Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New News

Not news I was happy to get, either. I was taking my vitamins and other supplements this morning and noticed the nutrition labels on each. I had always assumed it was a listing of all the wonderful ingredients that were leading me to health and happiness.....not so!! There were two bottles that listed CALORIES!! Yikes! I've been adding 70 calories per day just by taking my Glucosamine Chrondritin and Fish Oil. However, I quickly decided that if I were to actually drink my water ICED, as I mentioned yesterday, those 70 calories would be negated. 70 calories!!! Really, are you kidding me? That is almost one of my favorite "treats" in a bag, ya know. Crud.

So, having discovered this piece of crumby news, I have had to recalculate my caloric intake for today. Not a big deal. I'm just making out to be worse than it actually is. Feels worse than it really is, I think that is more the actual fact.

Yesterday was a good day again. I stayed away from those temptations I keep talking about, but I did walk by the pantry and gaze longingly at the closed door, knowing that behind those doors lurked the Devil himself. I almost reached in yesterday afternoon, but decided on a whole wheat English muffin instead. I felt so grown up. :) In order for me to not feel deprived, I have decided to allow myself three 100 calorie packs per week. Not only will that give me a treat, but in the long run will probably save me money, too.

This morning started out with my "new news", but continued to be annoying when my computer refused to start. I was ready to go out and buy a new one just so I could post on my blog, and read all of the other blogs. I think I'd really miss both if the old girl pooped out on me. Luckily, I was able to restore her to all her former glory by unplugging her and plugging her back in. I am so "techy" aren't I? Very complicated solutions like that are my specialty.

Tonight is beef night. We don't eat lots of beef anymore, so this will be kinda special. I'm pawing thru all my old recipes now and updating them, slimming them down, and calculating calories for the new versions. Taking a bit of time, but I'm finding lots of ways to improve old favorites. Earlier, I had put about 800 recipes into an old laptop computer to have at the ready. So now, with updated calorie counts, I am trying to go back and insert all the values for some of the most common dishes. Keeps me off the streets, anyway. Kinda tedious work, but I'm getting some satisfaction knowing the info is easily accessible.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Own Personal March Madness!!

It's my own fault, too. After behaving (for the most part) and planning Saturday evening carefully, I kinda went "mad" on Sunday. I was not nearly as conscientious as I should have been, and might have cheated more than once. However, the up side to this weekend of throwing caution to the wind is that I'm not going to let the "slip" ruin what I've started. In the past, I'd have just said "To Hell With It." and give in to all the temptations I thought I'd deprived myself of....not this time. I'm going to be back on the straight and narrow right now. So much for March Madness....mine is over.

Today is mall walking day. Not that I'm a mall walker by any stretch of the imagination, it's just that the closest Radio Shack is at the mall, and we need telephone batteries. I have no idea where in the mall this store is located, so I am anticipating that I will park at the opposite end of where it might be and walk the length of the mall to get to it. That's usually what happens to me when I'm unfamiliar with places. We've only lived here 2 yrs., and I'm not a mall person, so I don't frequent this mall. I go to Barnes & Noble there, but they have their own entrance, so that's my only point of reference. The walk will be good for me.

I heard an interesting factoid on the Food Network yesterday. On "Food Detectives" they said that if you were to drink your 64 oz. of water a day ICED you would burn 70 calories in the effort to reheat your body to normal temps. That made me wonder if my drinking an ICED adult beverage would have the same effect??? Probably not, but I did find that information interesting. Apparently we expend energy keeping our body at its constant temperature, and any lowering of that temp causes us to use extra energy to maintain it. Hmmmmm.

I'm off to ice down some water, and jet off to the mall. Imagine my delight!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Weekend Report

Kinda like SNL,huh? Well, usually I wouldn't post on a weekend, but I know everyone is anxiously awaiting news on the haircut weight loss. I DID lose weight after the haircut!!! Not the 2-3 pounds I was expecting, but .8 #!! Hurray!! Lest you all think I'm actually crazy, I do realize that my loss had nothing to do with the haircut, but thinking that it did makes me feel better. I'm so easy to please. I'd post a picture of the new "do" but I can't seem to figure out how to get a pic posted. That, and I'm too lazy to have Hubby Dearest take a picture of me. So for those imagining what the hair must look like, it's short, salt & pepper, and spiky. There, that's it in a nutshell.

My "knee-teorologist" (Thanks Mary Fran) weather predictor was correct, we are getting flurries today. Nice to know some things never change.

I found shoulder exercises in the Cooking Light magazine yesterday. I am anxious to try them out on my ailing shoulder. Hopefully, I can get things stretched out and in working order before golf season is in full swing. (Get it, full swing?) Even picking up the old frying pan right handed is a pain in the shoulder. That should keep me from cooking, but it doesn't. I behaved myself again yesterday, but did add an adult beverage (or two) to dinner. I took that possibility into account, so I was within my acceptable range. I'm wondering if maybe I might lower my range just a trifle. I was giving that some thought this morning as I ate breakfast at our new Sat. morning breakfast destination. Heck of a time to think of lowering the number of calories, don't you think? I sat there consuming 250 extra calories as compared to my usual breakfast. Oh well, it's what keeps me focused for the rest of the week. (Hopefully.) I can hear the crowd roaring "CHEATER"!!

Not to let breakfast get the best of me, I'm planning for our evening out with friends now. Again, adult beverages will be involved, so I'm thinking toast and celery for dinner. Perhaps an herb or two for flavor. Sounds delightful, doesn't it?? I'll just have to think of today as kind of a throw away day, and get my act back together tomorrow. I can, and will, do it. I've promised myself not to let one day get the best of me. In the past one day of goofing off, and I'd go off the wagon for months at a time. NOT THIS TIME!! I'm in this for the long haul. Report to follow on Monday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm A Meteorologist!!!!

Or I should be. Remember when your grandmother used to say her "rheumatiz" was acting up and she knew a storm was coming? Yep, that's me now. My kids, "The Primary Child" and "The Perfect Child" probably both remember their grandmother complaining about her knees acting up when the weather was about to change. Well, my dear children, that is now ME. My one real knee is creaking and feeling rusty today, so I'm anticipating wet weather. I can almost guarantee you that my knee is as accurate as any meteorologist in the country.....but I don't get paid for my "fuzzy" forecasts, and I certainly don't get raises every year for being wrong about half the time.

My haircut got postponed!! I was so looking forward to lightening my load, too. I'm going today, and I remain convinced that a good shearing will knock off at least a pound!! :) I've been told not to get my hopes up, but I remain delusional all the same.

Last night as I went to bed, I told Hubby Dearest that I was craving tuna and noodles. He thought I meant right then and there, but I told him I really wanted it for dinner tonight. I'm going to try and find a "calorie friendly" version if I can. What really puzzles me is that I really, really, really DO NOT like casseroles. In my youth, my mom used to fix casseroles all the time and I absolutely refused to eat them. So why, all of a sudden, do I want a good old fashioned tuna and noodles? It makes no sense. AND, this morning after sleeping on that thought, I woke up and still want that darned casserole. I am fearful that my peculiarities are a sign of my impending old age. If I start craving Metamucil, I'm throwing in the towel!! I quit!

I'm actually looking forward to today. The sun is out, and altho' it is kinda cool outside, the sun has perked me up enormously. Funny how something so simple can have such a positive effect on one's outlook. I even look forward to going to the grocery store for my fresh produce, and that is no small feat. Even tho' I know something wet is on the way, be it rain or snow, the sunshine has me feeling upbeat for the time being. Yippeee Skippeeeeeee!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Arm Should Be In A Sling!

It really should. Not because I'm injured, but because I've been busy patting myself on the back!! I had a really good day yesterday, plus I've lost 10# to date. By really good day, I mean, of course, I avoided any temptation to reach into the pantry for a sweet treat. Hurray!! Of course, part of the motivation was a quote I read in a healthy eating cookbook. It scared the bejabbers out of me. "If you hang your swimsuit on the refrigerator door, the goodies inside will be easier to ignore." And, that my friends, is an image that sent shivers up and down my spine. The fact I haven't owned a swimming suit in years notwithstanding, it leaves a mental image that is frightening. :) I, of course, substituted "pantry door" for refrigerator, but you get the general idea, I'm sure. Temptation flew right out the door after I read that, and imagined the swimsuit dangling lifeless from my pantry door. YIKES!

Today's a new beginning for a new week. I am planning my week carefully, as we are going out with friends on Sat. night. I am sure that adult beverages will be part of the evening, so I'm trying to balance my caloric budget. Usually, I'd say we'd walk to breakfast, but our little out of the way breakfast place closed on Mar. 15, the day after we'd eaten there. I might actually have to eat breakfast at home one extra day a week. :( S'pose that's better for me anyway. I have been enjoying my new waffles this week, tho'. I was getting a little bored with the oatmeal and Total every morning. Special K has a berry waffle that is only 80 calories per waffle. I quite enjoy them, I must say. They looked kinda puny compared to what a person would normally order, but they were just enough to be satisfying. I know portions sizes have gotten out of control, and I'm working on adjusting my "eye" to normal sized portions.

Today is haircut day!! I'm really quite shaggy, so I'm absolutely convinced that a haircut will "shave" off a pound or two. Oh come on, leave me to my delusion. I know I'll feel perkier once the mop is trimmed and coiffed. That should make our dreary weather more bearable. I'd like a little sunshine, please. I'll even settle for the cold weather, and possible snow, if the sun would shine a little bit more often. I don't know how people in Alaska live without sunshine. What is it called, Seasonal Affective Disorder? Or something like that. I think I might be suffering from it.

Hoping for another successful day today, altho' I'm not sure my arm can handle more stress. I don't stretch those muscles when I lift weights, apparently.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

HCPA= Hundred Calorie Packs Anonymous

Well, I'm quite sure everyone has been losing sleep knowing that today was my weigh in morning, and you all have been waiting excitedly for the outcome of that weigh in. Ta - Da!! I lost 2 pounds. Not earth shattering by any means, but forward progress. My total weight loss thus far is 10 pounds. I am going the right direction, and have taken control of my health, and for me, that is what really counts. After only 3 weeks, I'm pretty darned happy with my progress.

My biggest thrill was yesterday when I actually resisted the Devil's handiwork (100 cal. packs) for the entire day and evening. Not ONE did I ingest. I think this might be the first step in what will probably be my 12 step program. HCPA, or "Hundred Calorie Packs Anonymous" will be my new help group. I'm the first member, so "Hi, I'm Vraz and I am a 100 cal pack junkie." I suppose I should also add that my addiction is pathetic. I do wonder, tho', if 100 cal. popcorn bags count as 100 cal. packs? I may need to have some "wiggle room" on this addiction. :) I'll be working on the framework for the remaining 11 steps in the days to come.

It's gotten cooler and drearier, if that's possible, around here again. Now they say we could have snow on the weekend. Back to walking/riding inside again. And even tho' I can watch TV while I ride/walk, I still like being outside better. I suppose I shouldn't complain too loudly, as watching the weather last night North & South Dakota have it much worse than we do. But their weather doesn't affect ME, so I tend to forget about their problems. :0 I know, I'm selfish and self centered, but that's all part of trying to get myself whipped back into shape. It is all about ME!! Just as it should be all about YOU, too. Selfish ain't all bad when we're talking about taking control of our health. That's my theory, and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just 'Bout Midnight

Yep, that's when my restless leg kicked in and woke me up last night. As usual, I went downstairs to walk it off. It was raining cats and dogs. The running water made me want....a glass of water. ( I know what you were thinking, tho'.) Along with that glass of water, I decided a little "nosh" would be nice. To my credit, I did NOT reach for the 100 cal. pack of Cheetos, I reached into the fridge and got out 4 little cubes of Laughing Cow Lite Cheese. Only 28 measly calories. Yeah, you say!!! Well, here's my question...since I ate these tiny, tasty morsels at 'bout midnight, do they count on yesterday's calorie count or today's? Aha!! You see my problem. Well, as I paced the 1st floor nibbling on my "mouse food", I came to the conclusion that since I had 85 cal. left on yesterday's calorie log, I'd put the 28 calories there. That way I wouldn't be starting off today at a 28 calorie deficit. Make sense?? Please someone, agree with me. At 1:30 in the morning, it made perfect sense to me. So guess that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :) My other question was, "How many calories do you think I burned circling our first floor for an hour last night?" And was that actually exercise?

Still dreary, cooler and rainy here in the Midwest. UGH!! Back to the treadmill or recumbent bike. Can't decide which one today. Think maybe the bike since my knees are stiff. The bike does kinda help loosen them up. I was really getting used to being able to go out on our walking path and enjoying a little fresh air. Drats!! And now they are saying we might get another snow this weekend. Please, Lord, send us Spring! posthaste!!!!

Last nights tropical themed dinner was really yummy. I kinda cheated on the prep work and didn't make a real sauce out of the mango-pepper stuff. Instead I just used it as a warm salsa and covered the chicken with it. Tasted just the same, only saved about 20 min. of work on it. See, I told you I was lazy. :) We didn't seem to care that I shaved a few steps from the preparation, as when we were done, both plates were clean. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm trying the 9" plate concept that divides the plate into quadrants. Since our plates are somewhat larger than 9", I am only using the inside portion of the plate. I'm eliminating the rim of the plate, and try not to overlap onto it. It's working so far, and it isn't at all difficult.

Tomorrow is weigh in day. I remain ever so hopeful that I've had a good week. Overall, I've stayed on the straight and narrow. My forays into the Devil's workshop have not cost me calories, just mental distress. That said, I am doing better resisting the temptation and the lure of the little menaces the past couple of days. Baby steps, I'm told.

I've had to limit my weight lifting a bit. The top of my shoulder is killing me when I make an overhead move. So I'm kinda limited to curls, squats and the like. I try an overhead lift just to see what's what once or twice a week, but so far not much improvement. I'm convinced that rest is the best option for a sore muscle. And that's what I'm calling this problem. I was hoping to be able to continue my outdoor activities this week, but the monsoons have thwarted my progress in that regard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rainy Days & Mondays...

Yeah, and we have both!! Well, I suppose everyone has Mondays, so that's not a big deal. :0 However, our "monsoon" season seems to have begun. Last spring we had terrible flooding around the area, so I'm hopeful that won't be repeated. It's just that it is overcast and dreary. It's days like this that kinda make me lethargic. (More than usual.) So to compensate for my lethargy, I have decided to change my original plan for dinner and make it a tropical chicken with mango night instead. If I'm gonna live in a rain forest for a day or two, I'm gonna eat like it, too. There will be no grass skirts or coconut bras, but the menu will be festive.

Thanks to all who congratulated me on my wonderful idea to walk to breakfast. However, in keeping with being truthful about my diet and exercise, I must admit we did not walk to breakfast. And may I say, it was a good thing we didn't....the place was closed!! No mention of this closing last week, so we were shocked (and dismayed). However, the up side is that Hubby Dearest and I did go play golf and walked a great deal on the course, so I kinda feel we made up for our riding to breakfast. In fact, we walked so much, I figured I used several hundred calories. But, even tho' I could have rationalized an extra piece of garlic bread, I kept to my planned meal and did not waiver. This leaves me very hopeful for my weigh in on Wed. Of course, I had to mention my special-ness to everyone, so they'd know how much I gave up to stay on track. It was not too difficult to stay on the straight and narrow, as I'd left myself room for 2 "adult" beverages after golf. Tsk, Tsk, I can hear it now.

As for my addiction to 100 calorie packs, I'm trying to keep it to one bag as an after dinner treat. I'd get rid of them altogether if it weren't for the fact that Hubby Dearest likes them, too. And he doesn't need to lose weight, and isn't a sucker for that second bag. I am almost "battering" myself with the "You can do this, you're not an idiot" phrase. So far, well ok, just Sat. and Sun. it has worked. Just a little self control, I keep telling myself. I'll conquer this if it kills me.

Still and all, I really was pleased with my weekend. I didn't go overboard on anything, and got in good exercise, and for the most part, made good, healthy food choices. (Ok, not the two drinks.) So I'd give myself a B+ for the week. I'm deducting for the booze. If I'd had grades like this in college, my parents would have been elated. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another day, another dilemma

After announcing my plans to walk rather than consume the Devil's 100 calorie packs in multiples of two, I feel it only fair to admit that yes, I did walk, but I gave in to temptation after dinner instead. So now, my dilemma is still how to use these little morsels wisely. I know I should, I know I can, and yet I don't. And what really irks me is that the entire day I behave myself, make good choices, make healthy choices and then at 7:00 last night I'm almost to the finish line (bedtime at 10:30) and I break down. Darn it all!! Even having my "cheat" I still stayed within my caloric acceptable range, but I cannot stand the fact that I am acting so weak willed.

This morning, to reward myself for being such a weenie, I went out and got myself two new diet cookbooks. Naturally, the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook was one of them. I had the first cookbook from a few years ago and had just dusted it off. I have found several recipes in there that I have used, or am going to use, so why not expand my cookbook collection with their latest edition. Hubby Dearest has made reference, more than once, to the HUGE number of cookbooks I possess, so I'm sure he will be delighted that I've added two more. I DO have to admit I probably have more cookbooks than one person should own, but geez I actually read them.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, Hubby Dearest and I are going to walk to our favorite breakfast place. I'm hopeful the walk will wear off the breakfast I am planning on having. We go there every Sat. morning we're in town, and I always get one of the same three things. Lately, I have been trying to pick my breakfasts more carefully, so I sat down one day and added up the calories in each of my three favorites. If I "budget" lunch and dinner carefully, I can enjoy a lovely morning meal. Now that we can walk to and fro, I'll feel even better about my little indulgences. I think the walk is about 3 miles total.

Joy of joys!!! The golf course is open!! Now if my friends would just get off the couch and go out with me all would be right with the world. Next week is supposed to be rainy, but tomorrow might be a good bet. I'm absolutely sure I could talk Hubby Dearest into going out for 18 holes tomorrow. He's as crazy about golf as I am. Rain takes over until Thurs., so that may be my next opportunity to play again. Might hit balls on the range between rain drops.

Happy Weekend To All.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Conversations With Me

So, this morning as I'm having breakfast, I'm having a little talk with myself. (And, yes, I do answer myself, as I am really good company.) I'm asking myself why is it that at about 3:00 in the afternoon I crave a sweet treat? Not that this is unusual, but it is for me because ordinarily I don't like sweets. I am not a cookie, cake, pie or dessert person, and never have been. Well, I'll admit as a young child my mother would let me crumble oreos in a bowl and pour milk over them and call it breakfast, but other than that, as an adult, I don't really have a sweet tooth. I am trying the Extra Sugar Free gum trick, and it helps some, but for whatever reason, I really want a cookie. This is where the Devil takes over, I have some 100 calorie packs in the pantry. They are really for Hubby Dearest, but recently I've been helping myself. The Devil, however, will not let me stick to just one, he insists I have another in about 15 min., just to be sure they were as good as I thought the first time. My conclusion is that today at 3:00 I'll get up off my big, fat, a** and go for a walk. By the time I return it will be time to begin making dinner. We'll see how that works. I promise not to take a snack pack with me on the walk, even tho' they would fit neatly in my jacket pocket.

The "gist" of all this rambling is that yesterday I really had a very good day, foodwise. It was just that pesky 100 calories (that I repeated twice) that threw my calorie count off a bit. I was still in my preferred range, but I was so ticked at myself for giving in to the temptation. I cannot stand to think of myself as a weak person, lazy yes, weak no. I am determined to get this tiger by the tail and beat it into submission. How I do it, remains to be seen.

Another twist in my never ending quest for better health, (and weight loss) is the addition of green tea with my breakfast and lunch. I fell for one of those Internet deals on WuLong tea about a year ago. I liked the tea, but didn't really think it was helping with weight loss. (It is called a "slimming tea".) However, I now find I just like it for no other reason than it is somewhat soothing and tastes good. Perhaps if I use it twice a day, as directed, it will provide some assistance in weight loss. Since I only had it sporadically when I first got it, I don't know if it helps or not. We shall see. Still, I have gobs of it (it was a real steal on the Internet) I'll have plenty of it to try. If nothing else, it is one way to get water into my system.

Speaking of water, did anyone else read the article that said a person should drink 1/2 their body weight in water ounces per day? All these years, I've been drinking only enough for a 128 pound person. (Water, that is.) I'm kinda worried that if I really do drink that much water, I'll have to stay home and near the bathroom, or my eyes will begin to float. Where do these studies come from, and why do they make us feel as though we must take the findings to heart? I'm a sucker for stuff like this, I guess.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

They Told Me I'd Need Math in Later Life

My junior high teachers were right. I do need math in my declining years! In today's paper I read two articles that required me to do a little figuring. First was the article about a study in London where scientists calculated BMIs on hundreds of obese people and found that those with moderately high BMIs died later in life than those with high BMIs. But the difference was not considered significant, only 3-4 years!!! 3-4 years IS significant to me!! I'm sure somewhere in the US they are studying this very same thing, and some government money is funding that very study. Isn't knowing obesity is harmful to one's health enough? Oh well, on to article #2. This one is on a little lighter note, and actually may end up being helpful. A dietitian suggests that one uses a 9" dinner plate and divide it into quadrants. Using 2 quadrants for fruits and veggies, one quadrant for a protein, and the last quadrant for some kind of dairy. Seems very reasonable to me. The example they gave I really enjoyed. Two slices of pizza covers the 9" plate, so if you were to take the one slice, add 1/2 plate of leafy salad greens, you'd save about 500 calories. My question was, is this really the example we want to use? Now I have to "divide and conquer" my plate. This may be where my 7th grade math comes in handy. :)

Today's weigh in was not nearly as awful as I'd imagined. I'd lost .5 pounds for a total of 8 pounds in 2 weeks. I'm still happy with that. And for those of you who care, I did park away from the door at Lowes yesterday, walked very briskly to the entrance, and then proceeded to "power walk" thru the store. (At least 'til I got kinda lost and had to stop and ask for help.) I am quite sure the people working there thought I was trying to make off with something valuable, but even I cannot fit a riding lawnmower under my sweater vest!! I didn't use the bike yesterday, I went on a little walk all by my lonesome. It was a great day to be outside, and I enjoyed myself enormously. I forgot to wear my pedometer, but I'm sure I did miles and miles.

This week has been just the best for grilling. I love to grill, and will do so in the dead of winter, but being out in shirtsleeves is just so much nicer. I stocked up on fresh fish yesterday, so with a new tank of gas, new cuts of fish, and warmer weather, I'm in heaven!! I have been trying various fruit salsas to go with the fish lately to kinda brighten up the plate and the flavor. Hubby Dearest likes the mango jalapeno version and my chipotle marmalade. Not many calories, but lots of flavor. This weekend we may treat ourselves to some steaks. We are trying not to have beef too often, but Hubby Dearest, being a meat and potatoes kind of guy, likes to have a tenderloin steak now and then. Believe me, we've not cut beef out of our diets completely, we are just trying to be more sensible about it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gotta Start Movin' my Behinder Ender More!

Why do you suppose I decided this morning to weigh myself? Tomorrow is the 2nd week weigh in, and yet I thought jumping on the scales this morning seemed like a good idea. Well, it wasn't. It's not that I've gained anything, it's just that I seem to be holding my own is all. I had hoped for 2 pounds this week, realizing that the first week's loss of 7.5 pounds was probably an anomaly. Oh well, perhaps if I were more disciplined about my exercise, there might be more movement on the scale, because my food diary leads me to believe I'm watching what I eat.

Our walk last night didn't materialize cuz Hubby Dearest had mountains of work he brought home to finish. We ate earlier than usual so he could get right to it. I'm hoping tonight we'll be able to at least take a short "spin" around the hood. The temps are going a bit lower the rest of the week, so evenings might be nippy. And before you say it, yes, I do have warm clothing I could wear. Technically, I have no excuses left since all of our snow melted, and the ice patches are no longer on the path. Gee, ya think procrastination might be some of my problem??

I almost forgot...Happy St. Pat's day!!! Since we're not going out for a celebration, I almost forgot today was St. Pat's. Of course, we never go out for St. Pat's cuz it's when all the amateurs are out and about. :) We'll be celebrating with turkey burgers, cole slaw and perhaps a tiny little Irish potato. Hubby Dearest does not care for cooked cabbage, but likes cole slaw. I could write a book about the foods that both Hubby Dearest and the Perfect Child do not like, but will eat in a different form. It's mind boggling. And after this past week, I can add cooked spinach to the list.

I am thinking that when I begin the Healthy Woman Challenge in earnest, my activity level will significantly increase. It did last year. That, and when golf season gets into full swing, I'll be out on the links walkin' and swingin'. Winters are always difficult for me because I don't get to play golf. I know, poor me. However, the problem has been somewhat taken care of now. The Perfect Child lives in Phoenix, just bought a house, and has room for her favorite golfing Midwesterners. We've taken advantage of that, and broke the winter up into tolerable segments. Funny how I always feel better after getting to play golf. Of course, this last trip also pointed out to me how dangerous researching ALL the Mexican restaurants in Phoenix can be. One cannot eat Mexican food for every meal and expect to feel light on one's feet. That "not so perky" feeling was what prompted the Perfect Child and I to start our blogs and begin thinking more seriously about the decisions we make concerning our health. Now, technically the Perfect Child doesn't really need to lose weight, she is more concerned with maintaining a healthy weight and making healthy food and lifestyle choices.

Ok, time to put my money where my keyboard is. I'm going to Lowe's for some drill bits to complete an art project. I am going to park at the farthest point I can find, walk fast, and try to pretend I'm exercising. Then this afternoon, I am gonna hop on that darned recumbant bike and wear off a pound. There, I've put it in writing, so now I'm obligated. Right? Right!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm gonna call it a success

My Mexican fiesta was a success, at least by my standards. I stuck to the planned meal, but might possibly added one small element to it...refried beans. Just a taste, tho', and I left the rice alone. So, with my unusually low standards, I was a caloric hero. "Not a total disaster" qualifies as a success in my estimation. Besides, when I did the original math, I didn't take into consideration a Blimpies for lunch, and even tho' I was very good and chose wisely, it did add a trifle to the daily count.

Hubby Dearest and I were going to walk it off yesterday afternoon, but I wimped out. I was really exhausted from not having a good night's sleep. I have restless leg syndrome and staying in a motel without my medicine (or so I thought) made for a restless night. Thus, at about 3:00 p.m. yesterday, I ran out of gas. Good intentions and the path to "you know where" I guess. I am hopeful that this evening we can get that walk in after dinner. although "Dancing with the Stars" and "24" are both on tonight. Perhaps before dinner would be a better option. Will that make me overeat? I wonder?

As you might be able to tell from this blog site, I have included the Healthy Woman Challenge as a link. I did this last year and found that posting my progress in my own chart was really helpful. The challenge is slightly different this year, but still requires some accountability. I found it fun to do, as I was on a team and we kinda competed internally as well. It's all a virtual contest, so nothing bad (or good) happens if you goof up. If nothing else, you might want to just take a look. We had 3 men on our team last year, so it isn't just for women. It is sponsored by the Dept. of Health & Human Services each year to encourage women to recognize the need for exercise and healthy choices. Heart health being a big emphasis.

Ok, so enough salesmanship. I'm planning dinners for the next few nights. I'm trying to be pro-active by getting my "rocks in a row" in advance. I'm not really good at this, but I'm giving it a whirl. I'm usually a last minute kind of gal, so planning is a totally new concept when it comes to meals. Well, I plan holiday meals, but that hardly counts. In order to accomplish this, I'm going to have to go to the grocery store. I'm finding that my Mon., Wed., Fri., fresh produce schedule might have some tweaking to be done. I might also have to detour into the middle of the store for a few items. I've really tried to do the perimeter shopping as much as possible, and for all intents and purposes, I've done very well, but today I delve into the "dark recesses" and try to make it fast and painless. I wonder if I walk really fast, and park far away from the entrance to the store, can I call it "taking a walk"? Hmmmmm, something to ponder.

Friday, March 13, 2009

No AHA! moment today

I'm sitting here at my keyboard waiting for inspiration to strike. I keep thinking I should have something worthwhile running around in my head. I mean, I've had my caffine (1 c per day-I can't quit it altogether), I've read the paper, I've watched "Good Morning America" and I am still at a bit of a loss. After seeing Diane Sawyer in Lapp land, I have to admit I'm glad I don't have to eat reindeer roasts, and jump naked into a frozen lake.

I did come to a startling revelation yesterday, however. "What might that be?" you ask. Well, upon actually reading the nutrition label on my popcorn box, I found that I was doubling the number of calories I was consuming by erring on the high side. BONUS!! That put me in a good mood for quite some time. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered this is was past my "consumption deadline", so I must wait until this afternoon to take advantage of my new found caloric bonus. Imagine that, actually UNDER calculating the number of calories. I think that just might be a first.

And, if anyone cares, Hubby Dearest knew there was spinach in the meatloaf and didn't care. Thought it was superfluous, but didn't complain. He said he just doesn't want to see a pile of green "goo" on his plate. Fair enough. I'll find ways to hide it, I can assure you.

I also spent time this morning plotting my Mexican "fiesta" tomorrow night. Not a planner by nature, this took some time and effort, but I've come up with a dinner I can live with very happily. No rice and beans, and no margarita, but I'll be just fine, I'm sure, and I know that not being weighed down with guilt will be a huge plus.

The weather here is warming a bit now, so that outdoor walking is looking very doable. To have a wonderful walking path right outside your back door and not be able to use it regularly, is kinda depressing. Why is it that walking out of doors always makes me feel like I've actually accomplished something? The treadmill, or "hamster wheel of death" as the Primary Child refers to it, just isn't the same. Of course, he is a runner, marathon man even, I am merely a walker.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ok, I admit it, I've been lurking around other health and fitness blogs searching for information, inspiration and yes, perhaps a new reader or two. Does this make me needy? I hope not. I do find it interesting that so many people have committed to the same philosophy as the "Perfect Child" and I have. I kinda thought maybe by March, the New Year's "resolvers" would be gone and on to some other thing. It's been nice to find others trying to do what we're doing, and really succeeding. Hence, the aforementioned inspiration.

Yesterday was a pretty darned good day. I had a reason to celebrate with good news relating to Hubby Dearest's job, but I refrained. I stuck to the plan and ate reasonably. However, my new recipe for the evening, met with a resounding "NEVER AGAIN" from Hubby Dearest. Cooked spinach is never to be laid out before him again. That was the only portion of the dinner he didn't like, so I guess I did ok. At least he didn't starve. Dare I mention that tonight's leftover meatloaf has spinach in it? Perhaps I'll keep that to myself.

Finally got in some cardio yesterday. Did the recumbent bike and then a few weights. Can't say that I was enthused, but I did get it done. Need to get back into it so I am ready for the golf season....if and when we get warm weather around here.

I waiver on my use of a food diary. One day I think I can figure the calories and keep them in my head, then the next day, I don't think I can. The past few days I've been diligent about writing things down, and I think perhaps for at least the near term, I need to continue with the food diary. It is just too, too easy to skip an item or two, especially if I think it might not be good for me. I assume (I think) that if I don't write it down, I can forget it, and the calories won't count. Don't see how that will work in the long run.

This weekend will offer me another challenge. We'll be eating out again. This time at a Mexican restaurant. I must plan carefully. I want to enjoy, but don't want to break the caloric bank, so to speak. I'll begin planning now, that should give me sufficient time. I love Mexican food, so I'm not willing to give it up, thus a plan must be formulated.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Have more "Sticktoitiveness" than I thought

I made it a full week!! I did both healthy eating AND blogging. Not bad for an old broad.

Naturally, everyone (all 2 of you) are waiting anxiously for the results of week one. Well, first let me tell you that my lunch yesterday was just dandy. I did not break the caloric bank, and managed to stay well under the calories that I had mentally given myself to play with. That being said, my week one results were......pretend that you are waiting with baited breath....... a whopping 7.5 pounds. I'm perfectly fine with that, too. I know what they say about the first week's weight loss. Mostly water, but ok, so I got rid of some water, can fat be far behind? I'm hopeful.

I never verbalized this before, but my biggest fear coming home from Phoenix this last time was that after having eaten Phoenix (yes, I mean the whole city), I was going to have to ask the flight attendant for a seat belt extension!! I did not, but not because I showed any self restraint while dining out in Phoenix. I ate like King Louis, if it got in my way, I mowed it down. Of course, that debauchery is what prompted this new "health kick". Good thing, too.

And now, a shout out to my beloved "Primary Child". Thanks to you I am now an international blogger!! One of your blog friends did, in fact, come to visit me here, and she is from England. For those of you wishing to join the Primary Child, his blog, Running off at the mind is also on blogspot.com. He is almost as funny and amusing as I am.

There is sunshine here in the hinterlands, so that is making me a bit perkier. The gloomy, overcast skies really drag me down. That is my excuse for not exercising this past day or two. Today is my weights day, so hopefully I'll stick with it more than 10 min.

And now, I am off to begin week two!! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ah Geez!!

Well, the pressure is on now!! The Primary Child mentioned this blog on his running blog "Running off at the Mind", so now just on the off chance someone from that blog drops by I must try to equal the witty, smart, and humorous repartèe that my son is so FAMOUS for. I feel the heat!! (And yes, he's always been like this.)

Also, today will be my first foray into the dining out realm again. My lunch group is going to a new place, and we will be trying out New Orleans inspired cuisine. At this particular moment, I am ready for the challenge. By 11:45, who knows? One participant in this group is a certified health coach and personal trainer, so perhaps "I'll have what she's having." That idea worked for Rob Reiner's mom in "When Harry met Sally". So I'm hoping she orders something I like.

Even tho' I waiver in my workout commitment, I am doing well in other aspects of this journey. I'm cooking healthier foods, and making Hubby Dearest eat weird veggies is a HUGE bonus. I'm using a food diary, which is a bit scary at times. Seems stupid to record a piece of 5 calorie gum, but I do it. I manage to just skirt around my maximum calories for a day, so now if I'd get my
big, fat arse down to the exercise equipment, maybe I'd really make some progress. Lately, it's been 15 min. of weights, then I'm off to do something else. I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to weights and cardio. However, I'm told that recognizing you have a problem is the first step to correcting said problem. Does admitting this first step leave me with only 11 more?

Tomorrow is my one week anniversary of this endeavor, so perhaps with renewed conviction I'll get back to exercise in some form or another. With warmer weather, I can get back on our walking path because I enjoy that.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Still workin' on it

I made another trip to the grocery store today, but was less successful at staying on the perimeter. Drats!! I did try tho'. Nothing really bad called to me from the inside aisles, I just missed seeing all my old friends. It was kinda like when I quit smoking a few years ago, I'd cruise by the cigarette aisles just to wink and say "howdy". And yes, as you might suspect ,some of the weight I'm trying to lose is the weight I put on after quitting the 'rettes.

It's been almost an entire week that we've been on this program. I wonder if I really do feel a bit better, or I'm just willing myself to feel better so I'll stick with it. Hmmmmm. I have lost some weight, so I guess that is a plus (or minus, depending on your point of view).

Both Hubby Dearest and I have really tried to maintain our focus this past week. Usually, I give up trying to figure out meals, and we get some sort of take out. Not this past week. I came up with meals every night, even after my "almost" Lenten faux paux. I've taken cookbooks out of mothballs and am actually enjoying the new stuff I'm finding. I had forgotten that I bought "The Biggest Loser" cookbook a year or two ago, and was delighted to find a few recipes in there that I'm going to try this week. I do love to cook, so perhaps with some new recipes in hand, and my new found commitment, we'll do even better as time rolls on.

I am also returning to my Mon., Wed., Fri., grocery store runs for fresh produce. I find that if I have new stuff to look forward to, I tend to be a bit more interested. I tried this in the past, and it worked well, especially until my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share deliveries begin in May.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Keepin' at it

Why is is that weekends seem to pose the most problems for dieters and problem nibblers? I am actually doing well today, but it is a struggle. I fixed Confetti Chili from the Ellie Krieger cookbook, and it is simmering right now. I smells great. Needless to say, I am ready to dig in right now, but dinner is 1 1/2 hrs. away. I have also determined that the 100 calorie snack packs were invented by the devil. Great idea gone sadly awry. When I want a sweet snack (or a Cheeto) the 100 calorie pack sounds like the perfect solution, doesn't it? Well, one pack just seems to whet my appetite for more. I resist the temptation, but feel deprived. Pepper strips and carrots just don't have the same appeal, unfortunately.

I remain hopeful that I'll be able to finish out the day without cheating. Perhaps going to bed at 7:30 will help. :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How Dumb Am I??

Well, I'm going to tell you. Yesterday after my trip around the perimeter of the grocery store, (you remember me bragging about this, I'm sure) I came home to get dinner ready. I marinated some wonderful looking (very lean) pork loin chops. Therein lies my BIG mistake. We are Catholic, so since yesterday was a Friday in Lent, we were not to be eating meat. This was pointed out to me several hours later when Hubby Dearest came home from work and asked "What's for dinner?". After answering "Pork Chops", he pointed out the error of my decision. He claims the look on my face said it all....I really goofed. So off to the freezer I went, grabbed some salmon, ran some warm water and thawed it out. I realize this method is most likely frowned upon by both the FDA and the CDC, but it worked!! We ate only 15 min. later than usual, and neither of us ended up having our stomachs pumped after eating improperly thawed salmon. Whew!! Dodged one there. The bright side to this little "problem" is that tonight we have some wonderfully marinated pork chops ready to go at a moment's notice. Sometimes you really CAN make lemonade out of lemons.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Jumpin' right in

Well, today I took the leap of faith. I emailed a few family and friends about this blog. I didn't include a lot of folks, just because I doubted they'd care or be supportive. "The Perfect Child" and I talked about this last night a little bit, so I decided the only way to get going with it was to bite the bullet (How many calories in a bullet? They're fat free, I assume.) and put this blog out there. Guess we'll see what happens.

Besides the leap of faith, I did what I've never really done before. I shopped the perimeter of the grocery store, with the exception of the frozen vegetables aisle. (Ok, so I did have to go buy paper towels, but I swear that was all.) I must say, it is true that all you really need is on the outer edges of the store. I also found that my grocery bill was substantially less. Good deal, I guess.

Hubby Dearest wants to join in on the "festivities" now, so this evening we will be taking a "post parandial" walk in the "hood". We live right on a wonderful walking path, so there is absolutely no excuse not to put it to use. Since the next week or so is supposed to return to cooler temps, we wanted to take advantage of what may be our last warm evening.

This will be the first weekend of our new "lifestyle" so I'm hoping to be successful in making good choices. I'll let you know.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I am pondering options today. Do I want to email friends and family with the information regarding this blog or not? Will some of these friends and family members think I am insulting them by insinuating that they, too, need to adjust their diets and excercise routines? Will they think I'm being critical of them? Might they even laugh at me for trying this "blogging thing" at my age? Do I want to keep this to myself and the "Primary Child" and "Perfect Child" only for while longer? Hmmmm. Ponder, ponder. Perhaps others will be encouraging, perhaps not. Ponder, ponder.

I am finding that the prospect of putting goals and accomplishments in written form does serve as a motivator for me. How long I'll feel this way remains to be seen. I suspect with some success I'll keep up the blogging, if only for myself. I would like to think that my interest in health and well being might be enough to keep me going. Lord knows after years of resolutions and even spurts of Lenten resolve, I need a boost of some sort.

I also find that being able to go outside and take a walk right now is a nice bonus. Gloomy winter weather doesn't really provide me with much inspiration, but this 50º stuff is pretty nice.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gotta Start Somewhere!!

I'm just trying to get a handle on this blogging thing the young 'uns are doing. After chatting with the "perfect child" over the weekend, we decided that blogging about our efforts to start and maintain a healthier lifestyle might keep us both on the right path. We came to this conclusion after eating and drinking Phoenix, AZ out of carbs and calories. It occurred to us that perhaps a more sensible approach to living might be in order. I am now back home in chilly Des Moines, and am feeling "the pinch" of having enjoyed myself way too much while in Phoenix. So in order to get myself back on track to healthier choices in both eating and exercise, I'm going to bore people (and myself) with a back to health blog. Eventually, I hope to invite others to join my efforts in health and general well being improvement, but for now I'm kinda winging it here in the bloggosphere.

Just to prove I'm serious, I am going back to my meal planning and I will also be recording that food which I put in my mouth. I am well aware that it may be a rude wake up call, but I'm kinda thinkin' that might be just what I need to jump start my new program. That, and the weather has taken a turn for the better here, so this afternoon I'm off for a walk around the "hood".

As I thought when I labeled this post, "Ya Gotta Start Somewhere", and this is my beginning.