  One day I ate 1340 calories and the second day I ate 1550.  So, no undereating for sure and right about what I try to eat any time I'm losing weight.  Usually I lose 1-2 pounds a week eating like that.  Except lately when I've just been stuck.

When I stepped on the scale, I was shocked.  I lost 8.6 pounds.  I don't think I've ever in my life lost that much in a single week.  And I did it without tracking and being nuts about my food and definitely no starvation.

Needless to say that gave me the push I needed to menu plan and prep food for one more week.  I made a double batch of those Szechuan green beans, roasted broccoli, marinated and grilled chicken and made Summer Squash Soup.  I also have asparagus to roast later in the week if need be.

I am most definitely ready to have a bit more variety but I can do this for 7 more days.  Seems like it's giving me the exact sort of reset I was looking for. I'm planning on celebrating the end with a nice petite filet mignon - and I still miss eggs for breakfast!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I must REALLY love you.

Yesterday I was talking about a yoga pose we did in the Svaroopa Yoga class that actually made my injured hamstring feel better.  It's mostly better anyway, but it's very, very tight and I feel like it's fragile enough that if I was to stumble and have to use that leg to catch myself, it would easily pull again.  I injured that thing last Memorial Day! 

For those who read Shelley's blog, you know she also injured her hamstring over the summer while training for a half marathon.  It's still dogging her and although I know it's going to feel better now that she's not running as much, she and I have had some correspondence wondering if we'll ever be the same again.  Then stupid Runner's World ran a story about a woman who has been dealing with her injury for SIX years.  Makes a sister want to lay down and cry.

Anyway, my thought was I'd have Mr. Helen take some photos of of me doing the pose and explain it.  However after seeing the photos I realized you really need to sort of hear an explanation of it.  I was home and had the time so.... I honestly cannot believe I'm about to show you in all my chubby glory - no makeup, glasses, hair pulled back, slippers in the background of the video but yep, I am.  I must really love you guys.  I would have liked to have done another "take" - this was the second - because I realized I never once smiled, not even at the end.  But Mr. Helen's patience only goes so far.  Without further ado, here's that pose, along with my creative way of getting around the fact that I only had 1 yoga block and needed 4.

Shelley, I hope this helps.  I would suggest you start by putting your non-sore leg forward first because you will get a little stretch through the back leg.  Then do your sore leg.

All day yesterday my body felt different, as in better with less pain - even my dumb back.  In fact as we were snowed/iced in, I got on the treadmill and ran for a whole hour.  A WHOLE HOUR. Been a long time since I even felt like doing that!  Maybe this style of yoga is going to put me on the path of my 2014 goal which is just to feel better.

Also, I would like to remind you, I'm capable of looking pretty good when I want to - it's just not practical for exercise or snowy/icy days at home;)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mid-Week Pep Talk

We got a wallop of snow on Monday.  It was that pretty, heavy kind that coats the trees and makes dirty February look like a June bride.  Of course everything had 'just' melted away and even as my legs were planning to hit the pavement instead of the treadmill, another storm was brewing.

It's snowing again today. We literally got the 5 inches in about 3 hours overnight.  But this storm is a baddie as it's ending with sleet then freezing rain.  Already lots of accidents on the roads which are being described as treacherous, and dire predictions of heavily coated trees collapsing on power lines. For only the second time in the 10 years I've been at my job, they closed the office ahead of the storm.  It was nice to go to bed last night knowing I didn't have to worry about that drive.

View from my Living Room Window
(believe it or not this is a color photo, not black and white!)

I went to that new yoga class last night.  Interesting to me was that it was only 9 people, all of whom were middle-aged.  I guess their advertisement of this style being gentle and healing to the body worked.  My friend who is doing the detox went with me.  She had no idea what to expect as she's never done a yoga class.  It was definitely different - low lights, no mats as blankets are used instead, and very slow.  But there was one pose that let me stretch the hamstring I hurt last spring and it felt so good I want to go out and buy the yoga blocks so I can do it at home.  We'll see how things progress but I enjoyed it.

What I enjoyed more was my chat with Ann.  After the class we stood in the parking lot and did a run-down of our first couple of days on this diet re-set.  The overwhelming theme: "I'm hungry."  We both wondered how Dr. Oz could claim with this plan you wouldn't be hungry.  Maybe I have too much food knowledge and somewhere in the back of my mind I know calories count and that is keeping me from eating more.  We know that this hungry all the time feeling passes after a few days and it will be worth the results of better health.  We also had a very funny conversation about chocolate.  Seems we both have a hidden stash and each of us was tempted to have just one bite of chocolate on Monday night.  She said, "The only thing that stopped me was knowing when we checked in I'd have to confess to you what I'd done."  Though I didn't say it, I felt the same way. It seems there is power in community after all.


"You were created on purpose for a purpose. There is a thirst and hunger in your heart that is real. Pay attention to it. The world is waiting for you to wake up to the person you are called to be. Stop listening to the negative inner conversation that’s causing you to play small. Focus your mind on positive thoughts, possibilities and solutions that can move you forward. Tap into your creativity and determination and stay busy! Stay focused. Life is on your side! The challenges that you are facing now are only a test. No test, no testimony! Keep moving! Cry if you must, but keep moving! Pray as if everything depends upon God and work as if everything depends upon you. Keep moving! You were born to be happy, healthy and prosperous. There is a power in you that cannot be denied. Get up and keep moving! You have GREATNESS within you!"      

-Les Brown

Monday, February 3, 2014

Setting Up for Success

The plain hard fact of trying to be healthy and perhaps even lose some weight is this:  it takes planning first.  Without a plan you're pretty much dead from the get go.

All throughout last week, I had shopped and bought ingredients - like Brown Rice Protein Powder and Flax Seeds for my daily breakfast smoothies.  But I knew in order to be successful without stress, I would need to do a bit more than that.

Yesterday, in addition to prepping some treats for Superbowl, I worked on getting things together for my two week Dr. Oz detox.  I know as this week rolls along, I won't regret it at all but boy was I glad to sit down 8 hours after I went into the kitchen!

One of the thoughts I'd had was to make cauliflower rice to stretch the 1/2 cup of brown rice allowed each day.  Or just to use as rice if I want to save my brown rice for later.  For example, my lunch today is ratataouille over cauliflower rice.

I also roasted asparagus and cleaned and shredded a large head of lettuce so that it's ready for salads.

 I made a big pot of vegetable-only soup.  I like soup a lot and this soup even qualifies as one of the things I could eat in unlimited amounts - pretty much all non-starch vegetables qualify! This photo looks cloudy because it was still steaming.

And I decided to go ahead and make the brown rice I'm allowed for the week.

Finally I grilled a bunch of chicken.  I'm allowed 6 oz. of fish, chicken or turkey each day to eat whenever/however I'd like.  Mr. Helen will also have chicken at least once this week for dinner. Since I was turning on the grill I decided to throw some broccoli on there as I know Mr. Helen will eat that as well.

And in the perfect timing category, the Firm DVDs that I had ordered with the Groupon deal arrived on Saturday.  I was absolutely delighted when I opened them up to find they were "express" versions and include 4 weeks of 20 minute workouts that you do 3 times a week.  That's right up my alley.

I also signed up for a 4 week/once a week class of Svaroopa Yoga which is a gentle, restorative, healing type of yoga, especially good for people with back issues or those who have areas of pain.  I feel like I've had one pain after the other the last couple of years so I'm looking forward to this beginner's series.  If I like it who knows, I might continue with it.

Everything is in place for me to be successful, now it's up to me to act on it!