Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 26: Letting Sebastapol Sink In

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
Energy and persistence conquor all things.
Benjamin Franklin
Inspirational Song
Summer Breeze
Seals & Crofts
Scenes from Sebastopol
Greeter at the front door






Also check out Hubby's poem Gray Sonoma Morning. It says it all beautifully.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 25: Pouting About the Pool on Vacation & Need Your Ideas

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

The fact is,
that to do anything in the world worth doing,
we must not stand back shivering
and thinking of the cold and danger,
but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.

Robert Cushing

Inspirational Song

Movin' On Sam Cooke (because I couldn't find Movin On by Gary Moore) and

Walkin By Myself Gary Moore (so you could hear some Gary Moore)


Wahh. . I Want to Swim. . .But I'm Movin' On

Thanks for all the support regarding my last blog but. . I don't know Miz. . . how can I feel better about not being able to do things if I don't change my size?

I'm putting my zoomer swim fins back in the suitcase so they aren't sitting by the front door to taunt me. And I'm moving away the folded colorful beach towels my friend left for us in the front room in the window seat. They are just bitter reminders of my plans to swim as much as possible here. I feel angry now looking down the slope to that damnably beautiful pool and annoyed with the in between lazy times now waiting for people to gather. I guess I need to do some mindful keening to get over it. So I can just move on. . .

I found today's inspirational quote in anticipation of swimming in the cold Sebastapol foggy mornings. SIGH.

Anxious Links to Home

While I've been here, I've had at least 3 anxiety dreams about work or my stupid weight.

One was about hubby insisting I go into office because he didn't think I'd set up my coverage properly. He dropped me off--we had to drive up an icy hill to get there, next to a woman on ice skates being pulled by a dog--and I was so early that I had to sit outside wearing a winter coat and gloves and hovering over a cup of coffee. I couldn't remember where I sat any more. . . of course it wasn't my real office or my real coworkers in the dream. . .but that's beside the point.

On the same night I had some dream about being stuck and unable to get through some really small doors. . .

Last night I dreamed that my favorite employee was really angry and mean and nasty to me, telling me what for before she quit. Argh.

I need to let my mind relax somehow.

Thinking About Exercise

And here I am in Sebastapol just thinking about exercise instead of doing it. We've done walking activities, like a lot of shopping. . . and that counts in Levine's world of Move a Little Lose a Lot but not much in the world of getting fit. . .

So I'm thinking about what I can do when I get home . . these are the options I've come up so far complete with the pros and cons. I'd appreciate your input. . .

Option 1: Do what I had planned to do before I left: get up and walk 2 mornings a week (with the dog), go swimming one morning in our subdivision pool (Hubby is the limiting factor because neither of us thinks I should go alone.), push push push myself to take a few walks at work in the afternoons, and walk some in the evenings, swimming one night, and swimming on the weekend mornings. This seems like it should be a good start, but is it pushing myself enough? (But then again to I expect strong arms in 2 weeks . . .?)

Option 2: Leave as soon as I get up and go to work and use the gym there to do weights and/or the treadmill, elliptical, or recumbent bike and then eat breakfast at my desk. Maybe see if my former trainer could fit me in. . . just don't know if I feel ready for training. . . The big down side of this is that it takes me away from home earlier and relieving Hubby from rambunctious Puppy Yeats in the AM.

Option 3: Leave as soon as I get up and go to the gym up the street from us to use the indoor pool there or the weights or cardio equipment. . . check on a different trainer maybe. . .I could either dress there and leave for work. . . or I could go back home to shower, dress, and eat there. This has the same issue with Hubby & Yeats.

Well, as I type this, the answer seems obviously #1. It's a good plan for the summer months left, starts with 2 types of exercise--walking & swimming. I can also add in weights at home and start gradually adding the gym. What do you think?

Part of the frustration is the lack of movement here in CA. We are visiting our granddaughter who is 2.5 and naps from about noon or 1 to at least 3. . . it really limits the day. At first, I didn't mind just hanging. . . enjoying the breezes. . .reading a bit. . .even snoozing. . . but now that the pool isn't an option I'm getting restless and pissed with myself for all the time sitting on my butt with this stupid computer on my lap. . .

The house here is beautiful, but it's just on a small gravel road that leads to a main road that isn't walkable. . . as I said before. . .I guess I just need to figure out how to let my mind relax. I have until we leave on Sunday for home. . .

And now to End with a Laugh. . . .Thinking about my Under-My-Desk Mini Exercise Bike


Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 24: Bottom Heavy Epicurean

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

"Red onions are especially divine.
I hold a slice up to the sunlight pouring in through the kitchen window,
and it glows like a fine piece of antique glass.
Cool watery--
white with layers delicately edged with imperial purple...
strong, humble, peaceful...
with that fiery nub of spring green in the center..."

~ Mary Hayes Grieco, from "The Kitchen Mystic"

Inspirational Song

Hot Cookin'
G Love

Food Stories
I have to admit I love food. I love eating it, of course; and I love selecting it; and thinking about cooking it (losing time looking at recipes); and cooking it; and watching others cook it; and looking at things to cook it with; or cut it with, or serve it in, or set it on; and trying new foods and new pairings of flavors; and talking about it.

Even focusing on eating healthfully and limiting the amount I consume, I am not trying to change my love of food. It's too much of my identity. I am just trying to focus my choices on healthy foods and healthy preparations.

Reading Cookbooks
So yesterday for instance, I sat overlooking my friend's garden and watching a family of quail scurrying through, guided by the male, and looking outward to the beautiful views of the hills beyond her olive trees. . . as I browsed through The California Cook--so many fresh and delicious looking desserts.




Watching People Cook
The first lunch we had here, we ate at this wonderful place called Boullette's Larder. It was what they refer to as a "working kitchen." I'm not sure, but it might have to do with the fact that there were huge stoves open right to the dining room so you could see them as they cooked. It was beautiful. Larder refers to the food store room.

And Boullette is both a French culinary term meaning "little meatball" and also the name of the dog that the owner was named for. . . and that sat right under Hubby's feet. We thought it was a folded up fluffy folded blanket. Instead it was Boullette, a Hungarian Sheep Dog. Just like in the picture, I couldn't tell which direction her head was.

That night, I sat at the bar in the kitchen of my stepson J and watched him put together paella. He has this big square/diamond? shaped cast iron skillet on his stove top that he keeps perfectly seasoned. He used it to brown the chicken legs & thighs. Then I watched him mix short grain (apparently this is key) brown rice with saffron and the canned tomatoes he put up himself from his last year's garden (the freshest smell ever) and some of his own homegrown frozen peppers (like a poblano, but he called it something else--pasilla). He chopped up half of a Spanish chorizo (not a soft chorizo he tells me, which is fattier. This one was very lean and yummy--110 calories per serving). He added some little neck clams. He covered the dish and took it out on a wood burning grill--apple wood--to finish off--tossing on some green beans (home grown of course) and fresh calamari at the end (so it wouldn't get tough). He and I "fought" to scrape the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Taste Testing Lavender Ice Cream
The subhead says it all. . .we went to an ice cream store and I had a taste of the lavender ice cream because, hey, I've never had lavender ice cream. It was good--tasted like lavender--but I didn't get it. I got a small cone of raspberry & lemon sorbet. You gotta love health and world conscious Californians. Not only did they give me a real metal spoon for my taste (no disposable plastics to clog the landfills), but they weigh each cone. . . so she scooped me a small bit of each. . really looked like my typical half cup. Lovely.

I could go on. . . and I will. . in other posts. . .

But first. . . something not so fun. . .

Bottom Heavy Stories
My dreams of swimming every day, multiple times a day have completely sunk. And it's all because of my big bottom.

I have never, ever been able to hoist myself up out of a pool. You know, how you put your hands on the side, and push up and swing your bottom left or right to get out? Or some people--like J--push up with their hands and set one foot flat on the side and stand. That is not going to happen for me.

Bottom Heavy at 10
Even as a kid when we spent summer's at the pool, I remember my friend trying to help me learn to haul myself up. It would upset me when the lifeguard would be blowing his whistle and hurrying us to get out for the pool checks and I'd have to scurry to the nearest ladder because I couldn't get up. My friend would be upset that I was upset, so she'd spend the whole next span of time until the NEXT time the whistle blew working tirelessly with me on some kind of way that I would successful get my butt up and out of the side. No success ever that I recall.

So, imagine my dismay when we got here to my friend's house with her lovely lovely pool with the stunningly beautiful views to realize there was no ladder or steps. She and her fit and taller-than-us family don't have any need for it.

Hubby has shrunk from his reported 5'6" to about 5'3 and a bit. I am 5'4 plus I have this bottom heavy issue.

So I suggested he get in first to see how it would be getting out.

He couldn't get out. He pushed and huffed and threw a toe over the side. He tried floating on a noodle, then 2, then 3, then 4. He walked the full perimeter trying each side. It wasn't happening. Despite my heft, trying to pull him up seemed unwise. . .

So finally, I got a plastic Adirondack chair from the lawn and set it in the pool . . . crossing my fingers that it wouldn't rip the lining. . . he had to stand on the ARM, not just the seat, to get out. This did not look promising for me.

Bottom Heavy at 46
And, hell, who are we kidding? I could barely get my fat ass down to the edge of the pool. . . hefting myself down and up is not an easy trick, nor pleasant to witness, or experience.. . or admit . . . or think about. . .

So I am afraid to get in and frustrated and sad. . . and feeling a bit like Scarlett, "As God as my witness I'll never" . . . let this happen again. I clearly haven't been exercising enough to recover some amount of shape. Hauling myself up from the barn through the olive trees, I lag woefully far behind and have to stop to breathe and try to nonchalantly rest again before climbing the porch stairs.

And Hubby said to me immediately, as soon as he was freed from the pool . . . don't get depressed about not being able to swim. . .But who wouldn't feel bad?

Day 23: The Game of Whip

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
The Tail of the Whip

My Vacation is not a puckish leader
in a game of crack the whip
Who purposely flings me
Into a pileup of fried foods and
Bloated ice cream cones,
Flailing into vats of pasta and
Barrels of iridescent wines.
No.
My Vacation is guided by an Ariel spirit,
Who leads the game of whip
With a mind set on freedom.
She steers me toward an array of tomatoes,
Sweet warmed blackberries from the bush, and
Salmons filleted and heavy with cedar smoke.
She flings me into ambling walks and
Tunes my ears to hums and laughter.

by Sandy aka 45andaspiring

Inspirational Song
Ocean One

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 22: Dancing Before Breakfast

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
The aim of life is to live
and to live means
to be aware --
joyously,
drunkenly,
serenely,
divinely
aware.
- Henry Miller
Inspirational Song
In the Summertime
Mungo Jerry

Vacation Is More than Eating
Hubby and I have really needed a vacation. Tension and busyness and other life issues haven't seemed to leave us since he had prostate cancer surgery in Dec. 2006, and then I lost my job in Feb. 2007, and then I moved to Atlanta ahead of him in July 2007 for a new job (staying with my mother--go ahead read into how loaded of a statement that is. . . good and bad. . . you won't be wrong) until we moved into our house at the end of Sept. 2007.

Then my dad had quintuple bypass in March 2008, and I broke my wrist in May 2008, and my cousin found out he had testicular cancer that summer, and he had a major stroke, leaving him unable to speak and my aunt & uncle were in a terrible multi-roll over car accident on their way to visit my dad over Labor Day--and my aunt was killed. And my cousin had his second stroke. . . undoing any progress he made and leading to loss of his radio career.

Then on the good side. . .I think. . . we got a puppy in Jan of this year. You can also correctly read into the joys and frustrations of that one. . .

So anyway, it's been hard to connect and relax and appreciate life and each other, from what seems like started with the surgery and all the fears and changes and anxieties you would think a cancer diagnosis would bring.

But this morning, I came to the computer at my friend's house where we are staying (without her) and I said I couldn't figure out how to get the sound to come on from her computer speakers. . . and I couldn't hear my inspirational songs from my site. Oh well. . .

And in the connecting room, where hubby was working on his blog. . .I hear music start up, and the volume being slowly increased. . . and it was San Francisco--my inspirational song from yesterday.

So I stood up, sashayed to the kitchen table, asked hubby to stand up, and we danced. We danced and twirled and kissed through the whole song.

And it was good.

Eating the Blackberries Before They Are Gone
So I will end this post now to go eat the sweetest--especially for small ones--blackberries I have ever tasted that Hubby pulled from the vine along the fence of this property as I sat here looking for inspirational quotes and writing.

And if I'm lucky, we will kiss with the mingled breath of blackberries before breakfast is over.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 21: San Francisco

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
Kn*ck Kn*ck.
Who's there?
Werewolf.
Werewolf who?
We're wolfing down dinner over here.
from Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit's post
More Knock Knock Jokes
Inspirational Song
San Francisco
Hello Seferide

Today In Review (and yesterday Day 20--a post in the ether)
We've made it to San Francisco! And I can't even believe I'm up blogging--based on our clocks it's almost 1:30 in the morning. We've been up since 4:15, though I did sleep quite a bit on the plane.

I have gone over my calorie counts yesterday and today. Not so great considering when PhD and I discussed my goals for the vaca, I said 3 days I'd allow myself to go over. It's only our first day here.

Yesterday I let myself get stressed out at dinner. We ordered out and I ordered OK. . .the "spa" shrimp & vegetables, which has sauce only on the side with brown rice. But it was pretty bland. . . my mistake was being lured by the siren of the squid. . .ordering the calamari. But really, you know, I was still OK then. It was after dinner when I felt stressed about packing and throwing out good food since were going to be gone that I made myself a smoothie with yogurt and ended up adding Ovaltine to it. . . that's what put me over (I want to keep it in perspective--my Sparkpoints range is 1320-1670 calories a day)--yesterday I had 1895.

Today the travel day I had some good and bad choices. I made great choices at breakfast--ate only half the scrambled eggs and asked to skip the potatoes. I bought and apple and some fig newtons for the plane. . .but I did eat the free Biscoff cookies (I love those cookies). Then at lunch (which we ate at 2:30 our time), I was famished. I ended up ordering fried rabbit. . . but still I was Ok. . .could have made it for dinner if I 'd really, really tried. But I didn't. We met friends and I had 2 glasses of Chianti, I followed my friend eating the bread with pesto (even though frankly I didn't really want it), and I ordered this pasta dish with seafood that was covered in a pizza dough. Based on my best guesses, my total for today was 2343.

We did a lot of walking though. . . but unlikely 800 calories worth. . .

This may be a bit trickier than I thought. . . but I am going to keep tracking. And once we get to the house and can buy a few things. . . and start eating out of my step son's garden it should be easier.

Part of me says, jesus Sandy you've been fat forever why not just forget it on vaca--it's one week. But the problem with that kind of thinking is that it's too hard to get back in focus when you lose focus. I may not be perfect, but I want to be conscious.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 19: My First Painting

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

Consult not your fears,
but your hopes and dreams.
Think not about your frustrations,
but about your unfulfilled potential.
Concern yourself not with what you
have tried and failed in,
but with what it is still
possible for you to do.

Pope John XXIII


Inspirational Song
We're Gonna Make It
Taj Mahal



Painting: Remembering My Day with Karen on Wells Beach
This is my first ever painting except for paint by number and water painting--I don't mean water color--I mean those books like coloring books where you paint water over the picture's little dots and it turns color!

I am OK with it. I don't like the clouds (that big blob of darkness at the top and especially the left that looks like a big mistake--those are clouds!), but some parts of it I am quite pleased with.

I'd try it again.

Hubby won't let me show you his because he has higher expectations of himself. But his looks quite different from mine but really good.

Now if you say, "But Sandy this doesn't look at all like the picture below," I'd have to agree. First of all, she switched them up on us a bit and it wasn't quite the same painting as below. And second, hey, she encouraged us to put our own creativity into it.

The scene reminds me of a place in Maine that I spent with friend where the tidal river crossed the beach like this and ran into the ocean. There were no mountains. . .

Ready for Vaca
I am tired and cranky and ready for vacation with too much to do to get ready for it.

Today's Quirky Behavior
Today while I waited for my coffee to brew in the kitchen at work (alone), I did a set of knee raises. Waiting for my next cup, I did a set of squats. I'm starting to be a quirky old lady even when I am not wearing hot pink sneakers with neon yellow laces!

And I think that's OK. . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 18: And Now for Something Completely Different

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them.

- Lucy Maud Montgomery

Inspirational Song

California Sun

The Ramones
As suggested by my friend Christine

50-50 On the Exercise Commitment
I got up and walked Yeats, without hubby, using the gentle leader. It went well. But I did not get away from work for the 2nd walk I had committed to. I kept meaning to, but things kept coming up . . . I felt disappointed about it. I would have tried to make up for it tonight. . . but instead this evening we were doing something completely different. . .


Sandy Paints a Picture (Not This One)
When looking for something to do in Atlanta on the 4th of July, I found this one night class for people who have never painted before to be taught how to paint a specific picture. This is more or less the picture we were to paint. Tomorrow I'll show you what mine looked like. . .

It was fun and definitely not the usual way we spend a Tuesday night.
And compared to where a I was a couple of months ago--even a month ago--with my depression I think this is a really positive move. And it almost makes up for missing the walk.

The Next Completely Different Thing
The next oh so different from usual thing is going to Santa Rosa for vacation next week. I am really looking forward to it, and so need a break. We really haven't had a vacation since last summer when we went to CA. I hope my anticipation of it isn't like looking into a pastry window where everything looks good but most of the pleasure comes from deciding which one you want, and so many times--too many times--it's not nearly as good or as satisfying as just contemplating, anticipating, and thinking about.

But to think that way about my vacation is a pretty dark thought for someone who was just talking about being less depressed. . . so maybe I just need to get to sleep.

Already Bummed About Tomorrow
And before I even go to bed I know that my exercise commitments for tomorrow aren't going to happen. Hubby has too much work to do & prep for vaca to feel comfortable going to the pool tomorrow AM and neither of us thinks it's wise for me to go alone. And if he feels too busy tomorrow morning, the chance of having time tomorrow evening to the trail seems very unlikely.

Plus, I need to look up some health info for a friend and I'm not sure I can do it before tomorrow evening.

Perhaps I overcommitted knowing that we'd be on a short week and trying to prep for vacation. But that doesn't mean I can't walk. . . or can't anticipate that I can get up and swim in CA in the mornings on as many days as I can. And thinking about that feels really good.
(Oh one more thing. . . a good one. . . I packed my dinner to take to work to eat before the class. I'm amazing.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 17: Keeping Commitments

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
"You don't have to be great to start,
but you have to start to be great."
Zig Ziglar
Inspirational Song
I Go Walking After Midnight
Patsy Cline


She Did It!
I looked for the song She Did It by Eric Carmen but couldn't find it. But I did it. I stuck with my commitment to walk at work and this evening. I didn't like it much, but I did it. Well, I liked that I did it in the long run. . .

Committed Walk #1 at Work: But at work it was very challenging to get away in the afternoon because I have daily deadlines and by the time I finished the first one, it was time for several meetings. Fortunately, I was able to move one so between 2 others I went outside. It wasn't until 4:10, but I went. I didn't even change my shoes. It was nice to get outside and a woman leaving the parking garage who was waiting to let me cross called out to me through the window that she liked my jacket and asked where I got it . . . so that was a bonus! I walked 20 minutes which was the only time I had available.

Committed Walk #2 Tonight: This evening I got home around 7:45. I was tired. Monday is sushi night--take out. We finished eating about 8:30 & wrestled with Puppy Yeats to get her head directing collar on her (I don't know it's official name) but went out together to walk. We kept a pretty good pace, and I had to stop twice to breathe deep. So I wasn't loving it. But we did it. We walked 20 minutes--just down the hill and back up. . . but it's a start and I stuck to my commitments.

I feel proud. What did you do today to feel proud?

It's 10PM and hubby is reminding me it's time for bed. But I feel keyed up, like I practically just got home and even Yeats is not doing her usual lying about. But hubby won't let up; he wants me to stick to succeed--and stick to my commitment to get up in the AM and wrestle Yeats into the collar to do it all again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 16: Frogs, Flowers, & Goat Cheese



TODAY'S INSPIRATION

"You yourself,
as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love & affection."


Buddha


Inspirational Song

Dona Nobis Pachem


Today we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful and a good walk. I saw lovely lilys and some nice frogs and turtles. I love frogs and turtles.

We also ate out twice and I was really happy with my choices. I had an eggbeater omelet for breakfast with spinach, red pepper, mushrooms, & goat cheese--with good ol' southern grits, of course! I love my grits.

For lunch I had a nice salad with grilled eggplant and a lovely lemon viniagrette dressing with a piece of grilled tuna steak.

I grilled chicken breasts tonight after my cereal dinner, to have for lunches. I made my own version of a ramen noodle broccoli slaw that I hope will be good. I'll let you know tomorrow.

Gotta finish cleaning up the kitchen and get ready for bed. . . 9:30 and I promised myself I'd ben in bed between 10 and 11.











Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 15: Pink Shoes & Commitments

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs,
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that. Because
what the world needs
is people who have come alive."

Howard Washington Thurman
Inspirational Song

One Love

Bob Marley




Pink Shoes
Today I bought new tennis shoes. That's what I call them, though I've never played tennis. They are hot pink. I'm considering them "fun" instead of odd. That was the only color they came in and they felt great--Ecco's Biom line. And yes, those are bright yellow laces.

I may be turning into one of those Kooky 45+ year old women. . .

Weighing In
This was also my weigh day. I lost 1.6 pounds this week. And that makes me ready to make some commitments. I'm scared about it, because I don't really trust myself. . . but I know what I need to do to help myself follow through. So here is the plan. . .

The Commitments
First and foremost, I need to make sure I get to bed between 10 and 10:30--on the earlier side the better. If I get to bed after then, then it's really hard to want to get up and go at 6 for me.

Next, I am planning out some exercises for the week (Jack, how many times did you have to say it?) I'm not going to be wimpy about my commitments:

Monday: Walk at work (somewhere between 2 and 4) and walk in the evening before The Closer comes on or while watching The Closer. I'll walk at least 20 minutes both times.

Tuesday: Walk in the morning with the dog and walk at work (between 2 and 4). I'll walk at least 20 minutes both times.

Wednesday: Go to the pool in the morning. Go to the Silver Comet Trail with the dog after dinner.

Thursday: Same as Tuesday.

Friday we're traveling to CA. I'm sure we'll be walking around San Fran that afternoon & evening. I bet my pink tennis shoes won't stand out too much there. . .

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 14: Full Bodied



TODAY'S INSPIRATION

"Accept everything about yourself,
I mean everything.
You are you and that is
the beginning and the end,
no apologies, no regrets."

Clark Moustakas

Inspirational Song

Big Legged Women Are Back in Style

Taj Mahal
full-bod·ied adj.
1. Having richness and intensity of flavor or aroma: a full-bodied wine.
2. Rich and intense: a full-bodied performance of the aria.

Main Entry:
full-bodied
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: robust
Synonyms: concentrated, fruity, full-flavored, heady, heavy, lusty, mellow, potent, redolent, rich, strong, well-matured
Antonyms: weak




Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 13: When Yogurt Beats a Baby Ruth

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
The secret of happiness
is not in doing what one likes to do,
but in liking what one has to do.
-James Barrie

Inspirational Song
Mony, Mony
Billy Idol


Learnings from Yesterday

Today before I took a miniature Baby Ruth from the candy jar in the office as I did yesterday (47 calories), I remembered I had blackberry yogurt and fresh blackberries. The good tastes last much longer in more than one way. . .

And hubby and I worked on dinner together. . .and it was nice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 12: Kitchens, Psychologists, & Starbucks

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
"It seems to me that our three basic needs,
for food and security and love, are so
mixed and mingled and entwined that
we cannot straightly
think of one without the others.
So it happens that when I write of hunger,
I am really writing about love and the hunger for it,
and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it…
and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of
hunger satisfied…
and it is all one."
~ M.F.K. Fisher, from The Art of Eating

Inspirational Song
Come On In My Kitchen
Eric Clapton



In Atlanta there is a local community radio station, WRFG, that plays the Blues every morning. The DJs are all volunteers--a very country sounding husband and wife team on Mondays who sound like they might be putting on the show from their own den; she reads off the blues happenings for the week with the same kind of dialect as Flo reading the menu at Mel's diner. On Tuesday's--by far my favorite day for listening, and really the only day I listen to--there is AJ and Belle her Blue's kitty who often meows into the microphone. She starts each new session with one of her many versions of Come On In My Kitchen. I love it. Hearing it makes me think of a warm and cozy place where there is always hot coffee and someone to sit down to drink it with you as they look into your eyes and smile.

Come On Into My Therapy Session
This afternoon was my day with PhD2. We talked a bit about my feeling a bit cranky and irritable about the food plan and uncertain about how hard or easy to be on myself (and more importantly what I "say" to myself) about my lack of consistent exercise, and about Starbucks and drinking coffee.

All of the therapeutic discoveries aren't completely clear. And sometimes therapy sessions are like when I was taking piano lessons. . . it all seems perfectly clear in the moment when the expert is talking or showing you chords . . . but once you are by yourself and trying to recreate it, you realize it hasn't sunk in enough for you to explain it with your own words. . . thus, the need for practice, I suppose.

One good thing was, though, that in therapy, where all the conversation is so blissfully and calmly focused on me, there is time to think and be directed to think about what might have made me feel cranky. . .what was the trigger. Generally, it was not so riveting. . . stress, irritation. But what caused the stress and irritation?

Eating Triggers & Stress Triggers

Two important answers: First, I realized I get stressed and want to toss the plan if I have planned meals that require hubby to start them for us to eat within a reasonable hour and if he is working so that he can't start them. Having to punt for dinner when you're hungry is not a soothing thing when you're trying to track what you eat. Note to self: plan meals that I can be responsible for myself in a timely way if necessary. (Save the roasted chicken for the weekend or to cook AFTER dinner for a next day meal).

Next, I was feeling some stress about the lack of focused exercise as I mentioned in last night's post. This is important because if I beat myself up, it could throw me off in many ways. I can be very crippling to myself with my nasty inner voices.

PhD2 suggested that I tell myself how great it is that I am purposefully adding in new movement and activity--walking up the escalators, doing laundry before leaving for work, doing the mini bike at work, checking out the pool, checking out the new dog collar to make walking the dog more palatable, and to keep adding in new things and challenging myself in a positive way, allowing myself some room that I am a returning fledgling in this. I think to keep doing what I have been with the goal of continuing to add movement and structure seems like a reasonable plan. And I think planning a few movement things and following through on my plans also seems like a good idea (versus waiting for the spirit to hit me).

What's Really Inside the Cup?

The Starbucks thing is a bit more of a puzzler to me. Until July 4--my day of reckoning--I went to Starbucks at least 2 times a day. My drink of choice is a grande Americano, which is a medium espresso (3 or 4 shots) with hot water added. I add skim milk and cinnamon, so it's not a high calorie drink. But as I started calorie counting and taking charge of my eating, I started weaning off the Starbucks' runs. I can't explain why too much. I could brush it off as due to their increased rates. But that's not it; I waste lots of money.

As I tried to explain it to PhD2, 2 odd things came up. One: the people at Starbuck's are probably the most friendly people to me all day. Everyone there knows my name, knows my drink. And something about that feels kind of pathetic to me. Even though most of the most friendly people in my life (and for the last several years) are ones I PAY to be around me--my dog trainer who I spent all of Sat. chatting with over my kitchen table after our session with Yeats, my PhD, my former trainer. In Boston, it was my trainer, my PhD, and my physical therapist. I am not sure what this is all about. . . I think it's more of a lack of opportunity than that I'm unlikeable. . . but I still find it sad and odd.

Two: I did stop at Starbucks on my way to PhD's today. And it struck me that carrying it into my session with me was kind of like carrying around a baby bottle or security blanket. Somehow it soothes me. It seemed like something that as I'm working on my issues with food that I should rely on less.

I'm still drinking coffee--the free stuff in the office--about 2 or 3 cups a day typically. And I've started taking to drinking herbal tea at night (steeping it myself is key, go figure), which I'm aware is a soothing ritual as well as a signal to me that eating is over. Plus something about steeping the tea feels elegant.

I guess my PhD is worth the money, huh? I certainly can't figure myself out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 11: Raspberry Sherbet & Chocolate Chips

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
The happiest life is that
which constantly exercises
and educates
what is best in us.
Inspirational Song
The Eagle and the Hawk
John Denver


The Done and the Undone of the Day
I ended the day with a 1/2 cup of fat free raspberry sherbet and a 1/2 tablespoon of mini semisweet chocolate chips. Delicious!

Before that I talked for more than an hour with an old friend. Wondrous how you can talk to someone like you just talked yesterday, when it's really been years in between.

I felt irritated with having to follow a food plan today, but I did it. And I stayed within my calorie count, even though I had visions of going to a pizza joint sitting outside with a nice pizza and some beer. I seldom drink beer, but the thought taunted me.

I am disappointed with my lack of structured, consistent exercise. I've had some successes--walked the dog last night after my post, walked on the treadmill for part of the time while I watched the 650 lb loser. . . the mini exercise bike. But I'm not walking in the morning when I get up with the dog and not consistently doing anything. And I feel torn because I don't want to dwell too much on what I'm "not" doing for fear it will set me off in a downward negative spiral and negate what I am doing. . . still. . .I want to do more. I know once that damn burn stops in the those fatty paunches on my thighs, it will feel good.

I like being nutritiously self righteous--paying big bucks for decadent fresh raspberries and blackberries. There has to be a place in my future for being physically self righteous. And only I can start it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 10: Living With My Arms Stretched Out

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
"Every time you smile at someone,
it is an action of love,
a gift to that person,
a beautiful thing."
Mother Teresa
Viewed on September Mom, My Voice My View

Inspirational Song
Bright as Yellow by
The Innocent Mission
(recommended and introduced to me by my friend TLC)

My Heretical Beliefs

I am not a traditional believer. One of the biggest things I have trouble with is how many people use their religious beliefs to alienate themselves from others. It seems to me that at the core of so many faiths, the message is to connect with others, to love others, to love generously. And that is something I can latch onto.

For me, tapping into "God" is tapping into the best parts of myself. The potentials of my body, my brain, my intellect, my spirit. . . and when I tap into those best parts of myself, it helps me relate to, appreciate, and be compassionate with others. And when I connect deeply with others, we become larger than ourselves and our potential becomes exponential. . . and to me that is god-like power.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 9: Color Wheel of Foods

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

I’m getting a tattoo that says
“Desire is the key to motivation,
but it's determination and commitment to
an unrelenting pursuit of your goal
- a commitment to excellence -
that will enable you to
attain the success you seek”
on my ring finger.
Jack, blogger of Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit from his post How Committed Am I?
I mean anyone who even contemplates freakishly stretching his finger long enough to hold all the words for that commitment mantra deserves a proper shout out!

Inspirational Song
Oh Happy Day
Arethra Franklin

The Day in Retrospect
It has not been my most energetic day. . .too much Internet time. But I did have a good long chat with my dad. I got the grocery shopping done. And I splurged on breakfast with peanut butter & jelly toast and on dinner with a BLT and bowl of cereal, but stayed in my calorie range.

It's been kind of interesting so far comparing counting calories with Weight Watchers Points. There were so many point-free foods--like veggies and fat free mayo and such that I it's odd to have to consider them now. And who knew carrots had 50 calories for a serving. Yeesh! Plus, the fiber helped balance out some higher calorie things--like black beans--that you don't get the benefit of with just counting calories. I think the calorie thing is making me much more aware of every single bite and it's displacement in my day's allotments.

Look at this pie chart from my Spark page today. . . I'm not sure what a healthy wheel should really look like, but this one sure was colorful. . .


Each color represents a food I ate today and it's percentage of my total calories. the largest one--the orange represented my two pieces of breakfast toast. Then each color to the right of it, going clockwise represent these other foods that went into my belly today (not in this order):


Bread, Whole Grain 100% whole wheat Pepperidge Farm 13.5%
Cereal Honey Bunches of Oats Strawberry 8.1%
Manischewitz Tam Tam Crackers Whole Grain 8.1%
sandwich thins multi grain Arnold 6.8%
Honey Almond Yogurt, Fat Free Light, Publix 6.8%
Peter Pan Peanut Butter 6.4%
Milk, nonfat 5.8%
Milk, nonfat 5.8%
Bacon, 40% less fat Gwaltney, 3 slices=srvg 5.4%
Guacamole- Yucatan 95% Avocado Guacamole 4.1%
Beans, black 3.9%
Jams, preserves, jelly 3.8%
Spaghetti Squash 2.8%
Almonds 2.8%
Olive Oil 2.7%
Hot dog, fat free oscar meyer 2.7%
Zucchini 2%
Fat free half and half 1.8%
Milk, nonfat 1.8%
Spinach, cooked 1.4%
Peppers, sweet, red, fresh 1.4%
Ranch Dressing, Wish Bone, Fat Free 1%
Mushrooms, fresh 0.5%
Other 0.7%

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 8: Zoomin,' Playin,' & Weighin'

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

Every day
do something
that will inch you closer to
a better tomorrow.

Doug Firebaugh

Inspirational Song

Stand

Rascal Flatts



Zoomers Out of the Trunk
I've been carrying my Zoomers--smaller swim fins--in the trunk of my car for a long time. This morning I released them. Hubby & I went to our neighborhood pool ~7:45 and swam and tread and crab walked around the pool for 1/2 hour. We had it all to ourselves. It was glorious. We haven't taken advantage of the pool we pay homeowner's association fees for in the almost 2 years we've lived here. Today we did. I can't wait to go again.

Making Myself Bigger--WHAT??
Today I also had a session just for me and Puppy Yeats with Wendy, the owner of Pups In Progress. (We got a brief walk in with a new head leading leash that Wendy has had a change of heart about me using.)

Our Golden Doodle Yeats behaves Hubby beautifully. Me, not so much. He works from home and is with her more. Plus, I'm not very consistent . . . .

Today Wendy's message was to me that I had to claim more of my space and act bigger than I am. . .moving into Yeat's space to show her I'm the alpha dog. Oh, the irony. . . ! Here I am trying to be LESS big . .. C'est la vie! :)


First Weigh In
This morning was also my first weigh in since I started counting calories on July 4. I lost 6.4 pounds. Yay! Very, very satisfied with that!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 7: LIttle Wheel Keep on Turning

TODAY'S INSPIRATION

If I am not for myself,
then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself,
then what am I?
And if not now, when?

Rabbi Hillel

Inspirational Song
Proud Mary
Ike & Tina Turner



The Bike Is at Work

I brought my mini exercise bike to work today. Just getting it upstairs and situated under my desk started the calorie burn! It's a tad awkward, which I hope will cease. So far I kind of have to grip my keyboard tray to stay steady, and I have to have it in more of a position like a recumbent bike (which, frankly, I probably prefer) or my knees hit the keyboard try even with it as elevated as far as it can be. I feel it in my leg muscles, not aerobically. But no one has noticed it at all unless I've pointed it out to them.

Today, just sort of doing it when I was on the phone (harder to do when keyboarding), I snuck in 40 minutes, 6 miles, and burned 225 calories. I don't think that's bad for the first day. I'm heartened.

Cookie Triumph
Colleagues delivered my team Chunky Milk Chocolate cookies to thank us for our work on a project. Getting Thanks is Nice. I saved the red ribbon around the 2 boxes of cookies that had Thank You printed in gold on it.

The cookie box, however, I put on a colleague's desk! I did eat one. . . 140 calories worth. And I walked them all around offering them to others.

There was a little card that came on the top of the box that just had a little company logo and in big print CHUNKY MILK CHOCOLATE. I kept seeing it next to my keyboard. I swear it was like a siren calling my name. I had to throw it away!

Because You Asked. . . Spaghetti Squash


This is how it looks in the store. We just bake it in the oven whole. You can cut it first, but it's hard to cut.

Bake about 40 minutes or so until it gives to your touch or even has a light scorch mark on the bottom.

Once it's baked, slice it length wise. The seeds will be in the center. Use a spoon to gently scoop them out so they don't mix in with the squash.

Then use a big spoon to scoop the strands out squash out of the shell.

I've had it with marinara on the top mostly--just like spaghetti. The first 2 times I ate it, I thought it was mushy and didn't like it much. It has a very mild flavor. But now I really like it. I think of though more of its own think that I like--not necessarily as a pasta "substitute." If I want pasta, I eat pasta. Usually whole wheat, but sometimes not.





Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 6: Rocking Steady

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
Don't think about what
you can't eat;
think about
how you want to feel--
confident,
in control,
positive, and
like a winner.
--Me


Inspirational Song
Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin

TODAY IN REVIEW
Tonight I made a dinner modeled after one I had in a restaurant recently. It was really delicious! We baked spaghetti squash, scooped it out into a strip across the center of the plate, covered it with fresh spinach sauteed in a little olive oil with shallot, garlic, a few pine nuts, topped it with sauteed shrimp, and topped that with a bit of Parmesan. Before I had a similar dish at the restaurant, I had only eaten spaghetti squash with some kind of tomato on it. This was really tasty! And since Hubby baked the squash and peeled the shrimp for me, my part went really quickly!

At work this PM, they had a cocktail party--the second one in the last 2 months, so I think they are becoming a trend. They had beer, wine, wine coolers, and tortilla chips with various toppings--guacamole, salsa, sour cream, black beans, warmed cheese sauce. I was really busy so thankfully didn't have time to linger. But I was also hungry. Here's what I did-- are you ready??


I took the smallest of the 2 plate options. Scooped out a spoonful of black beans and topped it with salsa. Felt like one big glow of nutrition self-righteousness! Woo-hoo. Go, Sandy! Go, Sandy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 5: Think You Can

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
Whether you think you can or
whether you think you can't, you're right.
Henry Ford
Inspirational Song
You Gotta Be
Des'ree
What I Did Today to Feel Proud
  • I planned ahead for a dinner that would work with the higher calorie lunch I had. And it was delicious: mahi mahi with a crushed pineapple salsa, with cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers in vinegar with broccoli rabe (my first time cooking it--turn out yummy!).

  • Even though my lunch was high calorie, I made good choices. I ordered the special--grilled grouper with pasta, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, with a pesto sauce. I asked for pesto sauce on the side and barely used any. And I ordered a side of grilled asparagus so I would be less likely to eat all the pasta. I left most of the pasta and I barely used any pesto. Still it was a dinner-size lunch and it had a lot of oil on it. Next time, I could ask for it with extra veggies, no pasta or at least ask them not to add extra oil. But I was proud of myself for my choices!

  • I took a walk this evening while I talked on my bluetooth to my friend. Woohoo. . .an old habit rekindled.

  • I know these kind of food records may seem boring and mundane, but they are the kind of little choices that really make a difference toward success! It took me a while to figure out how to make these choices before and when I stop doing them they feel like a mystery, so they seem worth recording and sharing.

  • I was telling PhD today that one of the new tools to stay on track that I use is to ask myself, "What would the old Sandy do?" I've done this weight loss thing before--and I did it well. I felt like a winner. I can do it again--am doing it again--because I think I can.
(The mini exercise bike was good. I only did it for 15 minutes to make sure I didn't get sore. And I did it leisurely as I watched TV. . . burning more calories that I normally would as a TV couch potato for sure! I am going to take it into work--maybe this weekend. And Big Mummy--it's just like it sounds a small pedals only bike--follow the link above to see it.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 4: Keeping On

Today's Inspiration
You are amazing grace --
you are a precious jewel.
You --
special miraculous unrepeatable
fragile fearful tender
lost sparkling ruby emerald jewel
rainbow splendor person
Joan Baez
Inspirational Song
Phenomenal Woman
Ruthie Foster
Today
I ate within my calorie range.
My new mini exercise bike arrived.
I'm going to go check it out.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 3: Patting My Back Instead of Beating Myself Up

TODAY's INSPIRATION
Kn*ck Kn*ck
Who's there?
Dwight.
Dwight who?
Dwight way to wose weight
is the eat wess and
exewcise more.
from Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit's post
Inspirational Song
Peaceful Easy Feeling
The Eagles
TODAY IN REVIEW
The inspirations of the day are about keeping perspective. Jack Sh*t gives us all a laugh every day, reminding us to not take ourselves and our weight loss journeys too seriously. We can't get enough of him. His followers grow like gangbusters. . . he's untouchable with his daily creativity. And he's kind hearted, too. Wow.
These were the good things about my day:
  • I got up very close to when the alarm went off
  • I put on makeup. . .maybe for the first time this year???
  • I blew my hair dry instead of letting it dry naturally which makes it look limp.
  • I made coffee at home instead of stopping at Starbucks.
  • I removed my gym back from the trunk of the car where it's lived quite a while and carried it to my desk area. I didn't use it but it's a start.
  • I walked up the 2 escalators and I walked up the stairs at work twice. I decided it's OK if people witness my heavy breathing.
  • We had lunch ordered in at work and I ordered a veggie burger with a side of fruit. It was a bit challenging to calculate the calories for (the bun seemed huge), but I feel pretty good about it.
  • Monday is sushi night so we ate sushi for dinner.
  • I stayed within my calorie maximum for the day and continue to find the Spark People calorie tracker easy to use on the Web and my phone.
  • I laughed hard at my colleague first thing this AM and made a few people smile throughout the day.

These were the less good things about the day:

  • I didn't walk this morning.
  • I didn't walk at work.
  • I didn't walk on the treadmill watching the Closer like I'd hoped.

Here's the bottom line:

I'm peaceful about the things I didn't do--thus the inspirational song choice for today. I was in a meeting from 10 to 2. I stayed at work until 8. During the Closer, I did the dishes, played a few minutes with the puppy, and wrote a blog. I did move a bit more today and I am taking small steps (the gym bag move is significant). I'm doing great with the food and attitude. It's going to be OK. I just need to keep perspective, stay relaxed, and remember to laugh (thanks for those, Jack!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 2: It's a New Day

TODAY'S INSPIRATION
I love this losing weight stuff!
Sean Anderson,
blogger of
The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser,
Today's Inspirational Song:
Feeling Good
2 versions one by
Adam Lambert &
the other Nina Simone


THE DAY SO FAR

OK. I just got focused so the inspirational quote doesn't apply to me yet. . . but isn't it inspirational? I think it's so wonderful for it's simplicity--and it only took me about 7 minutes to re-discover it on his site. Everybody says they hate to diet. . . but the self persecution of living an obese life is worse. Thanks, Sean, for your amazingly positive life.

This was a harder day emotionally. I can't believe it's already almost 6:00. I'm making it through pretty well. Very well food wise. . .so so moving wise. But it feels like a throw away day.

I got up to a grumpy husband. This is a bad thing for me as I'm easily swayed by his moods. Ummm. . .especially if I have something to do with causing the bad mood. . .Bad moods make it harder for me to stay targeted. And I was delaying eating a bit for fear my bad mood (oh, it was supposed to be hubby's bad mood, wasn't it? How did that happen?) would lead me to make poor choices. . . It turned out great. I mixed lemon yogurt with a small peach and a few blueberries and some Kashi Lean Crunch and then even waited around for for 15 minutes to let it get a little soggy. This shows tremendous restraint for me, people. Ahh. . .thank you.. . . now I hear the roar of your congratulations.

Was sitting around after breakfast and feeling sorry for myself and starting to get sleepy. . . a bad Sunday depression response. . . when my dear friend from MA called and chatted about nothingness (as if she was in the room with me) for more than an hour. Good distraction. Didn't strike me until later that I could have been using my new head set to stroll on the treadmill at the same time.. . . next time. . .

So then I got online to start preparing for lunch. . . looked up several things on Panera and made a decision. When we got there, the soups were not as expected, and I chose one that I had not looked at the calories for. It looked creamier than I expected and tasted really good. . . I paused to look it up on my phone. . . it checked out OK. Whew.

Then grocery shopping.. . . I don't have menus set, and we are very bad about throwing away food. .. so I'm thinking about that. . . just struck me. . .I'm going to write a note on the fridge about the fresh fruits and veggies and stuff in there so I don't lose site of them!

Coming home hungry is a bad trigger for me. . . I tend to grab whatever and chow down and I get mean if there isn't anything to eat. . .was trying to figure out what I could have on hand. . . immediately on hand. . . like starving-in-the-store-on-the-way-home on hand. . . I dropped back to an old standard. . .fat free hot dogs. A doc told me once when I got hungry to eat protein. . . I'm trying to eat less meat and not processed things. . . but it seemed better than crackers. 1 hot dog is only 40 calories. Maybe I'll buy little cans of tuna. .. but then I have to keep hubby away from them so they'll be there on my red alert times. My mom used to tell me to drink milk if I was hungry before dinner. . . that would be OK. . .

I know a snack is the best option. . . eat before I get so nutty. . . but when I don't snack, I need a plan. What do you resort to in those stand in front of the fridge. . . pre dinner .. . . stomach growling moments?


THIS EVENING'S PLANS & ANTICIPATIONS

We brought home sushi for dinner. And I still have laundry today. And, alas, I also have work to do. I started sorting my closet yesterday, but it is clearly going to be a multi-day project. Last night Hubby & I did walk as I planned, but his leg is hurting tonight so I don't know if he'll be my partner. I should probably call my mom . . . a chance to check out the headset while I stroll.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Still Day 1: 4:45 Check In

Feeling Good.


Hark, Is My Stomach Saying Enough?
Ate the breakfast I said I would. Could have stopped 5 bites before I did (leaving food on my plate is not a current strength) but I allowed for it all in my count, so it's OK.


Getting on My Feet
Went to Marietta Square for the 4th activities and stood up to watch the parade for more than an hour. Standing is one solution to heal yourself from what Levine in Move a Little, Lose a Lot refers to as the Sitting Disease. Then we strolled around a craft fair. In Levine's book, strolling counts toward living a more active life, too. If I'd had my camera, the shot of the day would have been watermelons chillin' on ice in several plastic kiddie pools. . . waiting to be cut and sold. Is that the South for ya' or what?


I Can Make Picadillo at Home
We ate lunch at a place called Hemingway's Tropical Bar & Grill. I got the Cesar salad, dressing on the side, with the grilled mahi mahi. I removed the croutons and didn't eat the buttered French bread that came with it. I was friggin' proud of myself.


I debated about getting this picadillo dish (ground chuck with capers, raisins, & other stuff in a tomato sauce served over rice with plantains), but when I started trying to look up individual ingredients on my phone on the Spark People site, it was too tedious, so I dropped back to get the salad. Best choice! When Hubby pointed out that they had the same beef blend on a bun and called it a Sloppy Joe--it greatly lost its appeal. HE ordered it and I tasted the meat--too sweet. Yay! My salad was nothing special--just romaine & fish but it was enough to make me feel nutritiously self-righteous!


Acoustic Music Is Good Stuff
We sat and listened to their live music, which was really great. It was this duo called Last Call Paul, singing great singalong songs from the Eagles and such. It was the most relaxing thing I've done in ages. I'd still be there if I had my way and didn't own a puppy who deserves to empty her bladder! I really wanted to buy a T-shirt of theirs as a motivation to fit into it and a reminder of this my starting day--a good one. The front said something like an island oasis in GA. Perfect.


The Rest of the Day
Dinner plans are to grill catfish and corn on the cob and summer squash. I've cut up some pears, peaches, and a lemon with a few cherries which is marinating in some Reisling for Sangria; 8 oz = 154 calories; I'll toss in a peach on the calorie tracker since I'll be noshing on the fermented fruit!

We'll likely watch the fireworks on TV--Boston (been there once--it was enough!) & NYC & DC. . . I think I'll suggest we take an evening--perhaps after dark walk. . .

Day 1 It's a Day of Reckoning

TODAY'S INSPIRATION:
Sandy, you can do this.
Each day is a new opportunity to
respond calmly, seek beauty, and appreciate
the warmth in yourself and others.
Embrace your dreams.
You have accomplished so much
and have the potential
to do all that you desire.
Have courage to step forward.
Each breath is a new beginning.
You deserve to have a great day.
THE DAY'S PLANS & ANTICIPATIONS

I'm moving to this new format for my blog.

I joined Sparkpeople. I don't know exactly how to tell you to find me there yet, but I'm signed in as 45andaspiring. It's free if you want to check it out. One of my goals is to listen to a motivational song every day. You will hear it. Today's is Independence Day by Martina McBride.

I am counting calories. Sparkpeople has a tool to help you with this. I'm checking out how it works on my phone. Will let you know.

I plan to post every day--and try updating posts on the same day perhaps or having more than one to help keep me focused and to give me an outlet.

I am going to be more active every day, using the Levine Move a Little book as my guide and exercise recommendations from Sparkpeople. (My mini exercise bike should finally arrive on Tuesday.)

I will continue to explore how much detailed planning works (like get up at 6 to exercise) versus less directed goals (like don't go to bed without exercising).

Right now, I'm going with Hubby to breakfast. We are going to J. Christopher's. I will have the low carb plate: 3 egg whites, a piece of whole grain toast, sliced tomatoes (my requested substitue for turkey sausage or bacon), and fruit. I will ask for milk for my coffee; I'm counting on at least 2% being available.