Thursday, December 31, 2009

SMART Resolutions

Its that time of year again... New Year's Resolutions. I always joke that since NYR seem to be made to be broken that mine will be to take up smoking and to quit horses... and every year I succeed in 'breaking' my NYR! lol

This time I'm going to tweak things and make SMART Resolutions. As Keebler has pointed out SMART goals are those that are:
My number 1 SMART Res is to get back on the treadmill for a minimum of 30 minutes a day/5 days a week. To work that up to 45 minutes for at least 3 of those days by the middle of February.
I don't like to focus on the pounds and the numbers. It is honestly more important to me that I feel good than to reach a certain magic number on the scale. However I know that to be/feel healthy my weight does need to be a smaller number than it currently is. (I'm not quite brave enough to say out loud to the blog world what that number is.) However my number 2 SMART Res is to have my weight be under a certain number by the end of July. August is the provincial finals for barrel racing and I want to be under that number by the time they roll around. The lbs removed per month is attainable if I start moving my butt more and eating better. (and remain injury free!)
Speaking of eating, SMART Res number 3 is a tough one, for me... to eat more veggies. I don't know if its that sweet tooth or what but I find most veggies quite bitter. Although I was very happy that Mom made turnip as one of the sides for Christmas dinner. Not sure why but I really like turnip. Sadly Pie doesn't so I don't make it often.
I plan on eating at least one work meal a week as a salad, Chicken Greek most likely. And to have more veggies with my other meals. I'm also going to try to have more veggies as snacks as opposed to fruits or sweets.
And my favourite SMART Res has to wait until spring. I want to try to ride at least 4 x/week. Right now its too cold most of the time to ride outside (although Kimfer and I went for an hour and a half on Sunday!) and I don't have the time often enough to haul out somewhere plus ride, cool out the pony, get back to the barn and then back home before work. So that will have to wait - but its on the list!
I'm off to a good start, I literally just got off the treadmill after a half hour and yesterday I had my Chicken Greek salad at work for lunch!
(I looooove our Greek salad dressing. We make our own at the restaurant and its SO dang good. I don't know how people can eat the oily junk from a supermarket shelf!)
So what about you guys? Do you do the NYR thing? Set goals? Or keep on keepin' on?

Monday, December 28, 2009

14 Tips for Starting and Sticking With It

I'm postponing my big reveal for a couple more days. The schedule got a bit discombobulated. However, I promise I'll reveal all shortly! In the mean time, I thought I'd reprint a SP article I read just now. Since it's Monday, I've got to get back on the wagon, especially if I ever want to run that 5k!

14 Tips for Starting and Sticking With It
Stop Failure Before it Starts

-- By Julie Isphording, former Olympian

For some of us out there, if we could just convince ourselves that there is enough time in the day to exercise, we could be on track to a great fitness program. For others, we get started but quickly lose momentum and give up. To help get started and stay on track, here are a few tips:

1. Throw away the bathing suit you wore in high school… and the memory too. It’s normal to have a mental image of yourself when you last exercised like a fiend. But if that image is from high school, you could be in big trouble. Even if it’s from last year, forget it. Remember as little as possible of what you used to look like. Starting today, make new memories.

2. Prepare. We already know you don’t have the time, so write it down like an appointment every day. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment, why would you cancel on yourself? Aren’t you important too?

3. Start slowly. Do much less than what you’re capable of. Take a 20-minute walk if you’re returning to exercise. You might feel like it’s not enough, but it’s a good start.

4. Get the family involved. Run while your daughter rides her bike. Go to a local track and let the kids play their own games. Run with your spouse. Sign up for a local 10K. Walk with your son. Celebrate with a little something special after every activity.

5. Where are your friends? Four words, four reasons – motivation, inspiration, determination, conversation. Surround yourself with friends who think positive and live large.

6. Put the pain in perspective. When the going gets tough, remember that you have survived 600 carpools, 540 loads of laundry (this month), 41 baseball games, 230 dinners and one family vacation. What’s the big deal?

7. Allow yourself to slow down. You’re driving this bus! For the first time today, you are in control.

8. Sign up for a race. It’s a goal to strive for and adds a little meaning to your everyday workout.

9. Run/walk in public. Be proud of your accomplishment. Take in all the sites and be an inspiration to others.

10. Just show up. Go to the gym, class, or the park. Once you’re there, it’s hard to say no. 98% of life is showing up.

11. Eat. Follow a healthy eating pattern. If you limit your calorie intake, you will not have enough energy to work out and your metabolism will slow down.

12. Understand your energy cycle. There are peaks during our days. Even during the week. Try to complete your workout when you feel good about yourself.

13. Wallow in your greatness. You can exercise to become a better exerciser, or you can exercise to become a better mother, a better father, doctor, teacher, or a better friend – or you can exercise to become BETTER. Be proud of that accomplishment.

14. Have fun. Where’s your childlike spirit? When you can make workouts "playouts," you’ve got it made.

Don’t give up on yourself. After all, it’s never too late to be that healthy person you might have been.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Checking in...

Just thought I would write a quick post to check in and see if everyone survived Christmas?? If the food and sweets don't get you, your in-laws will! lol

Our Christmas was nice, but a bit chaotic. We were all crammed into my in-laws place and most of the time it is fun, but as can be expected when a bunch of people are all staying together, things can get a bit hairy.

We had to come home a bit earlier than planned so we could avoid driving in a nasty storm. Yesterday we got freezing rain, then rain and then as the temps dropped in the afternoon, it turned to snow. The end result is a wet, slippery mess. Hopefully Rusty is ok - haven't braved the roads to go check on him.

Anyway, I didn't do too bad in the food department this holiday season. I decided not to do any baking, so I didn't have sweets lying around. I also managed to avoid parties and gatherings with bad food choices (one benefit of being an introvert!). I enjoyed a nice turkey dinner and a bit of chocolate and that was it. I feel pretty good about all of that. Not much in the exercise department, but that will come in time.

I'm working on some decent positive momentum here in frozen littlekeebler land, so here's to hoping 2010 will bring lots of improvements.

I always find the week between Xmas and New Year's to be a bit strange - all of the big events of one year are over, but the new year just isn't here yet... I'm debating whether I want to formalize my goals or skip the whole "Resolution" bit... I find I don't do well with big looming goals and deadlines, but on the other hand, I don't do well without some guidelines to keep me honest.

What are your thoughts? Do you write a big list of New Year's resolutions? Do you skip it and just keep on with whatever you are doing? Do you prefer to write out goals with "SMART" (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) objectives?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Time has flown before us, and Christmas is not just "almost" here any longer- it IS here. Our journey continues, into better health, strength, and happiness, and I wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you on this journey a Very Merry Christmas.

And remember, on Christmas? The only thing over loaded with calories are the Rum Balls ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Am Encouraged!

Right, so this is just *so wrong* on so many levels, but... well, since this IS our Getting Healthier, Getting Stronger Journey Together Journal, I felt the need to share this image. Taken today, by my sweet son, Cub. (Who had this "thing" today about taking lots of shots of Mom's Patootie... strange...)

OK- so maybe the IMAGE itself isn't so strange.
Yeah. No. Not so much-- it's pretty darn strange.

Sharing the image is pretty strange too, for someone who is a private person that tends to shun the camera... (Yep. I use Delete a LOT when photos of me happen to show up...)

But, well, there it is. I was really pretty darn happy to see this shot. My Patootie? It's really NOT four axe handles wide! In fact, the jeans have a tad of ROOM.

Yeah Man.

Got a bit to go in this journey still, but seeing that? Made me realize I *AM* making progress.

I am... Here... sorta

After our torrential downpour that turned the clay slop of my property into soap (or, it felt like I was walking or driving on a bar of slippery soap!), I seem to have tweaked my knee. So, I am taking it easy. The flights of stairs here in the house are challenging enough when I absolutely must go up them. In fact, I've relented on only using the bathroom upstairs (a way to sneak in extra movement) and am using the kids' bathroom on the main floor. And I'm not going downstairs much to the bottom floor either (it's not really a basement. You'd have to see my house to understand).

Additionally, with the holidays upon us, I seem to have gotten super-duper busy although we're not going anywhere and the only family coming here is Doodle, my step-daughter, who is flying in from Upstate NY for a visit. However, as we all know, life doesn't stop on a hobby farm for holidays, a little rain, tweaked knees or really bad colds.

For a week I've been really exhausted. Just tired and drained, yet I can't seem to fall asleep when I try to nap. I really haven't gotten my rear up off the couch for anything besides chores or necessary shopping. Then to top it off, my TOM started yesterday and kicked in with cramps from HELL. You know, the kind that shoot down into your thighs and leave you a quivering, jellied mass of pain wishing for the sweet release of death because OTC meds aren't working and anything stronger leaves you unable to function? Yeah, those.

Now, I know I'm justifying my laziness here. However, I recognize that. And I'm a big girl and I take responsibility for it. In my head, there really isn't an excuse for excuses. But, I decided that since it's my birthday week and I can do whatever I like. Ok, it's my birthday week only IF you start your weeks on Monday and they end on Sunday. Otherwise, I really shouldn't claim this week, but I'm not claiming next week as my birthday will be over by Monday, right?

Anyways, enough of the justifications, ramblings and lazy talk!

There ARE things in the works this week that require me to do physical stuffs. I'm aware of what some of my birthday presents/ Xmas presents are and they don't fit under the tree or in my barn as it is right now or anywhere else on the property for that matter. I'm not going to share yet because not everything has fallen into place quite yet and celebration events haven't occurred quite yet. So, ya'll will have to wait for the big reveal later. But needless to say, I'm really busy and really, really stoked!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh My Aching Head

The non stop rain of the past two weeks left us with at least ten inches of water to be dealt with. It brought about cabin fever, frustration, tears, and to top it all off, a wonderful, throbbing, nose running, head spinning, weak kneed, slack jawed, dazed looking head cold from HELL.

However, the kids and I did manage to walk some before the cold took too hard a hold of me, and I even went walking with my horse. Right now, it's all I can do to toddle to the potty in time from flooding my living room, but hey- at least in my delusional state I find that amusing.

With being trapped inside, my appetite has gone down to nothing. Which is good. Consumption equaled out to expenditure, and not an over abundance of either.

Planning Christmas dinner has been left up to others. My plan? Sample a bit, but do not over indulge. The kids and I will be making some rice crispy peanut butter and chocolate treats, and a loaf or three of homemade bread, and then we'll just lend a hand where we are needed for the rest of the cooking. One good thing about cooking loads of food- by the time I get done with prep work, helping, cleaning up, and setting up, I am too tired to eat. I don't even want to really LOOK at food.

Merry Christmas y'all. And I sure hope the rest of you are healthier than I am at the moment!

Mrs Mom

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You are what you eat

So, a bit quiet around here again!!! What is everyone up to?

OS is totally motivating me to set some goals and to just get moving!

One of my goals is food related. I really want to make good decisions around food - eat healthy, unprocessed foods the majority of the time. Sure, there will be a time for treats and not-so-healthy stuff now and again, but I really want the majority of my food to be healthy and nourishing. I think I'll have better sucess in the long term if that is how I approach it.

I actually bought two books by Gillian McKeith, the fiesty little Scottish lady that we were talking about in the comments a few posts back. I really enjoy her two tv shows and was pleasantly surprised to find two of her books in my local health food store!

At first glance, her books are quite interesting. Lots of colourful pictures of food and not alot of boring science studies. She also seems to focus on just getting in lots of variety in fresh, wholesome foods. No calorie counting or measuring serving sizes or anything like that.

This week I made a big effort to plan out some food and make sure I have enough for lunches and snacks at work. I also need to step out of my comfort zone and try some different foods - I tend to get bored easily in most things I do, so stepping outside my boundaries and working on some new recipes and foods should help with that problem.

So my food-related goals are something like this:
  • try a new recipe every week

  • experiment with new foods as much as possible. Things I want to try? Grains - barley, quinoa; Beans - black, aduki, etc. and more vegetables. I get tired of carrots, peppers and broccoli after awhile.

  • write up a loose meal plan for the week, so I can buy the food on the weekend and have lots of meals and snacks ready for work so I don't buy junk food

  • enjoy my food - I like cooking, so why not make it something enjoyable instead of a chore?

  • try and eat more organic food where possible

  • cut down on sugar

This list sounds kind of dauting at first, but I'm really feeling like those items are realistic for me. I already do some of the things some of the time, but I would like to be more consistent. And planning food out helps me resist temptation when I am out and about.

What do you guys like to eat? Are you a picky eater? Is that limiting or helping you? (I know I can be picky - I don't like eggs, milk, fish and seafood!) Are you trying to just eat less, or change your eating habits all together? What are your favourite healthy foods/recipes? Does anyone buy organic or do you think it is a waste of money?

Talk to me! :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Have I Told You?

Boy oh boy! There is stuff to update ya'll on!

So, let's start with the big news! Have I told ya'll that I've decided to run a 5k this coming April at Portland's Run for the Roses? Well, I have! And ya know what? We CAN Run While Chunky! We may not be very fast, but we can run! I'm proof!

Now, this is how I'm going to do it:

Couch to 5k Program

It's a 9 week training program that takes you from the couch to running 5k. You start with just 20 minutes of intervals, running for 60 seconds, walking for 90 seconds eventually building up to running a full 3.1 miles.

In the upcoming weeks, I'll blog more about Running While Chunky.

Starting Thursday night, I just felt really run down and exhausted. I don't know if I ever told you guys, but I have fibromyalgia. However, I try very hard to not let it stop me and rarely let it slow me down. Now, I'm not sure if it was because of the fibro or if I've been shrugging the most recent bug Dude brought home from school, but I was flat out E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D. I didn't do my c25k training on Friday as planned. Nor on Saturday. Nor Sunday. In fact, I spent all weekend doing nothing but the bare minimum of hauling water (until it warmed up Saturday afternoon, yay!) and feeding the critters.

Not only was I exhausted, but I lacked motivation to do anything much beyond surfing craigslist. I told the husband I'd make banana bread, which I still haven't done. Even today, I've been having a tough time getting my rear off the couch to do anything. So, this afternoon, I gave myself a pep talk. After I fed for the evening, I'd get on the treadmill and put in my 20 minutes of c25k, because how else am I supposed to be ready for the race in April?

So, I got on the treadmill. And it was kicking my @ss. But, at about the 60% done mark, I noticed myself in the reflection of the window. Yeah, I saw a fat girl running with all the wrong parts jiggling. BUT, more importantly, I saw the skinny girl inside me running to break out of the body she's trapped in. I envisioned how I'd look once I met my target weight. And suddenly, I was motivated! My slump and doldrums were gone!

Now that you know about my goals and my motivation, let's move on to other topics, shall we?

My sports bra is the kind with rear hooks. When I started down this path earlier this fall, I had to hook it on the very last row of hooks and it was tight. Now, I am hooking it on the first set of hooks and it's still a bit looser than it should be (for running anyways). So, I need to buy a smaller size!

Well, I should wrap this up before I write a novella. But, before I go,can I make a request? Will you guys help hold me accountable for my c25k training? I mean, it's only 3 days a week and that seems easy for me to get off track. Also, I might need that extra boot to the backside when I lack motivation.

I knew I could count on you guys! Thanks!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Checking in...

I’ve had a bit of a weird week. I think I have finally reached a point where food is losing some of its power over me. I went shopping for some new work clothes a couple of nights ago and had a hard time finding decent stuff that fit properly. If I didn’t have to wear nice clothes I would be able to find lots to wear. Luckily I don’t have to wear a suit or anything, but I do need to look presentable.

Spending a couple of hours trying on clothes really, really brought things to light for me. I’ve been this weight for a year or so, so it isn’t a big surprise, but I think I finally saw myself at my true size or something… Not sure how to explain it really. Normally at the mall, if I’ve had a bad day, I’ll eat some junk food and buy some stuff I don’t need to make up for my feelings. That didn’t happen the other day – I just had this weird sort of mental “peace” with the situation and vowed to change it. I found a couple sweaters that would work and headed home.

I also really need to get some weight off to help out with my medical problem. (Remember the blood clot situation? It is improving slowly…). I need to exercise regularly and to shed some pounds and I’m sure most of the problems will go away. Up until this summer, I’ve been able to carry around some extra weight without it really affecting me that much health-wise. That all changed this fall though!!

Anyway – since that realization in the mall the other day, I haven’t even felt as hungry as before. I find myself thinking twice about what and how much I am about to eat. My cold is finally on the way out, so I think I can start exercising without coughing up a lung or two.

So, here’s to progress, no matter how small!


On top of all of the other stuff mentioned above – guess what happened last night? Rusy colicked!! Poor guy. He is ok today so far (just got an update from my barn owner). The barn owner found him cast in the shelter outside when she got home and once he got himself unstuck, she realized something else was wrong. Luckily she is a vet and took all the right steps immediately. If I had been there, I probably would have just run around in little circles flapping my hands uselessly because I was panicking… ;-0 Somehow he has no leg injuries from being cast, so that is good.

I feel like a terrible owner because I was at home and couldn’t get to the barn right away because we only have one car and the hubby was still at work! By the time I got there, the vet was just finishing up with him. He had a small impaction and she was pretty sure it would clear out ok. I stayed for a couple of hours to watch him and walk him, but by 8pm I left feeling that he was through the worst of it. The barn owner checked on him twice in the night and emailed me this morning to say that he was much better.

Hopefully that is an isolated incident and he is ok from now on…

On a side note – his blanket is just covered in filth – mud, manure, sweat – I’ve never seen a blanket so dirty. I’m not sure how to even start cleaning it, because it is currently -7 (19F) outside and I can’t use the hose because it would freeze. (Most of the tack shops/dry cleaners that clean blankets won’t accept them when they are this dirty) I don’t really want it in my house that dirty either. I’m guessing I’m going to have to carry buckets of hot water outside to get it rinsed and then bring it in to soak in the tub or something. Anyone have any ideas?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Orthodox Diet

I have not been posting or reading much on the blog lately -- seems my time has just been completely jammed up with other stuff....So this afternoon I read a lot of the older posts just to see how things are going out there. Looks like just about all of us are in the same boat -- trying to stay motivated....

I found one thing that has helped me a bit. I had posted before that part of my problem is that I do not get up early enough in the mornings. Our alarm is on our radio/CD player. We set the radio to the classical music station, and there is no "snooze" button. Sometimes the "beautiful music" just lulls me back to sleep; most of the time I am just not ready to get up, so I lay there for way too long. To help combat that problem I have been setting the alarm on my cell phone for 10 minutes later than the radio alarm -- I leave the cell phone on the dining room table. This has made a big difference. I find I will actually get up because I do not want to hear the annoying sound of the cell phone alarm. So that is good -- I am getting up and getting things accomplished in the mornings.

Also, we are of the Orthodox faith. This year we have decided to fast around the two holy times of year -- Christmas and Easter. We have a new priest at our church that we really like, so we have been putting a bit more effort into our spiritual selves. Actually, the fasting periods at Christmas & Easter are supposed to last for 40 days. This means no meat, no dairy for over a month. We are going to fast for 2 weeks (almost everyone I know cheats like this -- there are not many people who do the entire 40 days). It has been a bit over a week, and I can tell I have lost a pound or so. (Haven't gotten on the scale -- frightened!!!)

We have an Orthodox calendar, and it is surprising how many fasting days there are throughout the year. There are times where it is a day or two, and other times where it is a week. It occurred to me that if I were to fast according to the Orthodox calendar, I probably would not have a weight problem.....

We are going to end our fast on Dec.19 -- we should go until Orthodox Christmas, which is Jan.7. It will be interesting to see if I have lost any weight -- perhaps I will decide to stay on it until Christmas (??).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Week Umm... shoot what week is it?

I haven't a clue what week this is up to now. What I have to report in this update however.... well, it isn't much. Illness hit me last week, along with doldrums from heavy rains, grey skies, and children driving me insane.

Instead of an update, I'd like to take a look at those winter doldrums. Did you know they have a name? That it isn't just *you* feeling crappy, tired, depressed? It's called, I have been told, Seasonal Depression. Back when I lived in Tundra Country, I suffered from it badly. Everyday chores were miserable. The lack of light was miserable. The cold, the snow, the endless plowing, water bucket ice breaking, fence repair..... all of it. It took so much more effort to move and DO in winter, that it just. wore. me. down. Period.

So I made an incredibly hard decision, and I packed up and moved. South. Then I moved even more south. There is no snow to deal with, and the cold does not get bitter and cut through to my bones as it did up North. But the lack of light and the heavy rains take a toll.

In Tundra Country, I couldn't think. I couldn't find a way to cope with the depression. It dragged at my very soul. The doctor said, "Take these pills! They'll fix you right up!" My reply was... No. The doctor said, "Use a tanning salon! The artificial light stimulates vitamin D and will help!" I said, "Holy freaking crap, man! I'm severely claustrophobic! You'd have to knock me out completely to get me in one of those booths. Not to mention-- there have been other half nekkid people in there. That. Is. GROSS."

Down in the Southland, when the sun is shining, I make SURE to get out in it every single day. I play with the kids, play with my horse, or just sit and watch, with the sun- natural light, beating gently down on my tired body, no stupid booth where half nekkid people have gone before me. It helps. I feel better. And the more I make myself move, and DO, the better I feel. The more I push, the stronger I feel. It hurts- there are days when the barometric pressure seems to suck my resolve straight out through my feet, down into the floor- but still I push on.

Days like today, and from what they say for tomorrow, will be hard.

But I will push on.

I will survive.

I will grow stronger.

I will be healthier.

I'm liable to whine a bit, so someone please give me a kick should that happen!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Like a fat kid loves cake

I may have mentioned this before, I have a sweet tooth. I tried to cut out sugar... no dice. I did manage to cut back, some. And then this horrible thing happened.
I was reading the paper and saw a new bakery had opened. Not just any bakery but a cupcake bakery.
And it reminded me that there had been another cupcake bakery that opened a short while ago.
This was terrible.
Cake is good, but most commercial cakes are NOT. And I don't usually bake cake due to Pie being diabetic. But cupcakes?
Cupcakes are delicious, adorable, wonderful, individually portioned. And when a bakery opens that specializes in just cupcakes. And you can go and buy one instead of baking a tray full at home?
Oh my!
Then when you factor in that Pie loves me and heard me talking about this new bakery, wouldn't you know the next day he brings home:
*sigh* What's a girl to do?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Am An Addict

Yep, it's true. I'm a reality tv weight loss show junky. And I admit it.

It started with The Biggest Loser. I watched for the first time at the beginning of Season 7. Then, I added in some Dietribe, a helping of Cook Yourself Thin, some Bulging Brides and The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp. Over the summer, I discovered You Are What You Eat on BBC America. And I'm completely hooked on these shows.

For me, it's been about seeing someone like me completely change their life and improve their health. With every story, every journey part of me says, "Hey! That could be me! I can do that too!"

Well, now it's my turn. I've watched the shows, my inspiration has gained momentum.

I'm DONE being the fat girl!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mental exercises

I haven't posted much here lately because, honestly? I don't have a lot to say right now. I have a cold with a bad cough and was up most of the night. I'm still having some minor problems with my leg and I'm more than a little stressed out.

A part of me was hoping that "things" would improve and I could start to live my life. Once my leg was better I would....[insert something here...] Once problem X was sorted out, I would ...[insert something here...] I was grumping around about all of these issues - and then I realized that this is my life - problems and all. Waiting around to start living your life isn't really the best idea. Life is full of ups and downs, problems and joys etc. etc. and we can all choose (to a certain extent) whether we want to be happy or not.

Being miserable and grumpy is very tiring. I've decided that I am going to try to be more positive and see how that works out. Negative thinking is really damaging and easily leads me to a worse attitude. I've decided to put a mental stop on things when I find myself thinking negatively. It is actually working a bit. Once I catch myself thinking negative thoughts, I make a mental effort to pull my "thinking" up like a horse doing a sliding reining stop. Once I have the brakes on those thoughts, I either let myself logically evaluate the situation and come up with solutions, or dismiss it as silliness.

I then turn to the fortune from a fortune cookie that I got recently ( I have it taped to my monitor at work) and it says:

"Sunny times are ahead"

This has become my mantra and it helps turn my thinking around a bit. I don't take it mean that everything will be all sunny and roses someday, but more like I have the power to improve my attitude and I will keep working at things to make that happen. I've decided that I'm going to start writing some stuff down - like problems and some potential solutions and work hard at changing some of the things that I can.

Anyway, enough about my little brain. :-) I think tackling some of the emotional issues around my life will allow me to work on the physical part as well.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I found this on a SparkPeople page. I often struggle with "motivation" and honestly, spent years detesting the word thanks to my ex-husband, The Marine. He often used Jar-Head lingo at home and one of his favorite phrases was "Let's Motivate!". However, this gives me a new way at looking at motivation. Hopefully, it will help you too!

M-make short term goals
O-out with the negative thoughts
T-think of why you want it
I-imagine how you will feel
V-visualize the future you want
A-acknowledge your successes
T-treat yourself with respect
I-investigate new ideas and foods
O-observe your healthy lifestyle
N-never give up and never give in

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quick Take

Psst! I couldn't wait! I just had to share!



Yeah, even while sick and injured. And I did it by simply moving.

You can do it too! C'mon! Turn on some music and shake that booty! Oh yeah! Uh-huh! Doin' the DONE Girl Dance! 'Cause I'm DONE being the fat girl! And you can be too!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


"A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephen Dolley Jr.

How does this apply to your life? Thinking on this, will you change anything?

The husband and I wanted acreage. We wanted our horse(s) home. And then we found this place. It took time and hard work, but we found it. And it'll be exactly what we want as we make improvements and work the land.

I've been saying for the last 2 years that I wanted to lose the weight I've gained. I've lost it before without really trying. But now, thinking back, I was simply moving so much for work and didn't have time to stuff my face. It wasn't a miracle. It was getting off my butt and doing something, even if the weight loss was unintentional. I've been deluding myself and making excuses as to why I gained the weight back and not taking it off again. I just need to get up and MOVE!

I want it. I know I want it. No more excuses.


Back in the Saddle

Figuratively speaking at least. One of the few things I have been able to do the last month or so is ride... although not as often as I would have liked and for the last little while most of the mounting was done on the right due to that darn left foot.
But the good news is that as of December 1st I am officially back on the treadmill! And the great thing was that I worked up a nice sweat and picked it up right where I had left off. (originally due to the back injury and then the foot).
I will totally admit that I was worried I'd have to slow things down, lessen the incline or lessen the time. Not that I was going incredibly fast/high incline/long time anyway! lol
I set up the treadmill program the way I'd left off, 30 min with alternating inclines and speeds (incline up to 5 and speed of a very fast walk) The one difference I did make was not jogging at the end. I decided not to push it as that was something that I had just started to do before I got sidelined. My poor shins do not do well at speed... I'm like an old broken down racehorse. (which is kinda appropriate as I did run track in high school lol)

I also need to apologize. Here I brought this blog public, asked a bunch of you to jump in with me and then *whoosh* I disappear! This was unintentional and only part to do with the injuries sidelining me. To be honest I have spent hardly any time online this last little while and am now playing catch up in a big way. I've missed you guys and can't wait to see what I've missed!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009































Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gobble Gobble...

I felt (and still feel) like this:

But in all actuality,
the Smoked Turkey,
Smoked Boston Butt,

Banana Split Cake
And numerous other goodies, I am actually very proud.
I was able to quit eating when that "comfortable" level was reached.
(I think this could be cheatering though, since I also wore a pair of jeans that
were pretty darn snug as a reminder.)

And IN those pretty tight jeans,
I did THIS!

Yep, rode my horse in the new to me saddle from Nuzzling Muzzles.

Plan for the week? Flush out the sugar I did eat. I've woken up the past few mornings,
feeling like total crap. The only thing Dear Husband and I can think of
is the sweets- something we have not been eating lately aside
from the rare bite here and there. While I didn't indulge in a LOT of the sweet stuff,
I did eat some every day.
Might not have been the smartest thing I could have done.

Since my back is feeling better (knock on wood!) this week means

And if my horse gets over his moments of stupidity,
Maybe a couple more rides, too.

How'd the rest of my American fellows do? Come on now- I don't want to be the only one hanging it out here, for all to see!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the resources keep on comin'

So last week and this week so far have been a write-off as far as exercise goes. I'm stressed out and have a lot of stuff going on. Add to that work sucks right now and I'm a bit of a grump.

I even skipped out going to the barn last night because I was just in such a foul mood. Can you beleive that? Normally doing stuff at the barn and riding cheers me up, but I just couldn't face the mud and the mess there.

I'm trying to be positive and find solutions to some of the things that are stressing me out. It is going ok. Keep keeping on and all that sort of stuff.

I didn't intend to write a big whiny post, but intended to share another fun resource with you guys. I seem to be the resource lady or something! :-)

This time it is a blog, a book and a podcast. There is a blog I have been reading for years: "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl". It is about the weight loss struggles of a lovely ginger-haired Aussie lass who moved to Scotland a few years ago. Shauna is a fantastic writer and shares her struggles of weight loss and fitness.

She has maintained a loss of over 100 pounds (actually more than that, I think...). She published a book as well, that details her story. It is touching and funny. I have a copy of it myself and I think I need to re-read it to get some inspiration. I may be persuaded to part with my copy, if anyone is interested. Leave a comment or email me and we can work something out...

The latest thing that Shauna has been working on are podcasts! She and another blogger, Carla (haven't read her blog/site yet) decided to make their own podcasts to discuss all kinds of issues around weight loss and fitness. I've listened to the first podcast, but haven't downloaded the next few.

Check out their web site Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone to see if it is something you are interested in... Their latest episode talks about holiday eating and a bunch of other stuff. The tone of these podcasts is light and funny and I find them yet another way of getting some good information and maybe a laugh or two in the process.

Here's to a better week for everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Do you believe in horoscopes? I'm not sure how much weight I'd be willing to put in one but I have to say that I sure hope a recent one of mine is true:

"Determination is key. These momentary setbacks will be over soon enough. Its a testament to your fortitude that you have persevered in the face of adversity, and soon there will be nothing trying to stop you."

If that is indeed true then hallelujah!
I was feeling blue and contemplating my run of poor luck and how it seems to have coincided with going public with this blog. At the time I was also skimming through the newspaper and hit upon the horoscopes. I like to read them and see what my day was supposed to bring (its usually late evening when I read the paper). That day I was particularly down... my back had finally started to feel almost normal again (I had strained it at work 3-4 weeks prior) but I had also just hurt my foot.
Go figure, it was horse related. At penning the Sunday before last I got stepped on. Funny how its rarely one of my own horses. Maybe that's because they have more respect for me and my space?? Anyhow it wasn't as simple as step on - step off. Nope she stepped, pivoted and then stepped off.
I didn't think too much of it. Sure it hurt like a son-of-a-gun, enough that I was mounting and dismounting from the right because it was the left foot and hurt too much to put enough weight in the stirrup to mount.
Then I got home, took off my boot and noticed the bruising and swelling. The swelling was bad enough that I couldn't put a boot on again until Saturday. I never took the time to go hang around at the doctor's office with all the sick, germy people (ok they're not all sick and germy but it is 'cold & flu season') so I didn't get an x-ray. But my chiropractor and a few nurse friends were pretty sure that due to how it bruised and the swelling that there was a very minor hairline fracture. Nothing that the doctor's would have done that I wasn't already doing so that reaffirmed my decision not to waste the doc's time (and to stay away from the germs! lol)
The good news is the swelling is down to almost normal. And while it still hurts to walk for very long I *can* walk on it so I'm planning to hit the treadmill, albeit gently for now.
... that is IF my horoscope is true and I can done with these "momentary setbacks"!

Sick again and other blatherings

Last Wednesday, Dude got the H1N1 shot at school. Thursday evening, I began to run a low grade fever, mild body aches and a cough. Is it related?

When I was married to The Marine, while he was in the service, he was given a flu shot every year. Just like clockwork, he'd get the shot and I'd get sick with the flu roughly 24-48 hours later. Of course, in the 90's, the military here received a small dose of live virus instead of the killed virus given to civilians. So, it makes sense that I'd get sick, right?

Well, Dude was supposed to get a shot with killed H1N1 virus. Only the nasal spray is supposed to contain any of the live virus. And yet, here I am, sick with mild flu symptoms.

Worse, we have family due to arrive on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. My MIL is already in fragile health with MS. This is about the last thing I'd want to expose our family elders to! So, we're going to hope it's really just a mild cold and that I'll be feeling better tomorrow.

In the mean time, we've been moving furniture, cleaning, painting, etc to get ready for our family visitors to arrive on Wednesday. My in-laws will be here, in my home for the very first time EVER. I don't just mean here in the new house, but it will be the first visit to any home my husband and I have lived in during our 2 1/2 year marriage, even though they have made frequent trips to Oregon from their home in Idaho (and not because they haven't been invited, because they have). So, I feel extra pressured and extra stressed.

A lot of other stressful things I can't yet talk about have been happening too. But, I have been walking with Dude to and from the bus several times a week. Well, not as much last week with the horrendous wind storms we were having. But, you can understand my driving him to and from on those days, right?

Hope all is well with everyone else!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm Back!

I have been out of the blog world for a while because we have been on vacation. We got home on Thursday from an all-inclusive trip, so you know I have not made any progress! Perhaps I have backslid....have not had the courage to step on the scale. Will do so soon and report the sad details.

Holy Crap-- HOLIDAYS...

They're HERE. Or almost here. Well, actually for our Canadian pals, you've already had Thanksgiving. We crazy Americans are hitting our stride, preparing to give thanks and DIVE IN. For like, two months.

OK maybe not quite that long, but you get the idea. First, this Thursday we have our Thanksgiving- a day traditionally filled with turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, corn, biscuits, pies, puddings, cakes, and LEFT OVERS. Oh dear--- it is sheer HEAVEN to have left over slow roasted turkey on a sammich smothered in mayo the next day.... *smacking lips*

Here in the Southland, they deep fry the turkey in peanut oil. Which is quite good, but once in a while I yearn for a slow roasted bird. Or a smoked one.

Wow talk about a torture session. Here we are on a blog where we are working away, bit by bit, to get into a healthier state, right? Right.

So. Let's hear it. What are you all planning, to help control the insanity that washes over us during this time of year? Not just the food- but the EXTRA stresses as well. Stress? What stress.... HA~ ... Sorry.. a wee bit of sarcasm slipped out on me there. Bad Mrs Mom- bad bad.

For my part, portion control has been in place long enough now that it literally is not an option to eat too much. I eat a bit of this, a bit of that, and feel comfortable. I quit at "comfortable" and try to avoid "stuffed to bursting/ exploding if I take a deep breath/ have to roll me HOME because my legs won't work" full. The food however, is the easy part. Always is. This time of year has traditionally been utterly miserable for me, and here we are, still fighting the Good Fight (not sure on the status of the Fight yet. I'll know more this coming Friday- if I survive the week).

I plan on hiding. No- for real. I plan on cutting out and hiding. Thanksgiving means an influx of additional family members, and those of you who know me, know I don't do an overload of people well at all. I enjoy the work, the cleaning, cooking, and fussing getting everything ready and beautiful. But when the people arrive? Dude, I want to scoot far far away.

The Big Christmas Celebration is generally held four hours north of us. We don't attend as I need someone to care for the Wonder Nanny Dog and Sonny Bunz. Since I don't know anyone I'd trust to do that... we stay home. (Less people, still amazing food, and much less stress. Works. For. Me.)

What tips do you have to deal with the stress of the season? Is there anyone else out there who goes into hiding as a matter of self preservation, sanity salvation?

Hang in there y'all-- we'll make it step by step!!

And remember----- this is NOT about "getting skinny". This is NOT about bashing, beating, bruising, and bullying each other into guilt. If we have a bad week, we have a bad week. Shoot, if we have a bad MONTH, we have a bad month. It Happens. The important part? To me at least, is knowing WE ARE NOT ALONE.

Let's hear it!! Y'all have been TOOOOOOO QUUIIIIEEETTTTTTTTTTT......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Week Five In Review

Well. Let's see- first thing that comes to mind is:

Next up would be:
Damn my back hurts.

Last week was miserable. There may have been a disturbance in the Force, a hormonal flux capacitatior break down, or a screw up somewhere along the way, but I felt like CRAP pretty much all week. (How bad? To the point that I broke down and just BAWLED all over my poor Dear Husband for really no reason on Friday morning. Yeah, it was THAT BAD.)
I scared Dear Husband. Friday night he brought these home for me....

However, I rallied, and made Saturday a better day. Sunday was better still, and I even went and trimmed a horse.

She was a GOOD horse, but.... somewhere along the way, my back (in which there are compressed disc issues in the low back,) decided that it was underwhelmed by my desire to go back to work. I guess pulling shoes from one horse Friday morning (pre-hysterics,) and trimming on Sunday were just too much for it.

Yesterday, I tried to jump with the kids, and about three seconds into it, we sorted out Real Quick that was a Very Bad Idea.

I doubled up on my joint supplement, and am taking the minimum in pain meds, and trying to be Very Careful.

Between the FUBAR in the Cosmos (or just in my old, creaking, protesting, and semi-crippled up body,) last week wound up with me feeling like a whale, frustrated, and really ticked off at my body.

Nightmares, I tell ya, just nightmares.

Today, I woke up somewhat stiff but moving better. Until of course, we went to our first barn call. I had to help hold the "patient" (who was NOT "patient" in the least,) and tweaked my back.. again.

So instead of complaining more, I'll pop another MSM- GLucosamine- Chondrotins- Hylaronic Acid supplement (still under the daily reccomened does by the way,) and I''ll just ease along.

Weight wise? Shoot, I have no clue. *Feeling* like a whale may or may not translate into looking like one. It has been hard as all get out to not over-indulge this week, and dive into comfort foods up to my snout.

Ah well-- this week is another week. Each day is a new day, and we will take it one step at a time.

Be strong y'all, we'll make it!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's the little victories...

Last night I attended the awards banquet for the local club show series that two of the girls from the barn showed at. I know a bunch of people in this group, so it was a fun horsey night out. (The 17yr old girl from our barn cleaned up - high point youth!!!)

It was your typical buffet style dinner. The majority of my plate was salad and I just had a bit of the other food (which wasn't stellar). When they announced there was dessert ready, my sugar sensors went on high alert.

I had a look at the dessert table and saw cheap, store-bought pies and cakes. Not worth the calories.

Yes folks, I turned down dessert!

One victory for the good guys! I still feel empowered about that little thing, for some reason.

How is everyone else doing?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not a happy camper

Ok so I'm not camping, but its true that I'm not happy. I'm actually kinda pissed right now.
Three weeks ago today I slipped in the kitchen at work because one of the dishwasher's wasn't bright enough to realize that spraying water across the doorway is a BAD IDEA.
I was helping the waitresses clean up after the hockey team left and I didn't (couldn't!) see the water. I stepped, slipped and started to fall backwards. I really didn't think that another concussion would be a great idea for my poor head (and those kitchen floors are h-a-r-d!) so I threw myself forward toward the dish pit. I threw the dishes I was holding into the dish pit and grabbed onto the edges with both hands... and shouted a Very Bad Word. So in fact I never did actually fall, but I think it would have been better if I had.
You see as I forced myself forward instead of falling back I could feel, almost hear, the poor muscles in my back. And here, 3 weeks later, they are still letting me know that they are NOT happy.
I barely make it through my shift at work. I have hardly ridden at all. In fact I probably wouldn't except that my hips hurt less when I'm riding and while it doesn't really help my back muscles its not hurting them too bad either.
Worse, I have had to take a time out from the treadmill and any other exercise.
Worser (shhh... for today that will be a word!) is that between TOM and being an emotional eater I haven't been the best about what I'm eating. Too much chocolate, too much fatty/comfort foods. About the only good things are:
1) I am aware of what I'm doing with my eating instead of being in denial. Which means I need to give myself a stern talking to and get on with eating healthier.
2) Although not making the smartest food choices I'm not binging and eating huge portions of said dumb foods.
and finally 3) I know I've been pretty crabby and depressed about my back (funny thing, pain 24/7 tends to make a person crabby! lol) I know that mentally/emotionally at least I've turned a corner. One sign is that I had been avoiding blogs/email/etc and now I'm back and catching up. Another is that Pie is calling me "smartass" on a regular basis again so my sense of humour must be returning! lol

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Online Equestrian Fitness Resources

I want to share a few online resources with you guys. They have an equestrian and a fitness slant, so I thought it doubly appropriate! One of my big motivators for being in better shape overall is to improve my riding (and to buy some tall riding boots, who am I kidding? lol). Now, this stuff might not be for everyone, but I just wanted to share some handy resources, just in case someone else found it useful.

(The reason that I’m focusing on the equestrian-type resources right now is that the exercises aren’t hard core. There are a lot of gentle stretching exercises and light callisthenic-type exercises listed.)

One of my goals this week to start adding some basic stretching and resistance exercises (lunges, pushups, etc.) to my routine. I’ve been walking more and watching my portion sizes, but I need more! I feel like a big fluff ball, so I want to start engaging more muscles and start feeling better about that. I don’t intend to get into hard-core weightlifting by any stretch, but I do hope to progress to doing some regular weights exercises over the coming months.

I have become acquainted with a personal trainer in my area that specializes in equestrian fitness. Heather is an accomplished rider herself and does dressage with her Arab gelding. She has all kinds of cool information on her web site, which is

Heather has great free monthly “FITTips” that you can sign up for. She has a regular fitness version and an equestrian version. I’ve signed up for both and really enjoy reading them. They are not just about exercises, but about all kinds of tips for riding and staying healthy. There are also a few free articles available, as well as an archive of previous FITTips – some of the topics covered are: stretches for riders, establishing good habits, how to make habits stick, etc.

I find Heather’s writing to be very positive and motivational. Some of the information has a bit of a dressage slant, but is all quite relevant to riding in general. She also writes for a few other publications – check them out if you need ideas about stretching, basic exercises or rider position! – a horse message board. Heather from also blogs here, so check out her writing at “Fit to Ride 1-2-3”. She will also answer questions, so if you were curious about something related to fitness or rider position, don’t hesitate to email her!

Dressage Today Magazine – Fitness Tip of the Month

There are a bunch of books that I found on equestrian fitness with a quick search on, but I wanted to focus on free, online resources… – some videos (haven’t watched them all, so not sure if they are ok or kinda lame) – just search for rider fitness on the home page and several pages of results come up. I know what I’m going to be reading up on this evening!

I also have several pages of exercises that I’ve ripped out of horse magazines over the past few years. If anyone is interested in them, let me know and I can scan the pages and email them to you… Sorry this post was so long...! I get all excited about online resources and link and stuff...

I’m interested to see if you guys have any other equestrian fitness links I have missed!

Stupid (?) Question...

Does our SIZE matter, or should we be more aware of how we FEEL? (Stronger? Not as tired? Happier? Not as PMS-y? etc etc..)

Cause frankly, I think I am stuck at this particular SIZE for a while yet.

But I am starting to FEEL better...


No Progress

I am still fat!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week Four In Review

Dude- wait a moment here. Did I just type Week F-O-U-R?

*checking back*... Yes, yes indeed I did.

Time flies when you are having fun, huh? (Or to twist that to fit the pace at Command Central, "Time Flies When You Are INSANE".)

Four weeks. So what have I learned? Or accomplished?

Still keeping things KISS.
Smaller portion sizes are getting to be "the norm"
My activity level is gaining daily
I've been riding (!!) more
The jumpoline has had one heck of a work out lately, as the Little Mens and I jump at *least* four times a week together.

Not bad. I feel stronger- may not LOOK much different, but I *FeeL* stronger. Dear Husband, when I asked him point blank how PMS has been on HIS end of things (he usually hates it when I do things like that,) said that I need... NEED... to keep this up as I was no where near as b*tchy and I never really got "mean". I still cried at the drop of a dog hair, and the hot flashes from Hell persist, but I FEEL better. (And as long as I am NICER, everyone around me feels better too.) Dear Husband also pointed out- "Honey, you did not get here overnight, do not expect to change things overnight either." I love that man.

(PMS in this house? Putting-up with Mom Sh*t)

OK- things I have learned:
- If I feel hungry, I try to drink first. Tea, water, hot chocolate, coffee, anything- hunger is not always hunger, it may be dehydration.
- The more I do, the better I feel, the more I want to move/ do.
- Doing jumping jacks on the jumpoline? Dude-- makes your arms feel like they each weigh about 100 pounds. No kidding.
- My biggest battle?
The kids. I kid you not (sorry...) Having two growing boys in the house is tough. I hear two things in my sleep at night (when I can sleep that is,) one being the theme music from Scooby Doo, the other their favorite "catch phrase" of, "Mom!! I'm HUNGRY!" I look at the clock in amazement, knowing it has only been thirty or forty minutes since the last desperate plea for sustenance, and wondering WHERE are they putting it all? Between them, they have four hollow legs.

So of course, as I fix an endless supply of peanut butter jelly sammiches, jello, crackers, etc, the bite here and bite there sneaks up on me. It does not help having one child who will eat EVERYTHING (with Cholula- he even wants Cholula on his sweet treats. Cholula. Its a HOT SAUCE.) and the other child who will eat.... not much. Cub? Loves veggies, meats, cheeses, breads, hot sauce (by the gallon), shoot- if it does not bite him first that boy will eat it. Wrecking Crew? Not so much. His tastes change literally from second to second. Once his plate is fixed though- that's it. He either eats it or he can think about it for a while. I am NOT a drive up/ take out/ have it your way cook shack. You eat what is fixed, or... you don't. Period. The problem with that? I can't stand to see the food go to waste... so I nibble on it here and there.

How to combat that? I take less (or wait and see what he'll eat) on my plate. If he does not eat, I'm good to go. If he actually eats, then I fix my plate.

Sounds pretty weird to say that out loud let me tell you...

Gotta say- this blog? Rocks. Knowing that there are other ladies out there, working together as hard as we are, has been a huge help. Between all of us, there is an incredible pool of knowledge, and I can't thank you guys enough for digging deep and sharing your journey, too.

Stay Strong and Keep Moving Ladies!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I am sorry that I haven't been keeping up with you guys here but I've been reading and really appreciate how wonderfully positive you all are. I actually have been doing better with portion sizes and have gotten out for a few walks but have not been doing as much as I'd like to... which is why I have a question...

What are your thoughts on treadmills?

I used to have a bias against them because I love hiking and being outside but lately I'm thinking that I really might benefit from having access to one at home.

I have heard so many people say that they buy a treadmill only to have it sit unused but I'm thinking it might be the solution for me as part of my problem with getting out is weather, access to facilities and the time of day I have the most energy (later in the evening).

What are your thoughts on treadmills? What about fitness DVDs?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quick Update

So yesterday, I finally did some pilates. And guess what? My shoulder held up and is a bit less sore today than yesterday! Couldn't be from the rice krispy sounds it made while doing pilates now, could it? Nah!! Can't be!

Anyways, I decided to give my shoulder a day of rest today. Don't want to jinx it. I'll do pilates again tomorrow and maybe in a week I can add back in some light weights for strength training. However, I don't think push ups are in the immediate future.

I'm still walking the vineyards. I admit I've been a little lazier this week and drove Dude to the bus or from the bus on occasion. But, I've walked most every day this past week. And, I've taken to feeding Maddie in the barn now that the rains and mud have come. That means I have to walk an extra 50 yards from the garage, where we store the hay to the barn, which is behind the house. It's a bit extra exercise and it keeps Maddie from wasting hay.

Halloween candy got the better of me on the 2nd. I had been content to just sniff it until then. I only had a couple pieces though. I wasn't all bad. Actually, I think I gave in because instead of thinking that I don't want any, I began to phrase it as "I can't have any". Huh. I just realized that as I typed this.

The constant headache of last week is also gone. While it was around, I didn't want to eat breakfast or lunch and fell into snacking attacks in the late afternoon. Now that the headaches are gone, I'm back to eating my normal breakfast of oatmeal with a handful of blueberries or a single serving of cereal and milk. I really prefer the oatmeal and blueberries. Anyways, I noticed that I feel better and don't have the desire to binge if I eat a decent breakfast in the morning.

Ok, that's my update! Anyone have any thoughts on how they plan to tackle eating with the holidays coming up?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Timing is very important, even in implementing small changes.
For example trying to cut back on sugar right when TOM cam around was not a great idea.

(TOM - Time Of the Month)
I don't know why but when TOM's around I feel like I could eat everything and anything, double for sweets and carbs.
The other day was particularly rough. Crampy, migraine and no energy I vegged on the couch before going to work. I was watching Dr Oz and a woman asked why she felt like she could eat everything in the house just before and during her period.
That sure perked up my ears. And believe it or not there IS a reason. Its because our bodies send stress hormones and signals out and stress is a natural cue for our bodies to eat and store energy/calories/fat.
Super. So its not just my own will I have to battle but mother nature as well! lol I have to admit that I used regular sugar in my coffee this week (I've been trying Stevia). I'm also trying to reduce sweet treats like chocolate but gave myself a pass this week... after all I don't want to go to jail for killing someone due to TOM induced sugar cravings!
The good news is that I've survived another bout of TOM (or should that be my hubby survived? lol) and I made it through a killer two days. (work and a major one day road trip). Gave myself today to try to recharge and then I plan to be back at it tomorrow!

Have You Been Sparked?

I was really hesitant to write this post. Partially, I'm plugging a website I believe in, yet I don't like to plug anything. I'm also exposing a bit more of real-life me if someone really wanted to go find me on this site. And, I realize the body of this post sounds like a commercial. In reality, I just wanted to offer up another tool, another resource. So please bear with me!

Have you ever looked at weight loss websites like, or any of the other various pay-to-use websites which claim to offer support and motivation for your weight loss journey? Have you ever wondered why these sites charge $20 plus dollars a month? Have you felt that while you'd love the support and information available on these sites, that paying for it is just out of the question?

I've felt that way to. In January, when I decided to take control of my health and regain my life, I looked into a few different weight loss sites. And then I stumbled upon

I like that the site was completely free. I liked that I could join groups where people with my interests and challenges are around to help support me on my weight loss journey. I like that there is so much health info, not just weight loss info available to everyone. It's not about just eating a set group of recipes or following a pre-planned out exercise program or anything like that. Rather, it's about supporting a healthy lifestyle and changes each person makes along the way to reach their goals.

My biggest struggles have been motivation and consistency. I'm no good at keeping up any program when it's for me and me alone. And I have struggles that I don't necessarily have other people around me to talk about with. Nor do I like to count calories. However, with Spark People, all the guess work is taken out of calorie counting and calorie burning. And there are other people like me that can relate to ME. Other people who suffer with fibromyalgia, other people who ride horses, who have kids, who are just tired of being the fat girl. Just other people who get me and get the various struggles I go through.

I still struggle with motivation and consistency. I still go through periods of being super gung-ho with the website and periods of being rather ho-hum about everything. But, motivation, inspiration and information are always just a webpage away.

So, check out SP and get sparked!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week In Review

Well, SOMEONE played a mighty dirty trick, as the head cold that my sweet Cub brought home from his mini vacation with Granny was no treat for any of us. Fortunately, I missed the actual getting sick part. (At least *so far* I have missed it. Phew.) Wrecking Crew and I had a grand time while Cub was gone and he kept me active. We jumped, walked, played and in general just kept going.

I need to start marking down the days that I jump, ride, and work with Sonny. By the end of the week, I can't remember a darn thing from more than 12 hours previous. (CRS. Yeah, it sucks. It's also hereditary- you get it from your kids.) I'm pretty sure we did a good bit though, as I can feel a difference in my abs and legs.

The weather has been cooler, so I've been in sweat pants and not shorts. It dawned on me the other day, as Wrecker helped me clean out the closet, that my former clothes horse self has completely changed face. Oh sure, there are still some nice tops and a couple of skirts in the deep recesses of the closet, but I honestly can't remember the last time I wore any of them.

Of course, with the two little dynamos in my care all day, I am generally too tired to dress up for anything!

All in all, the week was a productive one. I feel good, and a bit stronger. Jumping is getting easier, and I aim to jump four times a week for about 15 minutes at a time. (OK- wait. That sounded wrong. I jump until my legs quit, then I sit down to catch my breath. Then I jump some more, then I flop down. But I am able to jump more, for longer, each day.) Are things fitting better? I can't really say- the sweats have always been big and baggy. Do I see a physical difference in the mirror? Honestly, I've tried to NOT look lately, instead I've been trying to go off "feel".

One thing I CAN say though--- PMS? MUCH MUCH BETTER. Not as many cravings, cramping was greatly reduced, and Dear Husband said I was much easier to live with. (I still got weepy though. Yeah yeah.. so I cry at dog food commercials. Sue me.)

OK- your turn. How'd the week go for you guys??? Laura, still feeling better? CDN- how is the sugar issue? Oregon, still walking and moving around?? AOHCM- how are you doing out there? Feeling better and moving about some now? Regina- hows the ankle? SG-- how can we help you out, getting started?

Stay strong y'all!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Introducing Myself...

This post has been a long time coming.

I just haven't had the time to sit and compose a thoughtful post. I guess that's one of the many reasons I am where I am. Time.

There was a time when I was teeny tinythen I went to college and discovered an unboundless love of junk food that fueled my late night studies. I skipped the gym, spent more time in front of my computer and packed on the pounds.

Once I realized that I was gaining weight I went into denial. Maybe it was the jeans, they were new afterall. Maybe the cut was different. A million different excuses. Nothing seemed to get me into the gym, not even my then boyfriend dumping me because I was "fat".

I continued my weight gain, and now here I am 70 lbs. heavier than the day I started college. It's not something I am proud of. I am not ashamed of it either but I want to do something about. I want to get myself back to a healthy weight.

I know it all starts with diet and exercise and I am hoping this blog is the jumpstart I need to keep myself motivated. I look forward to hearing from everyone and hopefully I can report some great progress!

The journey begins..

Friday, October 30, 2009

Words from Dear Husband

This is Dear Husband filling in for MRS MOM with some tips and suggestions to help out.

I KNOW what you are going through because I have lost 4 inches on my waist and generally gone down 2 shirt sizes with a few changes. I am 6' and was up to 269. Now I am 6' and have no idea how much I weigh because weight doesn't correspond to my being leaner or feeling better. Also to remember is that when you start exercising and building muscle you will........weigh MORE because muscle weighs more than fat. Building muscle will make you weigh more initially but that extra muscle will help your body metabolize more efficiently. Throw the scale away or at least hide it in the closet. Use the clothes you normally wear as a marker instead.

I simply decided that I wasn't comfortable being that fat so I had choices to make. The first change I made was to stop eating AS MUCH. Notice I didn't say diet or stop eating altogether. Not eating will cause spikes in blood sugar and make for some nasty days. (Trust me I tried that before)

Second was I started using Stacker 2 to help control my hunger pangs/irritation. It gave me the energy boost I needed to start and KEEP moving. The more I do the better I feel physically and psychologically. No exercise at all..just the motivation and energy to get more household things done and more time with the kids.

Do not try some fad diet. The only time tested way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise (move) more. Eat your regular food, just eat smaller portions and skip the desert 5 days a week. Yes I said 5 days because a little desert in moderation lets you take a day off with no guilt. No special food, no secret ingredients to buy. Just do what you normally will make your life easier and will "feel" normal.

Yes I have physical and psychological cravings. Yes my stomach complains and there are days I could eat everything that doesn't eat me first. And yes there are days I feel like crap and want some comfort food. On those days I compare how crappy I feel at that moment compared to the feeling of being fat ALL the time. Those brief periods of discomfort (hungry or irritable because I DIDN"T eat that ice cream) are nothing compared to how much better I feel and easier I can move without the spare tire.

Is it hard?...YEP. Is it worth it....YEP. Small changes made me 39 lbs lighter..(I just weighed) but they made the QUALITY of my life more than any scale could say. My joints don't hurt..I sleep more soundly and I wake looking forward to the day. I could spout lots of sayings to motivate but deep down the only motivator is YOU. The support of the group is awesome but don't let a slip up make you so embarrassed that you stop. The old "OMG I GAINED 5 lbs and can't tell say that on the blog so I quit". If you break down and eat a quart of ice cream in one sitting....just try to understand WHY, then let it go and pick up where you left off.

That extra energy also helps out in other ways/areas....BUT this is a family blog so I will leave that to you, the dear reader, to contemplate.

**Mrs Mom back in for a moment. I hope you guys don't mind if Dear Husband pops in to contribute now and again! He is my rock- my support, my biggest cheerleader, and I swear he has half my brain. His support on this journey has made all the difference in the world to me. DH also mentions taking Stacker 2's. I don't- I'm doing this all on my own, with only determination to drive me on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Summary - Weeks 1 and 2

First of all, I would just like to comment on all of the great posts and comments we have going here - how fun and supportive!

Secondly, I hope it doesn't bother anyone to have a new post added soon after another post - with so many of us writing, it is sometimes hard to find an "empty" day to post something!


Well, the past two weeks haven't been too bad for me. If I was keeping score, I would probably give myself a C+... Not trying to be hard on myself or anything, there is just a lot of room for improvement.

I've been doing really well at getting up frequently at work and stretching and walking around. This is a must for my legs. I've also done several short walks (15-20 mins) with my dog after work - lots of checkmarks there.

Food is coming along -this one is much harder for me. Portion sizes are better and I'm not feeling as snacky as I normally do, so each little thing helps. I'm trying to stay positive and build on little successes here and there. I'm sure doing a strict diet cold turkey would yield faster results, but I'm just not that kind of Type A personality!

Every day finds me feeling better - my legs hurt less and less. I'm starting to feel like my old self again and I find myself itching to get out and do more "things". I went out to the barn on Sunday - I sure have missed old Rusty! I couldn't help but smile when I saw him - his paddock is a total mud pit and he was standing on a little island in front of the shelter that is the only dry spot. He nickered to me for the first time ever - he is a very quiet horse typically. I know the nicker was one of "oh, finally - someone is here to rescue me from the mud" instead of an affectionate nicker, but I'll take it!

It took me a good 30 minutes to groom him and then we just did some lungeing. Someone was feeling young and frisky, so there was lots of bucking, farting and snorting on the lunge line - this doesn't really bother me, because he managed to do all of it on the circle and not pull me all over the place! He never bucks under saddle either, so I guess he just felt like goofing around after being stuck in mud up to his knees.

Being out at the barn gave me a big boost - my spirits are starting to pick up and I feel more and more like my old self. I was having problems with my legs before the blood clot, so I was pretty much in constant pain for the past three months, which really wears on your emotional state.

I'm working on a post with some resources for fitness and healthy eating - I have tonnes of stuff at home, so I'm going to try and get all of that sorted out this week and post it soon.

Happy trails!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Battling Two Problems

I have not made much progress. The ankle injury is part of the problem -- I haven't been able to walk until just the last couple of days. But, the ankle is also just a part of the excuse -- the other problem is that I am not trying hard enough. I have done only a little in the way of exercising; I have lifted a 10 pound weight with each hand a few times last week. I did try to watch what I was eating and I think I did OK with that (not great, just OK). But the real problem is that in order to do some yoga and lift the weight, I must get out of bed at a decent time!!! I have gotten into the habit of sleeping until the last possible minute -- then all I can do in the morning is get ready for work. I must get up earlier so I have time to do some sort of exercising. I am not one for exercising at night. Evenings are for other tasks, and always go by too fast. If I am going to do it, it will be in the morning, so I need to figure out how to get myself motivated to get my dead ass up when the alarm goes off!!! I read the blog posts about portion control, and I like the one about the bikini on the 9-inch plate...I think I can do that. But getting up earlier is going to be a necessity........Anyone out there in the "Wake-Up Call" business????

My name is Cdn, and I'm an addict.

Its true, its time for me to 'fess up. I am an addict.
Now before you judge and condemn me, and click away to the next blog, let me explain. You see I'm not "that" kind of addict. This is what I'm addicted to:

Oh wait, that can still look rather inappropriate! How about this:

Yes I am standing here and coming out with it... my drug of choice is sugar.

Ahhh, the lovely sweet taste. The little rush. I could do without the crash part though! lol

I'm considering trying to reprogram my taste buds. I love, adore, desire almost anything sweet. And there are so many lovely, tempting things that fall in this category. Unfortunately almost all of them are counter-productive to getting in shape.

My thought is that if I can cleanse my system of sugar maybe my taste buds will start to appreciate things like vegetables a bit more. You see that is my biggest struggle. I am NOT a veggie person. There are very very few veggies that I truly enjoy. (want to hear something really weird - I love the smell of cucumbers but can't stand the taste. And they taste exactly like how they smell!!)

The problem with cutting out sugar is that you need to pretty much eliminate all sugar, including the natural sugars in fruits and juices. At least that's what I've read. You can slowly introduce the natural, healthier sugars after you've been through "rehab".

So I'm not sure I'm willing to go to that extreme yet. For now I'm cutting down on my sugar intake and forcing myself to experiment a bit more with veggies. We'll see how that goes. Besides if I cut out sugar completely I'd have to cut out my coffee. And that just ain't happening at this point! lol


I haven't stepped on the scale since the beginning of the month. I don't plan to for about another week either. Is it that I just don't care? That I'm a bit afraid? That no matter what I see, it will still depress me and bring me down? Probably all of the above.

But, no matter what the scale or measuring tape may say, I am making progress. After a month of walking Dude to the bus stop by way of the driveway, I moved to walking through the vineyard as it was a steeper incline. Now, after a week of that, I'm not coming home as sweaty and tired as I was before. Really, I'm not cringing at the thought of walking up the driveway from the bottom of the hill now. (In case you missed seeing the grade of the driveway, you can see it here in the first pic.) Please remember that I not only walk up this incline twice a day, 5 days a week, but that the grade on the other end of the driveway is longer and steeper. And the vineyard is more so.

I noticed yesterday that my glutes, hamstrings and quads are really firming up. Of course, it's still not noticeable with the layer of flab over the top of it. But, I can feel a difference. And that's a start!

Beyond the walking, I haven't added in any extra exercise as my shoulder is still a bit sore where the clavicle meets the sternum and in the front part of the ball socket. I really don't want to re-damage it. However, I think I'll try some pilates today and see how it holds up.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week Two Review

If I trusted my camera, I'd take a self portrait right now, to show the effects of Week Two.

But since destruction of my camera is not high on my agenda, we'll skip that part, 'k?

The week was non-stop. Which did great for my activity level, and portion control, since I hardly sat down to eat anything. And when I *did* sit down, the phone would ring, and I literally had to run.

Did I mention running? Yeah- we found out I still can, when an emergency call from my in laws across the way came in with a medical situation. Once an EMT, always an EMT, and I blasted out the door to the rescue, with my husband hot on my heels. (All is well- or at least as well as it can be in the insanity here.)

Long story (shoot, long WEEK,) short, and my shorts are looser. Which is awesome. Running the other day? While my heart was stopped at the time, later on it dawned on me that A) it felt GREAT to run, and B) I wasn't hurting the next day. Granted, it was a short run, but it was flat out like a lizard drinking run.

Jumping on the jumpoline happened one or two days with the kids, and the weather held enough for an actual RIDE on my horse as well. (OK, so maybe I am not so sure about if a ten minute ride on a rehab horse counts for an ACTUAL ride, but it was ten solid minutes of walking, turning off my seat and legs, and whoa off voice.)

The ride?

Lots of walking around, fetching tools on barn calls, chasing kids, and more walking went on this week. The less I eat in a sitting, the less I want to eat - or CAN eat- at a time. Hydration is holding steady. Better, but not where I'd like to have it yet.

The plan for this week:
- Keep on keeping on.
- Ride a couple more times
- Pray that no more medical emergencies visit Command Central (we actually had about four of those this week, in varying degrees of severity. 'Nuff already.)

Here's to you ladies, keepin on keepin on with me!
Mrs Mom

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portion Distortion

Hi! Got a minute? Can I talk to you? Good! Pull up a chair and let's get started!

A couple weeks ago, while I was watching the Biggest Loser, I picked up on something. The contestants were having a challenge in which Curtis Stone was not only teaching them about portion size, but also about basic nutrition. This really shocked me! I mean, how could anyone not know the very bare basics of nutrition? Were they hiding under a rock I wonder?

It boggles the mind. After all, the USDA food pyramid was taught to me beginning in Elementary School and yearly after that until I completed the required health class in High School. Even afterward, I found it hard to not be bombarded with the information. All you had to do is pick up a magazine from the check out counter at the grocery store, pick up your local paper or turn on the tv to gather more information about healthy eating. Really, did these people not do so much as turn on Oprah? I mean, if I know the information, why don't they?

Anyways, I've been reading about how no one really wants to count calories here. I get it. I really do. I don't like to count them either. I find it a bit tedious and I've got better things to do with my time. So, today I want to introduce you to one way of eating that doesn't require any calorie counting or measuring or weighing. In fact, it's so simple it might be right up your alley. It's called The Bikini Diet. Now wait! It's not exactly what you think! Just hear me out, ok?

Ok! So, take a 9 inch plate. Got one? No? Well, imagine one for me, alright. (I don't have one either and I'm not going to run out to replace my dishes today, so let's just imagine). On that plate I'd like you to imagine laying out a teeny bikini. Let's see... We've got two cups and a bottom. Now, just what do you think I want you to do next? Yes! We're going to load our plate up for dinner! Yay!

Now, I want you to serve yourself some protein. Any kind, doesn't really matter. But, I only want you to serve yourself as much as will fit in one cup of the bikini top. No more, no less. Next, serve yourself up a carb. It should fit in the other bikini cup. No, we're not going to re-imagine this bikini as though it belonged to someone really "blessed" up top. Just an average bikini top here please! And lastly, the bottom. Go ahead and serve yourself up all the fruit and vegetables that will fit in the area where the bottom is. And there's your dinner! How easy-peasy is that? No measuring, no calorie counting. Just a real look at what and how we should be eating in a fun, creative way.

Really ladies, I have a ton of health, diet and nutrition info wandering around my head. I've got so much I want to share but I don't want to offend or bombard you all with it all at once.

I haven't made much progress this week myself. My shoulder is mostly healed, albeit still a bit tender. While that alone doesn't stop a workout, it does limit my workouts, so I just walked my son to and from the bus. I didn't do anything on top of that. I've also been fighting a stomach bug the last couple days and have been a slug on the couch. :(

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The "Half of" Diet?

Just thought I'd put forward an idea that I've been toying with. What would happen if I were to eat half of everything that I ate now? What if I made not a single change in what I was eating or when, but instead only changed the quantity. Last year (when I was on a diet that worked on a per day calorie allotment) I discovered that really couldn't "afford" the calories in the average American meal even if I was eating"healthy" foods and skimping on things like sauces and cheese. I discovered that I was eating a lot of half or even quarter portions. We all know that North Americans have a problem with portion control...but how many of us have ever really tried only changing our portion size, not implementing that change as part of a greater diet program?

Some of the habits I learned while calorie counting have stuck... like not eating a whole portion of meat, instead I usually only have a few ounces. Eating one egg on one piece of toast instead of two and ordering the appy version of a meal and skipping the sides (potatoes, rice etc.). This past two weeks I've been too sick to really get "on track" but am hoping that once I am back on my feet I can work on portion control and exersice and not focus so much on cutting things or changing my diet. Can I really eat just half a chocolate bar? Half of a muffin? One cookie? We'll find out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So far, so go...

Scrap the 'so good' part. How about 'So far, okay'? lol
Just wanted to touch base and say "I'm still here!!"
Even though I kinda slipped up yesterday (Monday as I write this) I have also made some progress. I managed to work up a good sweat on the ol' treadmill 3 times last week. While not necessarily eating a whole lot better I managed to not eat as much... then yesterday was my cheat day.
I find that, for myself, if I give one day to let the "rules" relax that its easier to stick to it the rest of the week. But I have to fess up, I was bad. During the day I didn't eat often enough. I basically just had lunch, at around 2 - 2:30, because I was on the run all day. Skipping breakfast is bad. I really have to stop doing that! Then I went out for drinks with a friend from work. I don't drink often, which is good because alcohol is a total waste of empty calories. But I have a hard time saying "No thanks" when Mike orders a round of shooters! (I know, bad!) Then Pie picked me up and we went for supper (a very late supper - like 11pm) and I had ribs. Half a rack smothered in bbq sauce with sweet potato fries. I know sweet potatoes are supposed to be healthier than regular potatoes but I think frying them isn't the idea! lol
I did however put in a fab session on the treadmill before I went out. And today I am feeling "I CAN do this!" I have my mindset ready to go for another week. And I have to tell ya, I am feeling better already. More energetic. Probably doesn't hurt that the new pair of slacks I bought for work are already too big :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week One In Review

It was a frustrating week.
Stressful (as always.)
And just plain frustrating as all get out.

We started strong, and then the weather reached up and bit us, with cold rains that slowed everything down for the bulk of the week. The jumping on the trampoline with the kids that I had hoped to get in at least three times? Stayed at just that once. Walking more with the horse, and possibly riding a time or two again? Not happenin' in the rain.

However, we DID get in a start. The portion control is getting easier. My mood has been calmer and more relaxed since paying closer attention to my intake. The moving I did do, chasing the Little Mens, seemed to help soothe the aches in this old bod that come hand in hoof with crap weather.

Today was better. It dawned bright, cold, crisp, and inviting. (Cold is relative my Canadian counterparts! I remember true cold all too well!)The kids ate breakfast, I had my customary Bucket O' Joe, and we dressed warm and headed out. The horse was able to get out of his muddy paddock to the grass for a bit, and we enjoyed a wander around the yard for about forty five minutes, as we watched the Little Mens play and jump. (Sonny loves "his" kids.) Sonny Bunz was being a bit of a yutz, so back into the paddock we went for some play time. Which meant I had to move too, in order to get photos of him playing Arab/Thoroughbred/dressage horse for a bit. He got so involved in playing at one point that he completely forgot Mom was there, and darn near ran me over. The look on his face as I skittered out of his way was priceless!

I ducked inside to feed the Little Mens- again- and get some breakfast for myself (Shredded Mini Wheats. Yes, they were frosted too. I LOVE those things.) After a while of mundane housework, that Froggy Feelin took over... and I headed back outside.

Nabbed up the horse, and trimmed his front feet. (Never an easy task. My horse A) has pathological feet that take extra care and time to work on, and B) he tends to be a PITA to work on.)

The good news? I got both front feet DONE. Better news? He had to get only one spanking to decide to stand like a nice horse. Best News Yet? I GOT BOTH FRONT FEET DONE!

What's that? There are four feet on a horse? Yeah... well... we're going in stages. His hind feet will be taken care of in a couple days. My back was pretty upset with me by the end of the trim, and so was my right hand. But they WORKED. I Did The Job. (Will I go back trimming client horses? Right now I'm saying "Oh. Hell. No.")

Alright y'all- you have heard my stress and frustration of the first week of our communal blog. Let's hear from the rest of you, how YOU did!!

Mrs Mom