Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 Meals, 2 Snacks Down

So for the first day of my "Fall Focus"--taking it one day at a time as Hubby and Jack both advised.

Came in a few calories shy of my nutritionist  prescribed 1800 calories. Woo hoo.

So for breakfast I had Fiber One cereal mixed with Fiber one honey clusters and 1/2 a banana.

My really tasty, unusual lunch was minute brown rice with broiled yellow squash with a few sun dried tomatoes and 1 T low fat feta along with an orange.

For an afternoon snack at work I had a peach and 3 graham squares.

While waiting for dinner, I had a few Ry Crisps and a light Laughing Cow cheese.

Dinner was very extravagant --a 4 oz. tenderloin, with fat free refried beans, and canned spinach (not my favorite but it'll do).

Down side is that i missed my training session yesterday because I had a doctor's appointment and it was raining this AM so I didn't swim. . . but tomorrow I'm swimming or walking on the treadmill, no excuses.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Last 2 Years

I started this blog nearly 2 years ago. The goal was to try to inspire myself to lose weight.

Today I went to see a nutritionist in my doctor's office. She looked at my chart and my weight from when I was first there about 2 years ago.

It was 1 lb different.

She said, "This tells me you have learned weight maintenance. And that is a good thing."

She also said that I couldn't say trying to lose weight hadn't worked for me because I hadn't been trying.

She gave me a few handouts--a page from the food guide pyramid web site, and a picture of a plate with 1/2 of it filled by vegetables. This is all there is to offer. The only tools. I know these things. I write these things. I write these things much more motivationally than the ones she gave me.

If it's so cut and dried why do I make it so hard? Not trying is hard. I lost 60 lbs on Weight Watchers in less than 9 months, and I've spent 2 years fretting like a crazy person and had a 1 lb difference.

I am not a crazy person. I am not a stupid person. I am not a weak person. I should be focused enough to be able to do this--to hold onto the thought of wanting a different life long enough to get past the rough spots.

One thing that strikes me as a potential obstacle is that I really disdain how demonized fat people are. How people talk about being fat as though it is the worst possible thing you can be. I know a woman who had multiple abortions because she didn't want to take birth control pills because she didn't want to risk gaining weight. Now that seems crazy.

A few Christmas's ago, my daughter-in-law skipped the page in The Night Before Christmas that showed Santa smoking a pipe. She didn't want her daughter to think Santa was a bad man. Smokers are demonized.

I will not be surprised at all if Santa goes through some kind of graphic transformation to get thinned up. Like the vegetable eating Cookie Monster.

I don't want to be this fat. It's debilitating physically, emotionally, and socially. But it's not because I think fat people are ugly or lazy or weak willed.

And it really irks me that there is all this media to prevent childhood obesity and adult obesity like it's such a terrible terrible thing, but there really isn't much out there to help obese people--except handing them really simple instructions on a piece of paper or telling them to consider bariatric surgery.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Didn't I Think of This Snack Before?

I'm not sure what made this dawn on me, but earlier this week it struck me--why not a small salad for my  mid afternoon  snack?

So one day this week, I brought a small amount of mixed greens, mixed with a few chopped leaves of fresh mint, with some fresh raspberries to put on them, with 1 T of low-fat Asian Ginger dressing and 1 T of Feta cheese. YUMMY!

Then, the next day, I brought the greens & mint, topped with some cantaloupe chunks, a few raspberries, and pineapple salsa. ANOTHER WINNER!

What's more, is the salad takes a lot longer to eat, and so feels more satisfying (not to mention the feeling of nutritious self-righteousness it elicits) than the 3 to 5 bites of a "bar."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Activity, Elliptical, Inspiration, Omron, Upbeat

It's Vowel Headline Monday apparently.

So my company is starting this wellness "competition" in the office. If you sign up, you get a very nice Omron pedometer that I had bookmarked as a replacement to the last Omron I had that um. . . got washed.

The event doesn't start until August and goes through the end of Sept. The rules are you have to hook up your pedometer to the Internet tracker at least 50 days in that time in order to not have $28 come out of your paycheck for the pedometer. (Hey, you'd still save $.) And if you do, I think you automatically get $25.

Plus the team that has the most accumulated steps gets an extra day of vacation and I think some kind of meal.

It's caused quite a bit of hubbub in our office. So I started wearing my pedometer early to get the reality check.

Day one: just a day in the office, no exercise: a sad 3708 steps. Going to see my trainer helped a bit. . . 4932. And the best day was Friday, when we train in the gym and include some laps--6900.

So this week's goals include hitting at least 5000 steps each day. I'm trying to work my up so by the time the competition starts, I can be shooting for the standard 10,000/day.

Today is a home run because I did my  training and stayed to do the elliptical for 30 minutes. (I've catapulted far from my early part of the year's success after Hubby hurt his knee and abandoned the gym at least 2 months ago.) So it's 11:43 and I already have 6615 steps.

I'm not sure how much I will walk with the "team" in the GA heat. Compared to the "average" woman's stride of 2.2, mine was 1.6. . . . but I am inspired and feeling pretty upbeat about it.

My contribution may be more along the lines of follow the leader in loops around the office!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Longing to Be as Well Trained as My Dog

Several times I've compared my experiences with healthy eating to dog training. When reading Lyn's post Off the Floor about her ease of getting up and down from the floor, I find myself longing to be as efficiently trained as our sweet Golden Doodle, Yeats, who we work with repeatedly to move freely and quickly from any of these positions to the next: sit, down, and up.

If only I could move as smoothly, energetically, and enthusiastically through a quick succession of movements like these:
Sit
Down (lying down)
Up (standing)
Down
Up
Sit
Up
Down
Sit

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Freeing Myself From Comfort to Sit With Discomfort

I've been thinking about how easy it is to fall into being comfortable with being obese. You just kind of lose touch with yourself--stop looking too closely in the mirror, keep wearing slightly too large clothes, don't see others besides your usual companions, and basically stick with the routines that keep you from having to face yourself.

And then something happens like it happened to me last week that suddenly snatches you out of that comfortable routine, bumping you rudely across some reality checks, like:

  • You get on a plane and realize you've forgotten your personal seat belt extender and sit through the flight with your seat belt unbuckled because you've already asked for one twice from the flight attendant and none of them seem to notice you're unrestrained, which leaves you feeling invisible (but still huge and ugly). 
  • You can't pick up the pen you dropped on the floor while you're in a seated position.
  • You see yourself reflected in the elevator door behind other women and realize your shoulders are at least half again as broad as theirs, like they are women and you are some other species.
  • You wake up with heartburn so bad that you have to get out of bed and sit in a chair until it goes away.
  • You realize you can't keep up with a friend who you used to leave in the dust when you walked together.
  • You're working on a program to help others get healthy and you're desperate to claim the good feelings you promise them.
And then, you think about what you have to do to leave these esteem-crushing feelings behind, and it dawns on you that leaving the comfort means needing to face some uncomfortable situations, like:

  • Not reaching for your standard breakfast cereal that you tend to overindulge in
  • Sitting and waiting for your slow-eating husband to take his next bite because you're determined to not finish your meal before he's half way through like you usually do, so you're pacing him (it took him 3 minutes, I watched the clock)
  • Stopping eating before you feel totally "full"
  • Drinking water when you feel hungry instead of eating whatever you can get
  • Climbing the stairs in the office even though you know you'll arrive at your next meeting slightly breathless and people may notice
  • Taking the time to plan and shop for healthy meals over the weekend even though it feels like you're stealing time away from more "relaxing things"
  • Pausing to monitor calories and fat grams before you put them in your mouth and adjusting as necessary to stay within healthy limits
  • Stop avoiding exercises that you fear might make your knees hurt and try them, slowly. . .
Once again, I think about what we learned as we trained our GoldenDoodle, Yeats. Our trainer, Wendy, told us we had to help Yeats learn to get through feelings of frustration so she would learn she couldn't always have what she wanted and would learn to respond to our "commands."

If Yeats was acting out on the leash, we were supposed to pick her up and hold her until she became completely relaxed. (This was long before she weighed 50 lbs!) The key was not get frustrated ourselves. Just to breathe, hold her, let her fidget, until she quieted and calmed down, and not to put her down until she did. Wow. What a lesson for a little puppy.

Now I have to do that for myself. It's really tempting to avoid the frustration all together.

It might help me to picture my acting out as embarrassing and frightening as our "Cujo" puppy was on the leash --imagine myself as a "mad" dog that needs to relax through her frustration to become a sweeter, more socialized being on the other side of it.

Wow. What a lesson for a 47 year old fat woman.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fat People & Athletes--More In Common Than You Thought

You don't need to know these people or these books to get something out of this discussion. But for the record, this is a continuation of discussion about 2 interesting books I've been reading: Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, Ph.D. and The Healthy Obsession Program by Dr. Daniel Kirschenbaum.
Fat People Have Distinctive Biologies
It seems Dr. Bacon would agree with Dr. Kirschenbaum's concept that "the overweight body powerfully resists weight loss."
They both seem to believe that the overweight body is different and has a different biology. I find that very freeing. Not because I'm off the hook of having to work--we all know biology is destiny, but because it helps me to remember that how i got to this weight is not all my fault.

Here's a run down of the fat person's biology Dr. K raises--if you don't like reading about this stuff skip down to the next colored subhead, starting with "Reframing."

Our genes. Genes have a huge influence on our metabolic power and tendency to develop excess fat. (Kids born to obese parents are 4 times more likely to be obese than kids born to lean parents.)

Our number of fat cells. We fat folk have up to 4 times as many as people who have never been overweight. You can keep developing them throughout life, and once you have them, they don't go away. Studies show that overweight people and formerly overweight people have bodies that deliver fat into the cells more efficiently than the bodies of people who have never been fat. In fact, people who have never been fat seem to have more fat transported into muscles to be used as immediate fuel. (Lucky us.)

Our insulin response. Insulin allows our cells to use sugars, called glucose, for energy in our body. Some overweight people have too much insulin and their body becomes insensitive to it so that sugar can't get into the cells as easily. You've probably heard about this--it's called insulin resistance and it can make you prone to developing type 2 diabetes.
Here's the rub, losing weight makes your bodies fat cells more sensitive to insulin but your muscle cells less sensitive to insulin. And that means you may store that sugar as fat and gain weight more easily after losing it. 

And there's more to the insulin story: overweight people increase their insulin responses just by SMELLING and SEEING food--even just THINKING about food. 

Our "I'm Hungry" enzyme. LPL is an enzyme that moves fat in the body. When you lose weight, more LPL is released and sends messages to the brain: "Eat now!"  

Our appetite hormones. Leptin is the hormone that directs the among of fat that gets stored in fat cells by affecting appetite. When weight loss causes fat cells to shrink, less leptin is released, which increases appetite. Ghrelin is another appetite hormone. 


Our fat-grabbing ability. Adiponectin is a protein secreted by fat cells that helps sugar in our blood get into our cells to be used for energy. The more fat cells you have, and the bigger they are, the less adiponectin your fat cells secrete. And that means that overweight people have a greater propensity to direct blood sugar into fat cells--not use it for energy.




Reframing Your Ideas About Your Fat Biology
So what's the path to overcoming this resistant biology?  Dr. K says. . . (just a reminder to what I said yesterday--I pulled these quotes from an interview with Dr. K and reordered to display my point but I don't think I've corrupted his messages.)


Overweight people . . . have to become super-normal in their way of handling everything that affects their eating and exercising. So, it's much more like an athlete in training than it is like somebody with a neurotic problem.
How overweight people should think of their biologies is similar to the way athletes have to think about their performances. Research on skilled performance - everything from chess to piano to athletic performance shows that the difference between better performance and worse performance, more than anything else, is the amount of time, practice, and quality of instruction. 
So, it's the same deal with weight loss. If you want to put the time into this, if you want it to get better, you can do it! Just because your biology says "Here's the way I'd like to go," doesn't mean you give into it. We have biological urges every single day that we resist from sexual things, to overeating, to grabbing things out of a storefront. We always have to manage urges in which our biology is directing us in one place and we have to go somewhere else. That's the way it is with weight control - the biology is moving you in a certain direction but you gotta say, "Well, I'm not going there, biology.

I Loves to See Travolta Dance


Not skinny Saturday Night Fever Travolta, but older a little meat on his bones Travolta! Whew, baby!


Then I can't embed this one, but check out--from Michael!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SivKzsZOf_o&feature=related

Monday, July 12, 2010

Which Motivates You More? Feeling Good or Feeling Rotten?



it doesn't matter if you are familiar with the people I'm talking about. .  just keep reading. I think you'll be interested.

At first glance, it might seem that Dr. Kirschenbaum's philosophies and Dr. Bacon's (both Ph.D's, not MDs or nutritionists, just for the record), are the complete antithesis of each other.

Afterall, Dr. B recommends abandoning the concept of dieting for intuitive eating and Dr. K. advocates for a very low fat diet (max. 20 grams a day). 

But I like what both of them have to say. And there are some important core principles that they share. 

Wanting to Feel Good Can Motivate You Longer than Self-Loathing


Dr. K shares what some of his patients have said to him: "The life of an overweight person is incredibly difficult. It's filled with unhappiness about oneself and awkwardness about such things as, What am I going to wear and I don't look good in this and Nothing fits and . . . I'm awkward and I can't move and I'm aching. It's just so filled with negativity."

Doesn't his response to these feelings sound like what I wrote yesterday about HAES? (

I couldn't find a site completely focused on Dr. K's philosophies, though he's written several books. But I did find a helpful interview with him. And I pulled and regrouped some of his quotes to make my points.)
I help people to deal with their bodies as temples, as something to be proud of, no matter what shape they're in, if they can possibly do it. A lot of people can make this shift and that makes them feel better right away. This doesn't mean they're less motivated - in some ways it makes them more motivated because they're focusing on their physical beings. --D. Kirschenbaum, Ph.D.

Consistency Counts in Self-Love & Nurturance

To do what Dr. K prescribes: 20 grams of fat a day or less, 10,000 steps or more, and self-monitoring--you gotta believe in the beauty and power and potential of yourself. Here's what Dr. K. says:
I say to people, "Look, I know how tough this is to be this focused, but it's better than the alternative. [My interpretation--all those negative feelings.] Let's work on it. But when you work on it, why not feel better while you are going through it?" And, the research shows that people very consistently feel better once they engage in this process.
And what's the key to Dr. K's process?
The bottom line of an effective weight loss program is an extremely consistent approach. Most diet plans emphasize moderation. That doesn't work. The research evidence indicates that weight control is a journey that does not begin with just the first step. It begins when all of the steps start coming together in a very consistent way. A strong degree of consistency in doing the behaviors that lead to weight loss is necessary in order to overcome the very resistant biology of excess weight.
Come back tomorrow. . . I'll share more about that resistant biology!




Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Road to Happiness Is Wide Enough for Everybody

I've been doing a lot of research lately about weight. Interestingly, it's for my work. Not so surprisingly, it's been easy research for me to do and easy to read what I find. 

It seems as I continue to slog through the info that the "truth"--if there is any truth--is somewhere between Linda Bacon's philosophy about Health at Every Size and Daniel Kirschenbaum's philosophy of Healthy Obsession Program. 

Health at Every Size Philosophy


Bacon's core goals are:
  • Self-acceptance: affirm beauty and worth regardless of size or shape
  • Physical activity: increase activity for pleasure and improved quality of life
  • Normalized eating: internally directed eating, honoring pleasure and appetite
Her tenets include:
  • Change occurs when individuals value themselves enough to want an improved life
  • Accepting weight is about taking control, not giving up
  • Lightening up on the pressure to lose weight and the letting go of despair empowers people to move on
  • When pleasure and vitality are considered, being active is an act of self-nurturance
  • Dieting should be replaced with internally-directed eating: honoring your hunger, feeling your fullness, pleasing your palate (the last 3 phrases were coined in Intuitive Eating.)
  • The reason for change should be replaced--no longer "lose weight and/or prevent disease"--where fear is the motivator. Instead, the reason for change should be pleasure, self-efficacy, and a sense of purpose and meaning--where enjoyment is the motivator.
Bacon's "Live Well" Pledge
  • Today, I will try to feed myself when I am hungry.
  • Today, I will try to be attentive to how foods taste and make me feel.
  • Today, I will try to choose foods that I like and that make me feel good.
  • Today, I will try to honor my body's signals of fullness.
  • Today, I will try to find an enjoyable way to move my body.
  • Today, I will not try to change my body to fit others' standards.
  • Today, I will try to look kindly at my body, and treat it with love and respect.

The title of this post is a phrase that Dr. Bacon uses. I like it. Do you?

Tomorrow I'll hit some highlight's from Dr. Kirschenbaum's Healthy Obsession Program. 


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Since We Last Met: A Pictorial Review

Here's a few images from what's happened in my world since I last blogged. Hope you enjoy them. And the new song is for Carrie. 


Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's All Good: The Moral of Pete the Cat


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last Week of Perfect 10 Challenge

Week #10  for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

It's the end of Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which was a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals.
The Perfect 10 guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing. I had plans to end the last week really strong. . . but it didn't quite work out the way I'd hoped. It was a busy busy week at work--working mostly 11 hour days. That makes fitting in the rest of life a bit challenging.

  1. Plan out my weekly menu in advance and preferably use it to grocery shop (weekly menu comes from new Eating Well Diet cookbook or site, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, or other healthy meals); meals should equal ~1500 calories a day
    • How I did: I planned it, but didn't stick with it. I feel like I'm no more practiced at this really than I was at the start of the year Sigh..
  2. Use one weekend day (or an weekday evening night) to cook ahead--soups for lunches, veggies for the week, and perhaps 1 dinner entree.
    • How I did: Bombed! Did not do this. . . worked Sun afternoon and just didn't get ahead.
  3. Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Sadly. If I don't do this on Sundays, it basically doesn't happen and I have kind of a bad attitude about giving my weekends over to this. . . still needs work even after 10 weeks (though even as  I write, I have a chicken cooking to make chicken potato soup and to use for a mexican casserole).
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: I brought my lunch 3 days and ate out 2 days because I didn't plan ahead well. This was the worst week I've had all year in terms of just not having the meals under control. I feel like I've made strides toward this since the first of the year. I prefer my packed lunches AND my packed snacks.
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week. [Modified week 2 to be get up to do cardio--but not necessarily swim]
      • How I did: VERY WELL! Only swam two times--Sat. and Tuesday, did other workouts. My swimming lesson on Friday got cancelled. But I did buy myself a kick board and learned some new ways to practice. Am really proud of how we've stuck with swimming and about adding in a swimming coach!
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Still just working on my freestyle with a swim coach. But I'm looking forward to some tips on this.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: BETTER THAN GOAL! For our 6th week, we did 3 sessions with Trainer Ray: Monday, Thursday, Friday. This has been a great success for us this year so far and we're signed up for the rest of the year. . . so it's looking good.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: I rode the recumbant bike on one of our cardio days and even did about 5 minutes on the upright stationary just to see what it felt like. Not bad. It's getting to be bike season. . .more goals to come here.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Went for the 2nd week in a row. .. Hubby isn't loving the atmosphere. . .we'll see. Feel like church hasn't panned out well, but I have my eye on a few people to try to make more connnection with.
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: Had an OK week mood wise. Just very very busy at work. My mom finally came home after 5 weeks of being with my aunt in hospice. (My aunt died.)
Another Thrilling Secret About Me
I'm such an open book that it's hard to think of things. . . I had surgery on my knees when I was about 4 years old. I was "one-third club footed"--pigeon toed. The surgery they did was state of the art then but considered barbaric now. They basically turned my knee caps around and I had a body cast from my toes to my chest for 6 weeks. I had to learn to walk again. Supposedly, they put pins in my knees that were supposed to move up my thigh with age, but I've had several X-rays and there are no signs of pins. . . in fact doctors say except for the scars on my legs, they can't tell from X-rays that I ever had any kind of surgery. . . .weird, huh?








Saturday, March 6, 2010

No Longer Trespassing?


So Hubby and I had a very interesting experience this morning. We checked out the another world. The World of Fit people. We did this by venturing into a Sports Authority.

It's not like I've never been in a sports store. I buy things at one occasionally--like my favorite expensive socks--Thorlos. And in the past, I've sometimes needed a single something or other that lead me in and directly to the item.

And sometimes at Christmas I've been known to venture in for baseball shirts for my brother-in-law, or a bat for my nephew, or a football for my grandson.

But today, today was different. It was a new day.

We went in and stopped first at the golf clubs. Amazingly lightweight, these new clubs. I told Hubby, sure I'd consider hitting a few buckets of balls with him this spring. . .

An employee sped by us, calling out, "Finding everything you need?" I asked where swimming things were and Hubby caught me by surprise by saying, "And we're just looking around at some other stuff."

We moved on to swimming gear. I picked up a kickboard and a new pair of goggles since my were leaking. These are what I came in for.

But nearby were basketballs. . . sometimes Trainer Ray takes us into the basketball court at the gym for part of our workout. Usually we walk around it, occasionally jog, do some freeweights in there. He & Hubby sometimes shoot baskets. I joined in for the first time last week. Yesterday, he had us throw the basketball at the wall, have it bounce and then catch it. Pretty basic, huh?

OK, so at the risk of you finding out that, yes, I have been under some kind of recreational rock, this little exercise was exciting and motivational for me. I threw the ball at the wall, it came back and bounced, but I had to step back to catch it. Or step left. Or step right. Or step back two times. I looked over at Hubby and the woman working out with us to see how they were doing. Their balls were hitting the wall and coming down perfectly with one bounce so it basically tossed itself directly back into their hands. Hmmmmmm

So I make an adjustment, a kind of unconscious adjustment. And now my ball is coming right back to me too. It made me feel in control. In telling Hubby this later (yes, he is wonderful to listen to these banal self-aggrandizing monologues), I realized that I just threw the ball a little lower on the wall and with a little less force. Recognizing what I had done made me feel powerful.

When we started walking, I held onto my ball and dribbled and walked. . .

Today in Sports Authority. I picked up several balls and experimented with dribbling. Like unruly kids, Hubby & I dribbled and then tossed balls to each other, sometimes bouncing sometimes not. We picked up a standard indoor/outdoor basketball. . . there are courts in our neighborhood, we could play horse, try shooting some baskets.  I am not to throw the ball against the house, Hubby tells me. But, hey, there is the driveway. . .

We moved on to look at rackets for racketball. . . there are courts in the gym. Hubby says it could be fun. But then he decided one tnew hing at a time would be a good idea. So I didn't suggest to him that we also buy mitts and a softball; you know I've never caught a ball in a glove. . . but one thing at a time, let's get the basketball separated from its packaging. . . let it see the sunlight. . . meet the pavement. . .

We're still aliens, but I think we're on our way to not be visitors in this new land any longer. . .

Week #9 of Perfect 10- Challenge

Week #9  for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

It's the end of week 9 of Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals.
The Perfect 10 guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing.

  1. Plan out my weekly menu in advance and preferably use it to grocery shop (weekly menu comes from new Eating Well Diet cookbook or site, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, or other healthy meals); meals should equal ~1500 calories a day
    • How I did: Very well! .planned the menu and studk to it every night for dinner (except for the night the fish smelled too fishy. . . ) I didn't plan snacks though, and it really showed in my snack choices. . .
  2. Use one weekend day (or an weekday evening night) to cook ahead--soups for lunches, veggies for the week, and perhaps 1 dinner entree.
    • How I did: Redeemed from last week! I cooked a tuna casserole recipe use Shiritake noodles (my first take with them.) and I made some Asian Chicken Soup.
  3. Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: SUCCESS! One night we ate the above mentioned soup with some frozen chicken poststickers. Another night we ate whole sheat fettacine with jarred spagahettii sauce, with some mushrooms added.
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: I stayed at home todays and those days sometimes eat up more loose instead of controllled. . . go figure. Then on my first day back, I let an employee talk me into eating out. . . chose a salad,, but we share d a bit of calamari first. I did well with eathing what I packed the other 2 days. . . but missed planning & eating my snacks. Succumbed to the mini Baby Ruths in the candy dishes (some jerk placed a new bowl near the printer!)
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week. [Modified week 2 to be get up to do cardio--but not necessarily swim]
      • How I did: BEAUTIFULLY! We swam on Sat. I swam by myself on Sun. We swam on Weds. AM after our training session. And I had my 2nd swimming lesson on Friday night.
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Well . . . .I didn't practic this because I'm working on my freestyle with a swim coach.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: BETTER THAN GOAL! For our 5th week, we did 3 sessions with Trainer Ray: Monday, Thursday, Friday.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: As I've mentioned before, I've adapted this goal for just regular cardio training.
      I did ride the rumbant bike for 20-25 minutes on Monday--mostly out of wanting to avoid the treadmill.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: AHA! FINALLY! With only one more week to go in the challenge I accompanied Hubby to church! Several people introduced themselves, we went to an after-service meeting for folks new to the church, and we stayed for Humanist group meeting.
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: I gave myeslf some time off this week to recoop, regroup, and revitalize. I stayed home from work and shopped and got caught up on laundry and cook and thought about compromising on vacations and continuining being active. It was very helpful, PhD approved (after the fact), and really helped me feel upbeat and energized nd reinvigorated. Maybe this is what they mean  by self care.
Another Thrilling Secret About Me
I am rather uninformed about current events. Compared to my core, original family (Mom, Dad, sister), I'm probably the best informed. . .but that isn't a bragworthy claim to fame. I didn't grow up watching the news or reading the paper, and I'm still not big on it now. I watch the Today show as I get ready for work, but that clearly fails big time in terms of  leraning about things like who's running for office or what's happening in Mexico. Sometimes the things Hubby says amaze me, and I'll say in bewillderment, "How do you know these things?!" And he says back flatly: "I read the paper."

But then we moved to Atlana. The AJC sucks. (Sorry) I read Dear Abby and my horoscope. . . and you know sometiems one of them actually does allow me to contribute to a conversation in an entertaining or thought-provoking way!

I do like NPR alot. But I leave too late to hear the news in the AM and I really hate hearing about the individual battles in Iraq or Afganistan. It makes me feel hopeless. But I do liike hearing about and would like to be more informed about the real issues and steps being taken in health care and education. It's amazing to me how many people can burst out with such opinions or ideas with really no true knowledge or facts at all. . . and these are the people who seem to always make it to the polls, no?








Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week #8 Perfect 10 Challenge

Week #8  for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

It's the end of week 6 of Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals.
The Perfect 10 guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing.

  1. Plan out my weekly menu in advance and preferably use it to grocery shop (weekly menu comes from new Eating Well Diet cookbook or site, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, or other healthy meals); meals should equal ~1500 calories a day
    • How I did: SPLAT that's the sound of me hitting bottom on this this weekend. Eating all around was a bad, bad thing. . .
  2. Use one weekend day (or an weekday evening night) to cook ahead--soups for lunches, veggies for the week, and perhaps 1 dinner entree.
    • How I did: SPLAT & SIGH--didn't redeem myself mid week either
  3. Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Um. . . did I mention that I didn't plan?
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Actually in this area I did Fair. Monday was bad--ate at a conference and not just lunch but 2 snacks that I'd rather not talk about. . . But I brought a Lean Cuisine on Tuesday with a side salad, on Weds. I worked at home and had a grilled ham & cheese; and then on Thurs & Fri I brough leftover Chinese food from an evening of takeout. Normally I would consider that a failure, but in comparison with the rest of the week, considering I contained the amount. . . it was better than some other alternatives.
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week. [Modified week 2 to be get up to do cardio--but not necessarily swim]
    • How I did: Even this was tough this week. We didn't swim on Tuesday like usual because I had to be at work early, and I felt too busy on Friday AM so we didn't swim them either. However I did swim Friday night. . .
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Well . . . .I didn't practice the breast stroke. . . but I DID start swimming lessons and got a lot of good feedback on my freestyle stroke (breast stroke to come!)
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: BETTER THAN GOAL! For our 4th week, we did 3 sessions with Trainer Ray: Monday, Thursday, Friday.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: As I've mentioned before, I've adapted this goal for just regular cario training. This was the worst week we've had all year in terms of fitting in cardio. We didn't stay to do cardio after our training on Monday like usual because I had to be at a conference early. On Tuesday, Hubby went to the gym but I stayed in bed. We did do cardio on Weds. And I did elliptical and some recumbant bike. And I did the elliptical on Friday too.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Same as last week: I had no excuse for not going and Hubby was really upset with me. So help me. . .I WILL set the alarm and get up tomorrow. Hubby needs my presence to help him be confident about talking to others and we need to expand our world.
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: This was another tough, tough week. It just seemed to get worse and worse. The bright spot was when I picked up the phone and made the plans for swimming lessons--a huge postive step in the right direction. I also told Hubby on Weds. that I was feeling bad and that helped me get out the dark isolation. And I had a blubbery, but helpful PhD session. The good news is the battery on the scale is dead. . . I highly recommend that after a bad week.
Another Thrilling Secret About Me

I love wildflowers. I love walking in the woods (I'm a path person, though.) and looking for flowers. My favorite are Jack-in-the-Pulpits. I also like seeing spiders (they're fascinating OUTSIDE--I'm not happy about them at all in the house--especially when they are above my head level. . . I don't like the idea of them falling on me!) I also love lily of the valley (and almost any flower that grows in bunches like that) and bleeding hearts. I lean toward the purse-shaped flowers.

Swimming Lesson #1: Freestyle Deconstructed


Thanks to Stacia at Swimming It Off, I decided to take swimming lessons. That was her advice when I asked her how to gain endurance so I could swim laps. I thought doing this would add some spice and excitement back into my workouts. Not that they are bad, but the new romance just isn't as strong and energizing as it was at the beginning. So I wanted to refresh that.

So last night was my first lesson. In 1/2 hour I learned all these things that I am doing wrong with my freestyle:

  1. Kicking under the water instead of making a splash
  2. Kicking from the knee sometimes instead of kicking from the hip
  3. Taking 3 strokes, then 4 strokes to breathe (this alone could wreck havoc with my endurance)--I was doing this so I only breathed from my right side
  4. Only breathing from one side
  5. Lifting my head forward after taking a breath (so I've been turning my head to breathe then facing forward)
  6. Not looking straight down while swimming
  7. Not rolling enough to breathe--using my neck more (my instructor didn't tell me this, but hubby did as he watched me practing all my new techniques this AM)
Despite the fact that it looks like I was doing lots of things wrong, he said I had a good foundation and balance and positoning. And, I'm encouraged because once I correct and master these elements, I should have a way more effiecient stroke that helps me breathe more properly and move more properly--thus expanding my endurance!

But I will tell you, he ran through the above pretty quickly and had me trying to make all the corrections at once! It was like rubbing my head and patting my tummy. I found myself gulping in water and spitting and sputtering in ways I haven't done in years!

I have to say I feel like I can tell the difference in kicking already--not only speeding me up in the water but with a mile soreness on the outside of my thighs. And laying in bed this AM as goofy as it sounds, I felt a bit longer.

I'm looking forward to having all these things get engrained. I think swimming laps could feel meditative. . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Need Some Sugar in My Bowl--I Ain't Fooling


If you have the sound on on your computer, you're hearing Nina Simone singing Little Sugar in My Bowl.

Right now this song is  metaphor for my life. I am just not getting fed enough from any angle. . .

I need some sugar in my bowl at work in terms of more recognition.
I need some sugar in my bowl at home with more loving kindness and just plain ole loving from Hubby.
I need some sugar in my bowl at the gym--more of those initial high feelings and more recognizable results.
I need some sugar in my bowl literally--just craving those darn sweets!
I need some sugar in my bowl in terms of self-care and self-love and knowing how to keep myself boosted and less needing the attention, feedback, and love from others.

I feel so funny; I feel so sad.

But I'm sure this too shall pass.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week #7: Perfect 10 Goals Update


Week #7 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

It's the end of week 6 of Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals.
The Perfect 10 guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing.

  1. Plan out my weekly menu in advance and preferably use it to grocery shop (weekly menu comes from new Eating Well Diet cookbook or site, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, or other healthy meals); meals should equal ~1500 calories a day
    • How I did: Well. . . I made the effort to PLAN it and post it on the fridge and that was as far as I got! Dinner plans tanked again. . . but i managed to stay mostly in check anyway.

  2. Use one weekend day (or an weekday evening night) to cook ahead--soups for lunches, veggies for the week, and perhaps 1 dinner entree.
    • How I did: I made chili over the weekend so I had that leftover for lunch one day. And another day I brought cabbage roll casserole that I had frozne frozen from another week.
  3. Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Already talked about how my planning tanked. This week I will WRITE down what I eat on my calendar on the nights I divert from my plans.
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Excellent! On Tuesday I took an employee to lunch, but I did good--ordering a salad with shrimp and a side of asparagus. Talked about lunches for 2 other days under #2 and on the other 2 days  I was at home for lunch.
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week. [Modified week 2 to be get up to do cardio--but not necessarily swim]
    • How I did: Fantastic! Monday was a holidaybut Hubby & I got up to meet with our trainer at 6:30, then did 25 minutes of cardio (I did elliptical and recumbant bike) and 30 minutes of swimming. On Tuesday we did cardio & swimming.  And today (Sat.) we swam.
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: I don't feel like I'm getting much forward motion with my current approach. . I'm going to look at the videos I have again and will at least check out adult swimming lessons per advice from Mid Life Swimmer. I wonder if I could get someone to meet me at my gym?
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: BETTER THAN GOAL! For our 4th week, we did 3 sessions with Trainer Ray: Monday, Thursday, Friday.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: As I've mentioned before, I've adapted this goal for just regular cario training. I did cardio every day but Thursday. The BIG success was that Hubby had a doc's appt on Weds AM but I got up anyway and went the gym alone and had my first 30 min session on the elliptical. I ROCK.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Same as last week: I had no excuse for not going last week--Hubby even went without me. The plan is to go tomorrow.
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: Had a tough week. Had a nasty run-in with a colleague at work on Tuesday which frankly knocked me on my ass so much that I chose to work at home on Weds. Managed to pull myself together after my PhD appt on Weds. evening and reinforced the positive energies by talking with my boss about it.
Another Thrilling Secret About Me


I couldn't pronounce the letter "r" when I was a kid. I'd say my favorite color was "puwple," Easter had "wabbits," we had a yellow "caw." My parents thought it was cute and would make me say things in front of their friends and I'd cry from embarrassment. I was in speech therapy through school in second grade with a nasty woman who would push my cheeks together. It seems like I was in it again somewhere I don't quite recall. Then, I was in speech therapy again in 4th grade. I remember the humiliation of going throught the tests and getting chosen, and I remember the embarrassment of having to leave class to go to the therapy.

But luckily for me the speech therapist that time was superb. She had all these clever games that she used to encourage us to say our sounds. And she explained how our sounds were made--how we had to hold our tongues to make them--instead of poking as us or pinching us. I was the first to graduate from her group. I wept at having to leave her. And it turned out to be the first major success I had as a student. . . my first major sense of standing out and succeeeding.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Are You De-Evolving From Exercise?

You know how sometimes people say it's going to get worse before it gets better? Well sometimes I think that might be true when it comes to exercise.

Tell me, doesn't this seem like some kind of reverse evolution?

First, there's the nocturnal stirring--arising before sunrise. Followed by the crude AM workout apparel--definitely not the cutting-edge fashion and style of a modern woman--clothes that you normally would never leave the house in--a low-hanging crotch but high on the ankle. . .don't you think flood pants make your arms look longer. . . even chimplike perhaps? And don't forget the unruly bed head that no amount of brushing helps.

Next,  there's the sweat. . . what sophisticated woman creates a bib of sweat ? Not to mention the soaking wet bra and the dampened band around the underwear and leaving wet head marks on each machine she climbs on, swinging her legs over, or under, pulling herself up for the next machine--not unlike swinging from vine to vine.


And the chugging of a bottle of water in 4 desperate gulps. . .

Staring at a clock so intently that a bystander would think you'd never seen such an innovation. . .

Finally, there's the post workout stiffness. After sitting a bit, the muscles and joints cramp up so that standing results in hardly more than a stoop, made more crude by an accompanying gorilla's grunt. . .

The turnaround comes as you take the modern miracle--NSAIDS--and drop your weary body into bed early, to rejuveate . .  .so  the next morning you can arise, stand upright, and start it all again!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wild & Wacky Wednesday


A few random things that have struck me as silly recently. . . some of them have obviously been around for awhile. . . but they are all new to me.

#1 Wackiness: Bee Efficiency Beats Vee Effiency
If you compare how well a bee uses its fuel--honey--compared to how well a car (and specifically a Volkswagon) uses gas, there is obviously no comparison. According to a scientist who actually gets paid to do this this work, in a comparitive framework, a bee would get 4,704,280 miles/gallon. Now tell me, aren't you just dying to know how they calculated this? Here's the scoop from the NPR story :
"Experimenters take a bee, give it all the honey it can eat and then tether it to a pole. (This neither harms nor seems to disturb the bee.) It then flies round and round until, basically, it runs out of fuel. The pole measures the distance flown by the rotating bee. Because the experimenter now knows how far a bee can travel on a bee-belly of fuel, you scale up to imagine how far it would go if it had a gallon-sized belly. That's how you calculate Bee Miles Per Gallon. "
If you want to hear the full story, with a great "bee" song by none other than Muddy Waters, you can listen to the How Bees Humiliate Humans--click the listen link at the top. Then, you can hear my favorite line from the story: "Ummmm, if you could introduce me as the International Coordinator for the Pollinator Partnership." If that job doesn't excite you perhaps you want to be the person who tethers bees?

Perhaps my mom should apply. . . my mom tethered a praying mantis once--I kid you not--it was our pet and she thought it looked sickly so she tied it to the porch so it could eat grass (sadly, they are carnivores)--my sister and I ran outside to retrieve and found a red thread tied to the porch and dangling in the wind. . .

#2 Wackiness: Kids Get a Lift at Mardi Gras Parades
A friend of mine went to Mardi Gras last weekend. I've never been so I did not know of the prolific ladder lifting devices they use to raise children to the heights of tossed beads. Various homemade devices have some kind of "box" at the top, with attahed wheels, I suppose for easier toting to the parade site. I had no trouble finding pictures online once I knew these things existed.


Seems a little teetering to me. . . but then again I broke my wrist falling off a little one step stool. . . shouldn't these kids be wearing helmets? At the least catcher's masks?? And wouldn't this make you nuts if you were suddenly standing behind an 8 ft tall 2 year old??

#3 Wackiness: Pet Rapture Insurance
No, I don't mean insurance for prehistoric pet rapTORS. . .I refer instead to insurance for those Christians waiting for THE rapture and who also happen to have pets. According to Christian sources, pets have no souls and therefore will not be taken to heaven at the time of judgement.

So what is a pet loving Christian to do?

The answer: get rapture insurance. For a mere $110, and only $15  for additional pets, Christians can leave this earth feeling assured that Fluffy and Spot will be taken care of after their departure.

Oh, did we mention they'll be leaving their beloved dears with a SINNER--not just ANY sinner but the sinner of the worst kind--a nonbelieving SINNER--a self-declared atheist. I am not making this up. 
"He (the insurance broker) must reassure the Rapture crowd that his pet rescuers are wicked enough to be left behind but good enough to take proper care of the abandoned pets. Rescuers must sign an affidavit to affirm their disbelief in God—and they must also clear a criminal background check."
I saw the story in the Atlanta Journal & Constitution just yesterday, though apparently it's been around for a at least a year--maybe that's why the sinking AJC didn't post the story online yesterday. . . I had to find it on a Businessweek site.  

The last line of the story is priceless:

"If we thought the Rapture was really going to happen," Centre says, "obviously our rate structure would be much higher."


Wackiness #4: iPod, iPhone, IPad. . . iTit

Ok, I got this in an e-mail just yesterday too, though apparently it's also been around for awhile. . . I found reference to it since 2007!

Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip that can store and play high fidelity music in women’s breast implants.

The iTit will cost $499 or $599 depending on speaker size . This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women have always complained about men staring at their breasts and not listening to them.
If this were true, all those waitresses in Tilted Kilt & Hooters would have theirs tuned to sports radio . . . bring on the tips!











Monday, February 15, 2010

Three Types of Bucket Lists


You know what a bucket list is, right? One of those lists you make of things you want to do before you die.

The thing is when you read about creating one or hear people talking about it. They often will put these 3 suggestions together as tips for creating one:
  1. Think of things you want to do before you die
  2. Think of things that you'd feel disappointed about if you died before you got to do them,  and
  3. Think of what you'd do if you were going to die tomorrow or soon
Well, I'm sorry. But to me these would lead to 3 entirely different types of lists. The first one feels plush with time. You can put all kinds of things there--see New Zealand, snorkle off the Great Barrier Reef. . . get to a healthy weight and stay there, wear a strapless dress someplace fancy, grow really tasty tomatoes.

And the 2nd leads me to think of dreams you have--potentials yet unclaimed--like publishing fiction or helping fat kids feel OK about themselves. It also makes me think of people I love and who I can't get enough of--helping my hubby meet his dreams. Spending more time with a favorite Aunt and Uncle. Learning to play the guitar so I could play with him. Regret that I didn't have more friends to spend time with and enjoy--laugh with, help out when they are busy or down, play games with, share in their kids' lives.

Lucky for me, I don't harbor resentments nor am I estranged from anyone so I don't need resolve issues like that. I am close to both my parents and my sister and my in-laws.

The 2nd list--feeling disappointed--also makes me think of more immediate plans I'd want to fllow through on--like my goal of going to Acadia & biking & canoeing. Seeing if I can get promoted at work. . .:)

But the third one's sense of urgency leads to a whole different kind of list. If I KNEW I was dying in a few days, I'd think to hell with the goal weight thing. I'd make myself the most decadently delicious hot fudge sundae loaded with all kinds of roasted nuts and homemade whipped cream and extra cherries. And then I'd think about the things that would give me comfort and intensify my feelings about life and living before I left it. I certainly wouldn't spend that time on a crowded airplane to go to New Zealand.

When  I think about that, I think of things like this to fit into a the limited time left: hold more babies, especially as they fall asleep and are sleeping, they feel so warm and soft against your chest and the rhythm of their breath is so soothing; play with more puppies, letting them romp around and climb on me and feeling their puppy bloated bellies; swim in more ponds or lakes--feeling the naturally heated and cool areas, looking up at trees, hearing birds sing; make love more with my husband, losing myself in the moment, focusing on our breathing, transcending to new level of connection; spending more time outside, feeling the breeze, hearing birds, smelling dirt and flowers, and waving at people as they come by to add a little smile to their day.

What about you?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Quiet Corner of the World


There are so many exciting things happening the world right now.

Vancouver has the olympics.

New Orleans has Mardi gras


There's Chinese New Year



And of course, Valentine's Day


But in my neck of the woods, it's been more like this:

I just moved from one napping place to another. . . hope that doesn't mean I'll be up all night.

(Jo: I picked the 2 kitties for you  & your big heart.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Week #6: My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010 Perfect 10 Challenge


Week #6  for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

It's the end of week 6 of Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals. Sadly, Steve's father died this week. Please keep he and his family in your thoughts during this time of loss.

The Perfect 10 guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing.

  1. Plan out my weekly menu in advance and preferably use it to grocery shop (weekly menu comes from new Eating Well Diet cookbook or site, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers, or other healthy meals); meals should equal ~1500 calories a day
    • How I did: Much better this week! We managed to only balk on one dinner that we'd planned because Hubby thought I'd had turkey breast defrosted for too long and wouldn't use it.
  2. Use one weekend day (or an weekday evening night) to cook ahead--soups for lunches, veggies for the week, and perhaps 1 dinner entree.
    • How I did: Really well! Last weekend I cooked ahead these things: baked eggplant for Monday's dinner: Eggplant rounds with sauce and a bit of cheese over pasta; okra succotash and halved a chicken breast on it for 2 lunches; cut up carrots, peppers, & celery and put in baggies to have for lunches; roasted carrots & parsnips.
  3.  Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Not bad. . . last night I had planned hummus & veggies and  threw in a grilled ham & cheese; the eggplant dinner above was easy because of the prep; tonight we are having baked potatoes with broccoli & bacon & blue cheese.
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Excellent! Had the precooked okra/chicken dish 2 days, brought a frozen Indian dinner one day, and had the chicken sandwich & the apple from a boxed lunch at a meeting one day but gave away the chips and the cookie (brought my own 100 calorie baked cheetos)--I amaze myself1
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week. [Modified week 2 to be get up to do cardio--but not necessarily swim]
    • How I did: I did not swim at all this week. We usually swim on Tues. AMs but I had a meeting I had to be at work early for so we only did cardio. I could have gone to the pool on Weds. but I kept my lazy butt in bed. Plan to swim this weekend and hopefully Monday too since it's a holiday. . . as long as Atlanta doesn't get much snow!
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Have not practiced this week, but am feeling pretty good about my progress on this.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: Our third week with 3 sessions! Worked out with Trainer Ray on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Today's new addition was dribbling the basketball a bit. I do think think I have touched a basketball since about 9th grade. I made about 5 attempts to make a basket. I got one! On Monday, I had a miracle cure workout. I'd been taking Advil all day for my shoulder, but we did a back workout that used my shoulder alot and it miraculously stopped hurting completely!
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: Still am leaning toward the elliptical, but I did ride the recumbant for 10 or 12 minutes one day.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: I had no excuse for not going last week--Hubby even went without me.
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: Much better than last week. I shared some of my anxieties with Hubby and PhD., which helped. And I am feeling good and energetic, which always helps! It's been a really really busy time at work and I haven't had time to blog much as I've worked from home some evenings, but I'm not beating myself up about it!

Another Thrilling Secret About Me
I'm a big chicken. I do not like being scared at all. I refuse to watch scary movies. I don't even like the previews of scary movies. When I was a kid and they showed previews of The Exorcist on TV, I'd close my eyes, cover my ears, and scream for someone to come turn the channel! The more realistic it is--the more likely it is to happen--like someone breaking in a house or the killer in the basement--the less likely I am to watch it. I can take a monster eating Manhattan. And I'm less scared if there is no sound. The sound effects do me in.

I hated that I was afraid when I was a kid because my dad & sister watched all those Sat. night horror shows (What were they called? Chiller? Tales from the Crypt?) together and I was jeolous and wanted to be with them. . . but too afraid to join their circle!

Along with this fear. . . I'm still not overly keen on being alone--especially overnight. I have to work really hard to keep my imagination in check.