Saturday, October 22, 2011

Next time we talk, I will be a year older!

I was down about half a pound today. It has been slow but steady, and I am thrilled with that! I am eating well and exercising right. It all is working...just like they said it would!

It might be a while before I post again as we are gearing up for a musical performance that happens next weekend. Next week is also my birthday and my oldest son's birthday is the first weekend in November! Life has gotten so busy!!!

I wanted to tell you that I have officially signed up to do my very first REAL 5K! It is in a nearby town called Maumelle, here in Arkansas. This happens on November 19th.

I am still going to do the Spark People Trick or Treat Trot Virtual 5K right after we get back from our weekend gig too. This is kinda fun! Who would have EVER thought I would say those words when talking about walking and running in a race? Not me! Well, not the old me, anyway.

I hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy this wonderful autumn weather and go for a walk! See you next time!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October is a GREAT Month!

I love October. It is my birthday month. It brings cooler weather. It ends with Halloween! It is my favorite time of the year!

This morning we are getting some badly needed rain. The high temp yesterday was in the mid 80's. The high temp today is supposed to be in the 60's. This is quite a cool down! I am waiting for the rain to stop so I can do my run/walk today and I am really looking forward to enjoying the cooler weather out there!

While waiting for the rain to end, I made myself some breakfast. I have NOT been a breakfast eater, in the past, but I have been trying to change that. I fixed myself some oatmeal and an organic grapefruit. I have a 'thing' about grapefruit. The first diet I was ever on was the "Grapefruit and Boiled Egg" diet. YUCK!!! I was about 11 years old then and in 5th grade. To this day, the thought of those two flavors together can make me gag!!!

But still, every once in a while, I will try grapefruit. Most of the time it is not a pleasant food to eat. They are supposed to be very good for you, so I keep trying to like having them ... but not more than about once a year!
Lately I have been trying to buy a few things that are organic, in the fresh produce section of our store. I saw the organic grapefruit and thought, "What the heck, let's give it a try!"

When preparing breakfast, I cut the grapefruit in half. I then got the little knife, with the serrated edges and curved blade, out of the back of the knife drawer. I realized that this was the exact same knife that Mom and I used on all those grapefruits, some 45 years ago! I resisted the temptation to dowse the top of the grapefruit in sugar to make it sweet and edible. I even made myself sit down at the dining room table with my oatmeal and grapefruit and spoon. (Usually I would be in front of the computer). I ate the oatmeal first and kept staring at the grapefruit. "How sour was it going to be? Why did I buy this stupid fruit anyway?"

Finally it came time to spoon out a segment of the grapefruit. I put it in my mouth and was ready to cringe and pucker up from the tart and sour flavors that I knew were coming.

What's this? It is almost sweet tasting?! It doesn't have that sour aftertaste that reminded me of the aftertaste of vomit! It isn't tasting like the grapefruits I have been getting for the past ten years or more. It isn't full of watery, tasteless, lip puckering, liquid! There is actually a substance and a full bodied taste that is releasing the most amazing flavor! Why, this thing actually TASTES GOOD! Even the juice was like dancing droplets of cool goodness on my tongue! I was amazed. The juices were so full of a delightful flavor AND I didn't need sugar to mask any sourness!

My guess is that the organic factor might have made the difference. I have found the organic apples have more flavor in them too. There is something about the natural flavor of a naturally grown fruit that brings out the sweetness. I recently had found the organic apples in the store. I bought a bag of non-organic Red Delicious apples at the same time. The non-organic apples were woody and flavorless. The organic apples were sweeter and much tastier.

Not all organic foods taste better enough to warrant the added expense. I have not found lettuce to be better or worse, for instance, so I buy the cheaper of the two in that case.

I wonder if kids growing up now a days, will ever think that these foods from the past, taste better? I am reliving my childhood when I find naturally grown stuff that is rich and full of flavor. My children don't have that in their upbringing as much. Would something I find delectable, taste funny to them because they never had it as they were growing up? I wonder?

Well, the rain has stopped and it is time to grab Ziva and head out. The air is so fresh and crisp and clean! I can hardly wait to hit the trail. I will leave you today with this photo:
That is me on the left, from about five years ago. That is also me on the right, taken just last week. I am wearing the same costume in both photos. The brown dress had to be taken in, over eight inches to fit the new me. I kinda like this new me, even if she is a challenge to fit clothes and costumes on!

Bye for now dear readers! Go do something and get away from your computer for a while!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Reviews: The End of Overeating, and In Defense of Food

This book, "The End of Overeating" took me a long time to finish. It is not an entertaining gimmick laden book. It IS loaded with a lot of really great information. To me, this book points out the enemy and how it works. It also offers tools and ideas on how to battle the enemy. The biggest tool is knowledge and as they say, knowledge IS power!
The enemy seems to be the food industry here. They actively seek the right combinations of fat, sugar, and salt, to entice the consumers' taste buds. The better the food tastes, the more the consumer will buy it. It is in the best interest of the manufacturers to make their food mixtures taste the same whether you buy the item in California or in New York. Fast food restaurants rely on this constant taste from coast to coast.
After this book talks about how food is made to lure us, it also talks about how to fight those inner cues. Knowing WHY we have an inner cue to want to eat a particular thing, often makes it easier to fight temptations.
I can see myself re-reading this book. It is the first book I've written in, in the margins, since my college years! Thank goodness I actually own this book! I would never do that to a library book!

Speaking of library books, the next one I read was from my local library. I was appalled at how many dog ears there were in this book. How dare people fold over the edge of a page to mark where they left off!!! I guess I have a healthy respect and love of books.
Rant over...on to my review of "In Defense of Food"
This book has been seen on TV recently, as the author tours to promote it. I agree with many others who have reviewed it. The phrase "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" is written on the front of the book. That sums up a lot of what the author is wanting to convey.

He says the current Western Diet is the cause of many of our diseases, obesity issues, and a whole lot of other health and medical problems. As the Western Diet invades other countries, their populace sees the same medical problems develop that we currently have here, now, in the United States.

This book was an easy read, has some valid points. It has led me to go in a different direction in my reading. I went to the library today and checked out some books to do some research with. Of course you will be able to read those reviews in the future!

Overall, I am doing pretty good! I was down, almost a pound last week. I was able to duplicate the one mile run again, on Sunday. I had a little health scare regarding my mammogram this year, but that thankfully turned out to be cysts and not cancer. Life is very busy these days and I am looking forward to the holidays. For me, life gets a whole lot more relaxed during the holidays. I know...I am strange that way. Deal with it! My family has to, so you do too! hahaha

Cold weather is coming soon and I can't wait to wear all my new-to-me winter clothes! I hope you are all doing well today too. If you've read this far, you need to get busy doing something else! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Run, Run, Run, Away!

I've been trying to train for a "Virtual" run/walk that takes place during the first week of November. During the first two weeks of training you go out three days a week, with a day of rest in between. You warm up, then run for a minute, then walk for about four minutes, and then run for a minute. You do the running part about four times in a half hour workout. (give or take a few minutes)

In five weeks of training I haven't managed to make it for more than 45 seconds, maybe three times per session and that on a good day! My knees hurt, my lungs were screaming for air! It has been very discouraging! I read that you should run slowly and I thought I was. I compared my total miles per hour on my run/walks and usually go at about a 3mph pace. I looked at times that others have turned in for 5K run/walks (3.1 miles) and I was SO SLOW in comparison!

Then yesterday happened. I had researched the proper form tips for running and jogging online. I decided I would do a fast walk for the first ten minutes or so, of my usual route, in order to be really well warmed up. Then I would run for as long as I could, once I hit the train track trail. To my amazement, I was able to go for a long time! I slowed WAY down. I noticed my breathing wasn't as labored. I was breathing hard, but not labored. I was running, not walking.

I made it as far as the downed tree and kept on going. I made it to the first street crossing and kept on going. I made it past the first church driveway, and kept on going. I made it over the next street crossing and the one after that, and kept going! When I came to the end of the trail, I dropped back into a walk. My legs were a little rubbery, but not sore. My breath was heavy, but not labored. I headed up the long hill towards home and was breathing harder going up that hill than I had been while running.

When I got home, I mapped my route and took note of the distance that I had run, continuously. I had run just over a mile. Really? Yes, really! I don't know if it was a fluke or not. I don't go out until Thursday or Friday to try this again. I'll let you know the results!

(Really? A whole mile, plus? ME???)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thinking Thoughts

I didn't gain or lose any weight last week. My life has been a bit topsy-turvy for a few weeks and it looks like this will last throughout the month of October. I won't bore you with the details and so far, nothing is bad, just a titch stressful.

Anyway, I've been contemplating the notion of NOT weighing myself every week. I am starting to see it more as a crutch that I should maybe give up. I all too often let the numbers on the scale, sway the highs and lows of the week following, until the next weigh-in. Once a month weigh-ins should be sufficient.

Now, as to why I think I should do this...I tend to focus on certain things and hang on to them like a bulldog! I've done this with foods, such as the mini rice cakes last winter and the Dannon Greek Vanilla fat free yogurt this summer. If I didn't have my Creme Brule' rice cakes or my yummy yogurt, I was feeling deprived! Even accounting for the calories, I just don't think it is healthy to have a whole bag (about three servings) of the rice cakes after supper. Nor is it really all that great to have three or four servings of yogurt each day, with at least two of those after supper.

These foods are not bad necessarily for me. It is the obsessing about eating them or over indulging with them, that is bad. Part of this new lifestyle is to conquer some of my bad habits. Fixating on a particular food, to me anyway, is not a good habit. Eating after supper, was not because I was hungry, but more-so because I had the extra calories to burn and I convinced myself that I had the munchies.

Old habits. that are still with me, that I plan to tackle are things like eating too fast or eating in front of the TV or computer. I think I should put "scale-watching" in this list. (Is scale watching a fat person's idea of whale watching? ha-ha-ha!)

I keep working on the mindset of how I want to live my life as this new person. Would she exercise daily for one hour? What would she eat in a normal day and in a normal way? Would she still socialize the way she's been or would she retreat or would she expand her social ties?

Some of these questions won't be answered until I've reached a steady weight for several months. I am not sure at what point the work I am willing to put into this life, balances with the work I am NOT willing to put into this life. In other words, I don't know how far down the numbers will go, with me doing what I am doing right now, food and exercise wise. I guess I will address that bridge when it manifests itself!

I am headed out the door for a walk. It is a loverly fall day and I plan to start out right and make this a great day to be alive, healthy, and in good spirits! I hope your days are as bright! Bye for now!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Foodie Type Stuff

I made a collage from photos of all the foods I ate last Sunday. I often have more calories on the weekends because the guys are home. The only thing that you probably wouldn't see during the week, would be the apple fritter. I will have one of those every few weeks, when the guys get their donut fix on Sunday mornings. It is a family tradition...or so says my husband! This time I only ate half the fritter. I was JUST as satisfied as I had been with having a whole fritter! It is very true that the first bite is the most satisfying. The rest of the bites are never as good, so why eat the whole thing? I can utilize those extra calories in yogurts or fruits, later in the day. I felt better about not having eaten the whole thing too. It was a win-win moment!

The coffee cups are representative of the cups of coffee I had that day. I use a powdered creamer. The rice cakes are those mini ones that are more satisfying, to me anyway, than the big rice cakes you can get. The dinner plate has steak made the way I tend to have it now, shish-kabobed. I eat less meat this way and the grilled vegetables are divine! Adding a loaded romaine salad makes this a huge meal without the guilt!

I am still without a vehicle. I don't know what to expect from this week's weigh-in. I feel like I've eaten way too much and exercised too little! I am also on day three of no cigarettes! I am more determined to make this 'quitting', last for more than ten months. Damn smokes are SO addictive!!!

I am making changes for my family this week. I started making my son's lunches to take to school. I know the school says their lunches are nutritionally on track, but when you see things like "chicken rings" on the menu, you gotta wonder what planet those chickens are from! The thought of finely ground chicken parts, from parts of the chicken we normally don't think of as edible, creeps me out. I know these are breaded and probably fried and it does not instill a lot of confidence in what the school says is healthy! So far, my son is eating everything I send with him too. Well, almost everything. That one carrot stick. I snuck into his lunch bag, did come back.

I sure miss shopping more than once a week, for fresh produce! Apples are coming in season and the organic ones have a LOT of flavor to them! This is one of the foods that I really notice the differences in flavors when comparing organic to non-organic. I am also really enjoying the new romaine lettuce packs at our local grocery store. They are in the "artisan lettuce" area of our store. There are two perfect romaine lettuce bunches in each container. I use mine from the outside in. First the outer leaves are used in sandwiches. As I work my way into each lettuce heart, I can make perfect lettuce wraps filled with tuna or black bean and salsa salad. The lettuce heart is made into a very wonderful chopped salad with grape tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced peppers, and whatever else I am enjoying that day, for salad fixin's. (grapes, Craisins®, raisins, mushrooms, etc.)
This lettuce comes in a hard plastic tray, with two to a package. They never wilted and kept fresh for a whole week! They are crisp and crunchy and very satisfying! They store in my fridge in the plastic packaging they come in. I really like this new product! I do not like the pre-chopped stuff. I end up throwing away half the lettuce in the pre-packaged, three-to-a-pack romaines, and I throw away too many outside leaves in the single loose heads of romaine. I found this pack to be just right for one person. Currently it is selling for $2.99 a package. Since there is so little waste, it turns out to be the most bang for my buck!

Well, that's it for today. I am off to walk the child to school and then come back and do some yoga on the Wii. I hope you are having a wonderful day too!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Transportationally Challenged

Sorry I have been absent of late. Life has taken a turn for the busy and I just find it hard to wrap my head around a cohesive blog posting!

Long story short, I have been without a vehicle since last Thursday. I have one on the weekends though. Because of this lack of transportation, I am not able to go to the center during the week!

I am working on keeping up with things here at home, but I miss my friends and yoga classes! Yes, I can do the yoga at home, but it isn't the same.

I was down again last Saturday and will be VERY curious to see what happens this Saturday, after a full week of no vehicle! I hope I don't gain and really don't think I should!

As of this morning, I have gone 24 hours without a cigarette too. I am getting so many things done in the house! Idle hands want to smoke, so I keep them busy with sewing and major house cleaning.
I don't do spring cleaning but in the fall, I seem to go through periods of major dust bunny hunting! Related to this is when I tackled a super deep cleaning of the bathroom. As I was on my hands and knees, reaching behind the toilet to wipe down the wall, I realized that the last time I tried to do this, it was a LOT harder! Not only could I do it, but I could get up off the floor without using a forklift!I hope you are having a great day! I plan to go for a walk today and do some yoga stuff at home . What will YOU do?

After the frenzy

Abby is still around and about.  I know she's been pretty quiet though.  She kinda over celebrated the new year's arrival. A souther...