Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some TLC About Weighing


One my most long-term friends sent me an e-mail recently that gave me a lot to think about in terms of the scale. I gave myself a week to consider it, and I've decided. I am only going to weigh every other week. I'm timing the weigh ins based on my hormonal cycle. . . this week I showed another gain, so I'm one week losing, one week gaining, one week losing, one week gaining. . .I find this hard to, um,stomach given my efforts. I think this plan will take some of the stress away and allow me to give some improved attention to those NSV--non scale victories--like working out with a trainer, jogging, swimming, lying in bed in the morning and feeling like my stomach is flatter, and having people tell me I'm looking good!

Here are my friend's--Ms TLC's--words. I think you'll find her pretty damn smart. . .


WHY ARE YOU WEIGHING YOURSELF?


Here are some POSSIBLE reasons.

You’ve set a particular weight goal for the year, and you’re trying to do the math to meet that goal. SILLY RABBIT! I frickin’ LOVE math, but even I don’t count on BODY WEIGHT/CALORIE/EXERCISE math! As your weight goes down, your caloric needs go down, so you’re always going to be chasing a prize that gives diminishing returns. 100 pounds in a year does indeed mean 8.33 pounds a month, on average, but some months will have to be over that average to counterbalance those months with fewer pounds lost. So, if weighing yourself motivates you to step it up, it’s worth doing. That’s not what I’m reading, though.

You don’t trust your body to let you know that your new habits are good for you. Don’t you think your clothes will get looser? Don’t you think the mirror will show less roundness? Don’t you think you’ll sleep better, move better, digest better, think better? I mean, you’re the one who told me about research that shows people who even THINK about losing weight show improvements in health measures. One weekly measurement to sum up the success of many, many daily choices you make for health seems self-defeating.

You think life is fair. So, everyone who studies 2 hours a night will make the same score on a test. Everyone who works 50 hours a week at the same job will earn the same salary. No. Just no. Some people have to work harder, and still won’t get the same results. Sure, it stinks, but there are lots and lots of things that come easily to you while other people struggle. Life’s not fair, but it’s worthwhile.

You’re ignoring measurement error. It could well be that cutting 3500 calories equates to losing a pound, but what happens if you weigh yourself, drink a gallon of NO CALORIE water, and then get on the scales again? I’m pretty sure you’d weigh more.

You think you can control OUTCOMES. I think of it more as a probability problem. If I move more and eat less, there’s a good likelihood that my body will be smaller. And this becomes even more likely the more often I repeat the behavior. It seems we have more control over the behaviors than the results, but the results will come. Do you give up saving money for a vacation because your furnace goes out? No, you take the hit, pay to fix the furnace, and maybe delay your vacation a bit.

You buy into other people’s fixation on weight as a measurement of success or health or worthiness or dedication. Your IQ, your salary, your age, your blood pressure—none of these numbers define you. Do they? Does your weight? Are there not other measures of the success of your plan?


WHAT IF YOU STAYED OFF THE SCALE FOR A MONTH? OR SIX MONTHS?
What would that change? If you didn’t check your bank balance for six months, would you go on some sort of spending spree? Some people might—they need the feedback to keep their shopping (or eating, for the weighers) in check. I bet you don’t need that financial feedback, and I doubt if you need the weight feedback.

If you’re not able to use the scale’s feedback to motivate yourself, maybe you need another tool. You could make a big wall calendar and put stars on it for your successes: red star = 2 minutes on elliptical; blue star = 5 minutes swimming; green star = packed lunch, etc. You could get a Flip video (I have one I carry daily) to take quick videos of your meals to record them later, or to tape a motivational talk to yourself to play back just before eating, etc etc. (I haven’t done these things yet, but I might.)
Lately, I keep coming back this image to when I’m discouraged about my progress, whether with eating, exercise, social interaction, intellectual pursuits, or whatever:

Dawn is coming earlier, and dusk is coming later. It’s barely perceptible, because we only get two or three minutes more of light each day, but by June we’ll have after a week, you can notice that it’s not dark when you leave work. Little changes add up to real differences. Noticing the little changes, commenting on them, and building them into your life can make things dramatically different.

I’ve stopped waking up in the morning and groaning because it’s still dark, or being pissed because I leave work in the dark. It won’t always be dark. The light will come. It’s coming now, but you have to look for it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Week #4 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010



Week #4 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

I'm following Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals. The guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing. Here are my goals and my status.
  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: Just like last week--planned better than I was able to follow through. Planning meals for Hubby to cook before I get home hasn't worked well since we've both been busy. . .so this week, I'm going to try even harder to plan for really quick, almost no-tmie meals that still feel satisfying.
  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: Made the tofu dish I talked about earlier as well as Meditterranean barley salad. Good stuff. Also BBQ's some chicken thighs. And my step daughter cooked ahead some sesame green beans for me.

       Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Had precooked chicken thighs & green beans one night. Had pasta with pesto & some veggies another night. Not bad.
      Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Success! Did partake in one free lunch but limited myself to the Thai veggies and a few pieces of California roll.
      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: On Sat. I got up and went to the gym before it even opened! But I went back in the PM and did the elliptical and swam. On Monday, met with Trainer Ray and did elliptical, Tuesday: elliptical and swam :) ; Weds. Elliptical; Thurs. Trainer Ray; Friday, Trainer Ray
      Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Practiced on this this week--on Sat. & Tues. But I plan to go to the pool on Sat.
      Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: FANTASTIC! See above. We started pir 3rd session this week .
  3. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: I actually can't recall if I did this on Sat. or Mon., but I don't think I did. But I feel OK about it because when I mde the goal, I didn't realize I'd be able to do elliptical.
      Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Didn't go to church on Sunday because we had company. Batting 0 on this one. But I did chat with a woman at the gym who is now going to be training with us with Ray 2x a week. So maybe I'll get a friend.
  4. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: Had one morning where I was irked with Hubby and added a peanut butter & jelly sandwich to my cereal, but I cut back on the cereal as I noted to myself that it was a stress response. Still working through some challenges with thinking about the scale--more on that this weekend.
Another Thrilling Secret About Me
As a kid and through most of my adulthood, I've never been physical. I remember in 2nd grade that the gym teacher gave me a volleyball to use instead of a basketball because it was lighter--and feeling ashamed by it (Looking backI think the was trying to help me .) I begged my mom to write me gym excuses in 6th grade because I'd never played T-ball and was ashamed. By 7th grade, I'd changed school systems and was stunned and overwhelmed when we had a more reasonable sized class (6 girls on the side of the volleyball net, instead of 60). I hated, hated, hated gym. It was the first class I got a "C" in. I cried regularly. I even cried playing croquet with my family or bowling. I quit band when marching band started because of the physical activity. (and Band had been my favorite thing) I had no physical self confidence. I even chose my major in college to avoid having to take PE credits. Besides walking, I don't think I did anything physical until I got married. My husband helped me get over the crying while bowling. I finally realized no one was looking at me. I learned to laugh at myself. I started doing weight training about 9 years ago because my knee hurt so bad. A trainer saw me come in faithfully and approached me, I have no idea what made me say yes--it was like a a whole new world for me. I've been to several trainers off and on since then, but this is the first time in a long time that I felt this enthused and comfortable and ready to explore this new world.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Morning I JOGGED!!!!


This morning at the gym with Trainer Ray, we were doing some light weight sets and then Ray had us walk around this indoor basketball court. It was me and Hubby and a woman who is joining us--I'll call her A.M.

We'd do a set of of say 15 bicep curls and then walk a loop around the gym. We do 3 sets, so I think we'd walked about 4 times. Then Ray said, Ok, now "Jog." We all 3 just looked at him, and nearly simultaneously we all offered a reason we couldn't. . . (mine involved fear that I'd leave a trail. . . I'll let you fill in the details)

He just shook his hand and made a circular motion with his finger. So off we went.

I led.

And I stayed in the lead.

I wasn't moving fast, but it was more than a walk. And I kept it up.

For the next round too. Nothing bad happened.

Then we went back to walking.

It was the first time I've jogged since crying for the train to wait for me in Boston.

It was amazing.

I came into work and told my boss (and the person who was sitting in his office because I just couldn't contain my excitement.). They told me I should pin a sign on myself: "Today I jogged."

I don't think they get it. But they could see I was enthusiastic. It's a monumental day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leftover Tofu--Better Than the First Time


This past weekend, my stepdaughter, Bel, and her family spent the weekend with us. Bel has been a vegetarian, I think less than year. So this weekend we shared the tasks in preparing a tofu dish. Neither of us has much experience with it.

I found a recipe in Eating Well's Diet cookbook for Tofu with Peanut-Ginger Sauce, and we followed it. But then I made the adaptions that Bel and I discussed when I brought it as a leftover for lunch. And I have to say, our ideas really improved it!

The original called for regular rice vinegar--we changed to pepper flavored and we changed creamy peanut butter to crunchy. Because Bel doesn't love mushrooms like I do, we halved the amount and added some water chestnuts instead. Now I have to say that I would prefer the mushrooms, but what we discovered with the chestnuts was that we liked the variety of textures--some C-R-U-N-C-H in the midst of all the soft.

And liking that was how we came up with our other ideas for adaptation: Before serving, add shredded carrots & diced red peppers. We also discussed adding diced cucumbers. Today, when I brought the leftovers, I added the carrots, some diced cucumbers, and some cilantro. YUM YUM. Sooo much more flavorful. I dubbed our version Tofu Pad Thai (Noodle Free) and I shared it on Spark People. Anyone know how to edit a recipe on it (I'd like to add the tip about the cucumber and cilantro.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moments When Life Stands Still


A few years ago a credible medical study showed that exercising extends life--by exactly the same number of minutes spent exercising. I remember the comments about the study included, "so you better exercise doing somthing you like.. . ."

The way I figure it, if the Fates had been kind, they would have made it so that when you exercised, time just paused. That way there could never be a time you could say, "I don't have time to exercise." When you were exercising, you wouldn't have to worry about getting to work on time, or getting home to cook dinner, or hurrying to exercise before the rain. Instead when you were working out, time would stand still. You could do something good for your body and then just re-enter life at the exact place you left it.

But since that's not the case, and wishing doesn't help, I've been taking time to exercise. Llucky for me, every now and then I have a moment when time stands still, when I don't feel any pressure to be anywhere else and where I am just focused on how relaxed I am in mind & body in the moment. The best moment like that for me is when I've done some cardio and then am in the pool and swum a few laps. Then I just let my body float up so I'm lying on my back, and I extend my arms, and I just float, looking up at the ceiling and through the skylights to the clouds, rain drops, or clear skies.

And time hasn't stopped, but I still feel good. 

Do you have moments like that?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week #3 Perfect 10 Goals Update



Week #3 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

I'm following Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals. The guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing. Here are my goals and my status.
  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: Had another week where I planned well, but busy nights kept us from following through on 2 nights. 
  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: Did not cook ahead this week.

  3.  Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Did much better on this, this week. Thursday night, for instance, I had to punt because Hubby & I both worked late. But I sat down with the turkey & crackers and some grape tomatoes and salad dressing and some low-fat cheese and calculated what I could have and the calories before I took a single bite. Yay!
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Success! Packed every day. And ate what I had--even when faced with 2 free lunches in meetings! Woot! Woot!
  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: On Monday during our weekend away in Nashville we rose early, did cardio & swam before left to drive the 4 hours home. Tues. we didn't get up early--but we did have 7:30 PM strength training session with Trainer Ray, followed by 30 minutes of cardio, Weds. we got up early and did 30 minutes of cardio, Thurs. we got up for a 6:30 AM training session with Ray (no time for cardio); Fri. no time for gym, but worked out at home. Winning!
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Less practice on this this week--only Monday. But I plan to go to the pool on Sat. & Sun.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: FANTASTIC! See above. Plus trainer Ray offered us a 3rd session each week at 1/2 price --will start next week.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: I rode the bike on Monday (can't remember the time now, but at least 10 min and maybe 12), Tuesday evening for 30 minutes, Weds. AM for 10.
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Didn't go to church on Sunday because we were out of town
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: See post day before yesterday
Another Thrilling Secret About Me
I'm a big hugger and toucher in general. Every year at work we have to go to those anti-harrassment training meetings and I follow it up by telling the people who report to me that if I touch or hug them and they don't like it to please tell me! I pat arms, legs, shoulders, whatever is close. . .I put my arm around people. I hug for celebration and to comfort. And I squeeze, rub, and hold on--no tent hugs (heads together butts apart) or one armed pat-pats for me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Feeling Stronger Everyday


I've had a couple of good days since my last bipolar post. I saw my PhD on Weds and he gave me some great confidence boosting re all the terrific changes since the first of the year. And I also shared with him thoughts from some of you about setting and proclaiming weight loss goals in a certain time period--esp. a note I got from popular, hilarous blogger Jack Sh*t who said: "Thinking of it as 100 lbs in a year is simply too much for the mind to grasp. Honestly, Sandy, I never once thought I had a chance in hell to lose anywhere close to 100 lbs. I just kept trying to string two and then three days together." And we kind of agreed together the 100 lb goal thing/8.3 pounds a month is just not motivating me. It's making me lulu. Letting go of that one.

Also, I stopped taking Hoodia. I only took it for a few days, not quite a week, I think. And I think it was making me retain water and making me constipated. Anyhow I felt not like usual and that was the most notable new thing. I feel better since I stopped it. Want it? I'll mail it to you.

And, we've had a few good workouts. Good ol' Ray our trainer has upped our cardio to 30 minutes instead of 20. The first day I did all 30 on the recumbant bike because I was grumpy and annoyed. But it was good because it was the first sustained, one machine workout I'd done. The next day I did 20 min elliptical and 10 recumbant bike.

Btw, do you have thoughts on why riding a recumbant bike would make the bottom of my feet burn? Ray says it might be my shoes--not cushioned enough.

And, finally, get this. . . Ray suggested Hubby & I come a 3rd day a week--for half the rate we are paying now (under the table). I think he thinks we have potential. Cool beans.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Zapping Irrational Discouragement

My original planned title for this post was What I Know + What I Feel Still = Discouragement. I know that it's silly of me to feel discouraged after just a few weeks on this reinspired journey, but what my mind knows and my heart feels doesn't always add up. Still, I want to try to zap these negative thoughts.

I read somewhere once that your mind can't hold 2 conflicting thoughts at once--for instance, you can't feel resentful and grateful at the same time. So when I was looking for some witty saying using the word waste that I could replace with waist for Leslie's post tonight and came up with attitude quotes instead, it felt like chance to try to zap the negativity.

So we've been getting up to swim or do other exercise nearly every day since the week after Christmas. On Sat. the 9th, I weighed and showed a 3 lb loss. That was also our first day of working with our new trainer.

The next week, we worked with Ray 2 days and exercised every day but one. I planned my meals but ate out twice (one really big meal), and thought I did OK on 2 "punted nights" for dinner, but didn't really calculate. When I weighed on Sat. the 16th, though I showed a 2.2 lb gain. For a net loss of 0.8 lbs.

My mind says: Relax, it can take time to get it all in sync. And I am working harder to count/plan my punted meals, as I said in my Big 10 update. But my heart says: There it goes. . . you wanted to lose 100 lbs this year, and that means you need to lose 8.3 lbs a month, and you've already blown it in month one.

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer

My mind says: You're doing great. You've exercised more days than you haven't since the first of the year. You're standing taller. Your pants felt a bit looser this AM. My heart says: This is about losing weight; if the scale doesn't move, what's the point?
 
If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit
 
My mind says: You know you're probably going to have to log your calories as you eat them, not just count on meal planning to keep your food levels in check. Just do it. My heart says: I don't want to track every calorie. How many stupid food logs do I have all over the house? Can I really be overeating that much when I'm trying to watch AND exercising? If it's that close in the balance, I'll never lose weight.

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton

My heart says: It hasn't even been a month and you're already disenchanted with exercise. . . mostly because you don't have time to swim every day, and that's the restorative exercise and the one you look forward to. The elliptical is hard and it makes me feel anxious that I can't do all the time on it I'm supposed to. My mind says: You'll have revved up days and dragging days; the key is to keep at it. And you're committed to swimming and will fit it in on the weekends plus another day as you and Hubby discussed.

It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to. ~Annie Gottlier

And a few other great quotes just for extra safekeeping:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. ~Francesca Reigler

So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ~The Eagles, "Already Gone"

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it. ~Joe Clark

A person will sometimes devote all his life to the development of one part of his body - the wishbone. ~Robert Frost

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. ~Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, 1818

What is possible? What you will. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~Katherine Mansfield

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy, Happy, Happy


Sandra over at My Travels to Becoming a Better Me gave me this great Happy 101 award. Thank goodness! I was seeing them all around and about ready to feel really left out!

Here are the instructions:

  • Copy the image and display on your blog.
  • List 10 things that make you happy
  • Try to do at least one of them today
  • Pass on the award to 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
I decided to keep the things that make me happy geared very much toward the present and specific. Here they are:

  1. I feel really happy when we've finished a cardio session, swam a bit with no rush at all to get anywhere else, be anywhere else, or do anything else. . . and then we amble over to the hot tub and stretch and just sit. It's like a mini vacation. (I already did this today and the extra happy bonus was that the hot tub was outside so it had all this steam over it, and we sat there in the rain, luxuriating in the hot/cool variations.)
  2. It makes me happy to have my big puppy (~50 lbs of her) on my lap to snuggle with--esp when she's calm and not trying to chew on my hand. I'm deliously happy when she lays her head against my chest. . .I should figure out how to teach her to do this.
  3. I feel happy when I eat a wholesome, nutritiously self-righteous meal. My new favorite is either yogurt with chopped pear and a Special K 90 calorie granola bar crumbled over it. It's also good with cottage cheese instead of pear.
  4. I feel happy when I get over my self-conscious and prejudiced feeling in the gym and talk to fit people. Turns out they are nice people too! A lot like me. . .! :)
  5.  It makes me happy to get comments on my blog. It feels really weird to put yourself out there and hear nothing. Plus I'm trying to make more friends, and virtual is a good start. Who knows, maybe one of you lives near Atlanta. . .
  6. I am happy to be going to museums this PM with Hubby while we are here in Nashville. I always find looking at art thought provoking and inspiring.
  7. It makes me happy to feel moved enough by music to want to dance. I especially like it in my own kitchen. . .! I call it hip-swaying music.
  8. It makes me really happy that Hubby is exercising with me. It makes it so much easier to get up. It gives us something to talk about. It makes us feel positive about our future. It makes us dream about things we want to do together. It helps us touch more and think physically.
  9. I am super happy to have a job that I enjoy most of the time and that I don't mind going back to after a 3 day weekend. And a bonus is that I have super people who report to me--all smart, invested, and caring--and the same goes for my boss.
  10. I am happy not to be in Haiti or another country that is really poor and at risk for natural disaster. Feels like this is kind of luck of the draw in this world. And I'm equally glad to be working for a company that is donating money, married to a guy who thinks about donating and will follow through on it, and surrounded by people who are moved by the dispair and tragedy. A really beautiful post about this today is on Kelly's Sunday Citar post on Compassion--take a look.
Here's who I'm sending the award to:

  1. Kelly at My Voice, My View
  2. Bel at The Itsy Bitsy Monkey
  3. Sean at The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser
  4. Jo at Memorable Meanders
  5. Roxie at Gravel & Rust
  6. Leslie at Something Brilliant Is Brewing
  7. Project365
  8. Losing Waist
  9. Bee at Gutting it Out
  10. The Grandpa at The Word Mechanic


Friday, January 15, 2010

Update #2: Perfect 10 Challenge

Week #2 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010

I'm following Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge, which is a 10 week challenge to make progress on 10 goals. The guidelines include updating every Friday on how you're doing. Here are my goals and my status.
  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: Success in the planning. . . not so much in the following! I did figure out a menu over the weekend and shopped by it. But all the meals didn't map out as expected. . . keep reading!
  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: Success! I made a Moroccan veggie soup with lean beef, rutabega (not turnips) & other veggies and had it for lunch 3 days. I also made a rainbow salad and had it for lunch as a side all week over either mixed greens or spinach.
  3.  Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: I need to work on this one. I didn't plan properly to match my timing and didn't freeze the right size portions to make cooking easy for one night.  When I tried to punt, I didn't really calculate the calories in advance so now I'm feeling antsy about weighing tomorrow. Next week, I'll list meals that fit my time and either prep ahead of time or calculate how much I can have (crackers, hummus, peanut butter, etc.) so I feel confident and in control. Also, on Weds. took an employee to dinner impromptu.
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: 80% Success! Packed every day. I had one day for lunch that I didn't eat the soup I brought because I took an employee to lunch to discuss something since we were so busy (I ordered chicken kabobs and roasted veggies).
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week.
    • How I did: Modifying this one a bit. . . .We got up and swam on Monday and we swam this morning. We also swam on Sun., but not in the AM. On Sat AM., Tues. evening, and Thursday AM, we met with our trainer, Ray--and we did our workout and cardio, but didn't swim. Hubby & I are considering that cardio may be better for us in the AMs, so we are considering swimming only 1 weekend AM and doing cardio 3 days and swimming on the weekends. I think this is a super duper successful modification of this goal!!! I continue to AMAZE myself!
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Keeping it up! On the days we've been in the pool, I used the noodle to hold onto for at least 1/2 laps to practice the kick and then I do 2 1/2 laps practicing kick and arms together.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: FANTASTIC! See above.
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: I started this on Sun. as I planned with 10 minutes. And I rode it again Tuesday night and this morning. This goal could shift as our trainer suggests the elliptical for me . . .and I'm guessing that it would also get me in shape for regular biking--any thoughts or advice on that??
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Didn't go to church on Sunday. . . talked ourselves out of it since we are out of town this Sun. and have company next Sun. Have been talking to people at the gym. . . any suggestions on how to turn chats at the gym into friendships without scaring people??
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: Am struggling a bit with anxiety about weighing tomorrow because of the 2 nights out eating and the punted dinners. I feel I've done great with incorporating the exercising and even with following a meal plan for the most part, so the positive side of me says, "If you don't lose weight this week, relax, you're figuring it out." And the negative side of me says, "Something happens all the time to pull you off course, that's life. If you keep blowing it everytime your schedule changes you'll never lose weight . . . this is just the 2nd week of your goal. . .you'll never get there. Feel even more nervous since tomorrow we go away for the weekend--more eating away from home. . .
Secret #2 About Me

I work for a health web site and have been a health editor for 20 years. That means I'm squeamish about no topic. I can go from talking about ED & vaginal discharge to pinworms and baby diapers--and all over a meal without queasiness or blush.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

3 Questions: Hoodia, Predicting Pounds to Lose, & Muscle Soreness


Question #1: Have you tried Hoodia?

Our new trainer, Ray, told me he wanted me to take green tea extract supplements, but then he brought me Hoodia instead. Hoodia is a whole different supplement. I wasn't (and still am not) psyched about it. First of all, I'm not a supplement kind of person; I have a pretty conservative and reserved philosophy about them. Second, I have never taken anything by mouth that was touted to help me lose weight--and that's basically the claim all over the Hoodia package. It's supposed to kill your appetite. My boss, who's a doc, says it shouldn't hurt me, but doesn't think it will help. (And we agreed, how would I know if I could attribute weight loss to it if I'm eating right and exercising?) My PhD encouraged me to try to just relax and follow my trainer's advice, give in to his expertise. Do you know anything about Hoodia?

Question #2: Do you call the shots pounds? If you've lost a lot of weight, did you name your goal in advance? Advertise your intended amount of loss ?

I've set my goals for the first 10 weeks of 2010, and in setting them, I started thinking, Dare I say out loud that I want to loss 100 lbs this year? Dare I let others hear me say it? I'm not one of those people who set a monthy or weekly goal for weight loss. My experience shows that I can follow the plan, but I can't control my body's output. They make it sound all scientific and predictable; 3500 calories equals a pound, etc. But I can have a great week and not lose and a not so great week and lose. All I know is that if I stick with it, evetually the pounds will come off--but not at a rate I can predict or count on. Still, it's January. I'm following a plan. I'm setting short & long term goals. I'm feeling good. Dare I say it? Would it help me stay focused? Or the first week I don't lose will I toss in the towel? Should I make it more general or a broader range--I'd like to lose 80 to 100 lbs? Or make the goal 100 but affirm I'd be content with 80? Not name any goal at all and just say losing any amount is good? How much goal setting and announcement have you found helpful?

Question #3: How come sometimes it takes a full day or even longer for my muscles to start to hurt after I exercise? What gauges how long they hurt? And how come when my trainer has me do exercises to work my shoulders, my triceps hurt instead?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Training Session #2 With Ray

Yesterday AM Hubby & I did our morning swim. We were less than inspired. . . but we went, we swam, we succeeded!

Last night, I had a belated holiday dinner with my team. We went to one of the best restaurants in Atlanta. It was a 4-course dinner: appetizer (I had foie gras), entree (I had lamb chops with roasted root vegetables), cheese plate (I had stilton with poached pears), and dessert (I had orange souffle). Clearly, I decded not to worry about my choices. (Though I didn't add to it by drinking alcohol.) Instead, I had an on-track breakfast and lunch and even snack. I did come home feeling pretty full, but I have to say I slept great!

Today I had a good food day and barely had time to eat dinner before our 2nd training session with Ray. I ate some sliced turkey breast and crackers and a bit of peanut butter. . . less than I had available on my count. So we'll just see how it works out this week on the scale.

At the gym tonight (night is not our first choice for the gym, but we're still working out our schedule), we worked hard. I started with leg presses, up the stairs, then hamstring curls on the machine, leg raises on the machines, up the stairs,shoulder presses on the machine (these were really hard), left & right dead lifts with a 6 lb ball, rows on the machine, and the upright ab machine (more weight tonight was hard), and the stairs again. I think Hubby may have done and extra machine and I'm sure he did more stairs but I don't care, my legs were noodles!


I was pretty tired after that, but we weren't done. We still had 20 minutes of cardio. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the recumbant bike. I'm proud. . .though I'm sure I will be sore tomorrow! I can already feel it in my hamstrings especially.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

An Alien Must Have Taken Me Over. . .


Who am I? I must have been overtaken by an alien because Hubby and I went to the gym today too. While Hubby stuck to the treadmill, I did 10 minutes on the recumbant bike, then 10 on the treadmill. Then we both went to the pool and did just about 10 minutes warming up and 20 minutes of swimming! The water felt really good. I also practiced a lap just doing the frog kick for the breast stroke and a lap (well, a half-lap two times) practicing the breast stroke.

We also booked a room in Nashville for next weekend to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary so even though the weekend feels like it flew by, I'll have something to look forward to. And next week we get Martin Luther King day so it will be a short week.

I am so happy Hubby is doing this with me. And I'm so glad to be "on." I just wish I knew better what makes that click happen!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Today I Am INSPIRING


I am in awe of myself. This morning Hubby & I met with our new trainer, Ray.  I was a bit nervous, though I've worked with trainers before, and I was also excited about working with Hubby and starting a new thing together. (The gym offered us 2 for 1 training so how could Hubby say no?)

It started out not that bad--new machine for me--kind of an upright ab machine--you have your arms raised behind you a tad, bent at the elbows then push down. 3 sets of 15. . . Ok. Know my abs will be a bit sore tomorrow.

Has us climb the stairs. (This was funny because he told us to go up the stairs, so we did and stood at the top and hung out there waiting for him. . . he comes up and says, "Come back down!" Apparently, the routine is to walk up to the landing and return, but how did we know?? I guess he was thinking we'd run away already!)

Next to the machine to do leg extensions--3 sets of 15 at like 30 lbs. . .my right knee was feeling it a bit, but OK. In between sets he made us get up and do 15 squats.

Next to the hamstring curl machine, same reps and sets.

More steps.

Then we did 15 shoulder presses, 3 sets with just 5 lb weights, between each set we did bicep curls. Before the last set we did a flight of steps--and after the sets we walked up the steps with the weights in our hands.

So this was all well & good for our first 30-min training session.

But here's where the amazing, inspirational part  was. . . he told us he wanted us to do 3 cardio sessions a week--Hubby on treadmill and me on elliptical. Now I haven't done the elliptical in a long time, and I know from expreience it takes me like 3 minutes to get to my target heart rate. And I think, perhaps, the longest I've ever done is not more than 12 consecutive minutes on it. So I say to Ray, I'm not sure I have the endurance for this, and he says, "Just try to stay on."

He gets us each situated on an elliptical (despite what he'd said about Hubby walking) and as as he walks away he says to Hubby: "Do 20 minutes." He says to me again, "Just try to stay on. Good luck," he pats my back.

I have to admit that if Hubby wasn't there, I would have quit. I kept watching to see how long he'd go. And if I'd gone in alone without a trainer, I would have probably done 3 minutes and thought, "Ok good start."

But  Ray just acted like it was doable. And Hubby was doing it. So I just stayed on. My arm hurt. My hip hurt a bit. My right leg started to feel tingly. I'd just slow a bit. The heart rate thing either stopped working or I had a weird response (it went from 146 to 147 to 149 to 54 then 73. . .), but I just kept moving and hanging on.

I did 20 minutes! I AMAZE MYSELF!!

I sat on the seat of the rucumbent bike a few seconds to get the jello out of my legs and held on the the railing as I went down the stairs, with Hubby lovingly keeping pace beside me, but. . . WOO HOO we are on our way!

It's gonna happen. I'm gonna be able to ride bikes in Acadia. . . I just have to keep staying on.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Week 1, 2010 Perfect 10 Update & Secret #1


If you're paying attention you're saying, "What, how can week 1's assessment be here already? You just posted your Perfect 10 Goals yesterday!" But I was a bit late in signing up for South Beach Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge. And, no, I don't think it's cheating to write the goals after you already know what you have or haven't succeed with the first week--there are still 9 weeks to go!

Update #1 for My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010


  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: Success! Figured out a menu on Sun, shopped by it, and have stuck by it for breakfast and lunch--punted twice on dinner but with reasonable and healthy substitutions.
  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: Success! I made a rice, black-eyed pea, collard green "stew" that I ate for 2 lunches and froze some for future lunches. I also stayed up late one night to cook brussel sprouts which I've added to 2 lunches.
  3.  Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
    • How I did: Success! I knew that last night and tonight we'd be late eating--I had planned an omelet sandwich for last night and only half-planned tonight, but I did OK--cereal last night and hummus with crackers tonight (and a few grahams with peanut butter)
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
    • How I did: Success! Packed every day and ate it every day.
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week.
    • How I did: Success! Got up Monday, Tuesday, & Wedsnesday to swim before work. Thurs. is our off day. Friday (I'm updating Thurs. night for a Fri. AM post date) the weather is supposed to be icy in GA so the plan is get up and take turns walking on the treadmill while the other goes up and down on the step--I think that counts.
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
    • How I did: Starting! On Tues. night I researched how to do it; on Weds. I practiced it--arms only; legs only, and a bit together.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
    • How I did: First things first. . . we signed up to work with a trainer together 2 times a week with our new trainer Ray. Our first session is Sat. at 9:30 AM. I'm excited and nervous. Hubby's never trained before and we've never done it together and we don't know this guy at all yet. 
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
    • How I did: No where on this yet. . . My goal is to start this on Sun. 
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
    • How I did: Didn't set these goals before Sun., so still have the first Sun to come.  
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
    • How I did: All energized in newby restart mode so this wasn't so challenging this week. But I did have a moment at the pool on Weds. when I was discounting/apologizing for our status and had the opportunity to reframe it!  
Secret #1 Revealed
Another one of Steve's rule for the Perfect 10 Challenge is to tell something about yourself that other bloggers likely don't know.
I love having plants in my house and people have commented about how well I do with them, but my secret is I only keep plants that do well with neglect--that perk back up with watering after a long Sandy-imposed draught. That includes peace lily, violets, bamboo, and philadendron.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why I Want This: Storing Motivation for Future Inspiration

I had never seen Fat Fighter TV but Lynn of Lynn's Weigh linked to an article about her there so I checked it out. And, lucky me, I found another gem of a quote from Lynn--something that I thought was worth acting on.
"You’ve gotta have that solid foundation of why you want to do this in the first place so that when you do start feeling like ‘I can’t do this anymore’ or ‘I don’t want to do this,’ you can look back. I really strongly urge journaling before you start to lose weight – figure out why you want this – then you’ll have something to look at." --Lynn Haraldson-Bering
I think this could be true for a lot of things that take time and commitment and revision and endurance. But for me that thing is the same as Lynn's--losing weight. And I'm feeling all gung ho right now so it seems like a good time to log my reasons for wanting to do this.


This year I want to stick with my goals to eat mindfully, healthfully, and moderately and to exercise progressively, positively, and variedly because I like feeling good about myself and I want to move past this weight obstacle that has blocked me all my life. I want to make these things part of my history and not my present:
  • Not being able to sit on the floor, get in the tub, use a mat in the gym, or sit at the edge of the pool without dropping
  • Not being able to get up from any of those positions without a lot of inglorious and unglamorous and downright humiliating moves--rolling awkwardly to my side, painfully to my knees, pressing up on something with my hands and slowly struggling up
  • Having my arm go dead when I leave it hanging down for any length of time and when I sleep and tingling when I do water aerobics
  • Being worried about going to get new gym shoes for fear I won't be able to get to my feet easily to put them on in the store; having to pull my leg up to my knee by pulling on my pant's leg.
  • Having the stupid slat fall out of the bed when I feel like I barely move
  • Having more clothes in the house that are too small for me than I can currently wear
  • Using food to further isolate me and push me deeper into a depression
  • Having my feet hurt alot of the time and being very limited in what shoes I want to wear
  • Seeing my reflection in the elevator with peers and recognizing that I am twice as broad as any of them
  • Weighing more than a pro football player
  • Hating what I see in pictures; being reluctant to take pictures with people I love like my grandkids and feeling ashamed to give them pictures of me; not showing pics to old friends
  • Feeling embarrassed to present myself as a director at a healthcare company; feeling like a fraud sharing the facts I know but don't model
  • Joke about myself, my weight, and appearance to reduce my self-consciousness
  • Anxiety and shame that lurking in my future is diabetes, heart disease, & more arthritis--sayanara to sleep apnea, stress incontinence, eczema
And I want to make these things part of my present:
  • Live as a food snob--eating the variety of fresh fruits & vegetables & other healthy foods that I love in the variety of ways that I enjoy them
  • Go on active vacations--ride bikes in the woods and along the coast; ride a horse, get in a canoe, hike to see wildflowers and birds, snorkel; squat to take pictures
  • Wear well-tailored clothes
  • Be a ready-to-get-up-because-I-have-many-cool-things-to-do morning person
  • Get down on floor to play with my dog and grandkids kind of 45+ year old
  • Feel positive, light, lean, & long
  • Feeling proud that I am using my creativity, appreciating my body and caring for it, and presenting myself with unabashed enthusiasm and confidence

The Perfect 10 Challenge--Sounds Good to Me


I'm not much of a joiner, but I'm hooking onto the line of folks doing South Beach Steve's Perfect 10 Challenge.

The idea is to tackle, log, and share 10 goals (naybe it doesn't have to be 10 but that's what I decided on) the first 10 weeks of 2010. The rules, among other things, includes tracking progress every Friday. You also have to tell one thing that most other bloggers will not know about you in weekly updates. And there's a prize of clubbell training stuff.

And, as Steve explains, it's not about being perfect--"It is about setting realistic, challenging, attainable goals that push and stretch you to your limit, thereby making you better all the while. If you don’t attain the goals, but you never give up, then you will be closer at the close of this challenge than you are today."

My Goals for the First 10 Weeks of 2010
  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
  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.
  3. Plan 2 nights a week where dinner is easy--like hummus & veggies, a vegggie burger or other quick sandwich
  4. Pack my lunches most days and eat the lunch I packed.
  5. Get up 4-6 days a week with Hubby to swim at the gym, and keep increasing the intensity each week.
  6. Learn the breast stroke.
  7. Work out with Hubby & trainer two times a week
  8. Ride the recumbant bike at least 2x a week and increase time at least every two weeks
  9. Start going to church with Hubby and actively look for friends
  10. Make a point to be aware of and challenge negative thinking
Wish me luck! And if you want to join, go to Perfect 10, but hurry--you need to start by tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holding My Head Up--Times 3


I'm feeling good. And I feel so good that I'm feeling good. But I have to say I'm working hard to just HOLD MY HEAD up in several ways.

#1: Holding My Head Up to BREATHE
First, I'm working on learning a new swimming stroke. The only "real" strokes I can do are the freestyle and the backstroke. I also do 2 fake strokes (kind of like the Fake song books for the piano I guess)--what I call the "frog" back stroke and the side stroke. So I'm trying to teach myself how to do the breast stroke (which, admittedly, in my mind I was calling the breath stroke, and which frankly, I think would be a better name for it!)

So I'm reading about it in a book I have and I found these 2 great videos.



And




#2: Holding My Head Up to Stay Awake

Ok, so Hubby and I have been setting the alarm for 6 AM and getting up to go swim. I know from previous experiences that when you first start exercising that it initially it makes you TIRED. Eventually, I know it will turn around, and the exercise will make me feel more ENERGIZED. But that hasn't happened yet.

As a result, I practically want to put my head down on my dinner plate! By 9:00, I'm like a baby who needs a nap but refuses to close her eyes. . . mean and disoriented! Last night I forced myself to stay up to cook Brussel Sprouts that were about to go bad and to dry and hang up a load of good clothes so I could wear something decent to work today. But I wasn't happy about it. (Sorry, Hubby for your suffering the last 2 nights from ~9:30 on. . . I promise I'll lengthen my fuse!).

#3: Holding My Head Up to Feel Proud!

This morning was the first time we'd been to the pool when there was more than one person in it before we arrived. Our pool has room for 4 lanes--usually only 2 are roped off, leaving an open 2-lane wide space that Hubby and I use for warming up with water aerobic moves before we swim. This morning, a guy was swimming in the 2nd lane and on one side of the 2-lane open side. Then a woman came in to swim in the first lane.

I have to say, it was easier and less embarrassing to jog around in the pool and do jumping jacks and use the water weights in a "lap" lane when I had Hubby with me. But I still kept wondering inside, "Do they think we are hogging a lane? Is that guy sharing our lane annoyed that we're doing this? Or are we bugging him?" Then, I'd counter myself saying, "Hey, we can't be bugging him anymore than he's bugging us. . . "

Surprisingly enough with all this noise going in, when the 2nd guy got out of the pool, he crossed by me and Hubby (we were near the steps) and said, "You're working hard!"

I said: "We're trying."

And he said, "No, you're not trying. Other people are trying. They're at home laying in bed trying. You're here and you're doing it! Don't sell yourself short!"

And I said: "THANK YOU!"

He's right.

I rock.

Hubby rocks.

Me & Hubby--we rock.

Here's to a rocking good day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Following the Crowd & Feeling OK About It


Who cares if it's trendy and shallow and gimicky to get caught up in New Year's resolutions? Sometimes you just need something to help you bring to the forefront the things that matter to you. . .to see past the everyday fog that keeps you from seeing all the pretty options on the horizon.

I don't care if I'm with a crowd of other hopefuls crowding the parking lot at the gym or blogging about my goals or packing my lunch or trying new recipes. The best thing that could happen is for me to latch on to one or more of them and have my enthusiasm and commitment grow. I need all the friends I can get (a few within 30 miles or so please. . .).

So successes of the day--we did it! We got up; we swam. Not exactly as early as I'd liked (I was a bit late for work but everyone was in post holiday grog so no biggy), but who cares? By the time we were in the car, I already felt like a winner. "So far, so good," I said to Hubby.

And I had a good food day. He said yuck to my lunch of greens & brown rice & black eyed peas, and I wish I'd brought pepper vinegar, but it wasn't bad. AND while I at my desk, I read and commented on a few blogs.

Yay, me. Keeping the focus. . .

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A for Enthusiasm


Hubby and I went swimming again today at the gym and he officially joined (making our membership family instead of single). So while we were talking with the head of the trainers about getting our fitness assessment (It's all about assessing you so they can sell you a training package.), I found myself getting all enthusiastic about the prospect of working with a trainer again. There I sat verbalizing what I'd been thinking--things are settling down for me, we've been here 2 years now, I have good help at work, (I've got my depression under control--I didn't say that), so it seems like a good time to get healthier and focus on getting fit again. I sat there thinking, I could probably come home from work and meet with a trainer about 8 PM. . .

Of course all this enthusiastic thought was before we went swimming--we went much later today--about 4PM (good for us, though, because Hubby let me sleep this AM and we set the goal of going at 4 instead of leaving it open ended--"sometime this afternoon. . ."--and we did it!) and then I came home and made up a grocery list, then went to the store, stopping for gas on the way home. I checked the time in the car because it felt like the middle of the night! It was 7:35. . .I felt beat. My earlier enthusiasm started to get shaky. . .

I ate some rotisserie chicken and some leftover roasted rutabegas, carrots, & parsnips for dinner and had plans to cook ahead some brussel sprouts but man, I'm bushed. It's now 9:45.

Well, we meet with the guy for the assessment on Weds. so there is time to think this through . . . I don't have to make an immediate decision.

Tomorrow is our first day going to the pool before work. I need to go fold the clothes on the bed and decide what I'm going to wear to work so I can be ready to get up and go. I feel about 85% confident in myself. . .but Hubby should be reliable--thank goodness!

A few other good things about the day:
  • I took advantage of a sale at Catherines and got a few casual tops and an outfit for work. I would really love to be able to say goodbye to Catherines. I can't fit in 3x in most stores right now, except there because theirs runs large.
  • I discovered www.eatingwell.com/diet. I got the Eating Well Diet Cookbook (along with 3 others) for Christmas. I like their magazine alot. The cookbook has a lot of weight loss info in the front and some good looking recipes. It turns out there is a lot of info on their site too and recipes (many from the cookbook).
  • I talked for an hour and half this AM with my friend Lynn from Boston. It was a really great chat. She is really good at self-care--something my PhD tells me I need to get better at. . . I wish we talked more often. She leads a charmed life--travels a ton. Last year she went to Iceland and Berlin. She'll spend the month of Feb in Hawaii. I like to travel vicariously through her and get tips on managing money! I think I may stick my neck out and see if she will set a phone date with me once a week--we did that years ago. The worst that can happen is that she'll reject me, but if I don't try, I'll never know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Are You a Moosewooder?


Have you heard of the Moosewood Restaurant? It's a vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, NY. Hubby & I ate there years ago with our friend, Bob, long before we ever even contemplated healthy eating. So at the time, we could appreciate how it would be great for some people, but it seemed weird to us.

I have a Moosewood cookbook (Lowfat Favorites) and I've made a few things from it. Hubby is still not enthralled. Not that he won't eat vegetarian food, cause he will, but there is just something about Moosewood recipes that he doesn't like. . .

I made one soup recipe for us to eat from yesterday that was very mediocre. It was called 3 Sisters Stew and featured butternut squash, kidney beans, and corn (called the 3 sisters by Native Americans, my book says). It also had mushrooms & onions. The major spice it called for was dill. . . not my favorite and second was thyme. It didn't help that hubby burned it on the bottom when he was warming it up. . . It didn't taste bad, but was it wasn't good either. And I couldn't think what to add to it that might have made it better. . .

Along with it, I made a cornbread recipe that had pumpkin in it. Also not a winner. . .the texture was good--more cakey than cornbready, but it didn't have much flavor and I didn't help it because I added nutmeg. Yuck. It was all peppery. Next time, I might increase the brown sugar--it called for 1 or 2 T I think. Typically, I don't like sweet cornbread (given my southern genes), but if you have pumpkin.. . . I frankly thought it needed more pumpkin taste, but I'm not one of those people who can just dump in the right amts without a recipe and have it turn into cornbread, or cake, or pancakes, or muffins.  . .

But! I'm trying again today. I have on the stove a Savannah Beans and Greens Soup. It has fresh collard greens, black-eyed peas, and brown rice in it. It's also pretty short on spices, called for only 1/4 tsp allspice, pinch of thyme, 1 T brown sugar, and 1 T cider vinegar, along with the onion and garlic. But I have more hope for this one because I added rotel tomatoes instead of plain and I know I like adding pepper vinegar to my greens. I'm a day late on the black-eyed peas, but not superstitious enough to think it matters!

Did you have a special New Year's food? My hubby always wants saurkraut and potatoes and pork (ick), and my mom always cooks the black-eyed peas. But our family's tradition is Reubans. . .skipped those this year. . .(maybe that's why Hubby burned my soup. . . )

OH! I almost forgot. . .YEATS liked the cornbread. I threw one piece away because she snuck up to the table and LICKED it right in front of me and my dad. . .

But then a bit later, Hubby said, "Did you throw all that cornbread away? The plate on the table is empty!"

Bad dog. . . :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty Ten Rhymes With Gym


Ok, according to my know-it-all poet husband, it's a SLANT rhyme. (Or off rhyme) Whateva. . or as I said to him recently by mistake but then decided it was a phrase worth keeping--shut eva. . (blending shut up and whatever for you still suffering hangovers).

I've been on vacation all week, and on Monday, Tuesday, and Weds. Hubby and I got up together and went to the gym. I figure based on all the times I used that gym in the last year, each visit only cost me a couple hundred dollars (well, perhaps less since they let Hubby in for free). We went swimming. I lead us in some water aerobic type warm ups for about 15 minutes each day, then we did 15 minutes of swimming--getting across the length of the pool however we could, then we dipped in the hot tub.We didn't go Thursday because the cleaners come that AM and we didn't go today, but we are going tomorrow.

So our warm ups look like this:
  1. Jogging in place with arms bent at elbows, palms down when pressing down and palms up when pressing up. Do this facing forward for a count of 15, then turn quarter turns & repeat. Do the circuit twice.
  2. Kick up with legs using arms like scissors, same count and same quarter turns.
  3. Jog forward and back for about 1/4 length of pool (not too shallow, not too deep) or in circles to create currents
  4. Do crab walks about 1/2 length of pool, 2x
  5. Use noodles to work out arms--15 up and down at side, 15 out from the side and back, 15 forward, 15  back, 15 across--switch arms.
  6. Hold noodle in front, raise knees and twist like a washing machine.
  7. Hold noodle down in water and kick behind (I wear my Zoomers) to end of pool.
  8. Sit on noodle (like riding a horse), use jog kick and breast stroke to get to other end of pool.
  9. Do freestyle stroke to end of pool.
  10. Do back/frog kick back.
  11. Side stroke up.
  12. Side stroke other side back.
  13. Freestyle up
  14. Backstroke back.
  15. Backstroke up.
  16. Freestyle back.
  17. Another set up and back with some combo
The first day I felt every move, was even a little sore (so was hubby). But I felt energized and positive. The second day, I felt less energized, more reservedly positive, but also less sore. But I used my goggles and that really helped, mostly because it kept my hair out of my face when I took breaths. The third day, I felt great. Energized, positive, and not sore. I made hubby sore by adding in new arm moves. The third day I had to wear a bandaid on my left big toe where the Zoomer had rubbed.

My plan is to go to the pool before work. I'm just hoping it's as quiet in the pool as it has been. There's room for 4 swim lanes. Usually 2 are set up as lanes and the other 2 are open for classes. Hubby and I use the fat 2 unlaned lanes and so far we've only ever had one other swimmer in there with us part of the time and maybe one person in the hot tub.

I can tell that if I get to the point to have enough cardio endurance to do sustained laps that it has the potential to feel good--meditative and belly flattening all at the same time. .  .