Sunday, February 21, 2010

'Bout time for an update...

Not much going on around these parts...

I have been doing really well with my workouts, for the most part. I had been exercising 4x/week and really enjoying it! I was feeling stronger by the week and more and more motivated to work harder and make some real progress. My quads were firming up and I was noticing a bit of a change in my stomach area - sort of around my ribs. The scale wasn't really moving, but things were looking good.

Up until Wednesday afternoon, that is...

I felt a cold coming on, so I left work early to come home and rest. I can usually get over the worst of a chest cold in a day or two, so I was expecting to be back on track by the weekend at the latest.

No such luck, as it happens. I was hit with a really bad chest cold and now my sinuses are all messed up. I have a cough that scares small children (as evidenced last night with my nephews) and causes people in the grocery store to quickly turn their carts to avoid my germs... lol

I am still in rough shape this morning, not having slept much over the past few days. I'm taking all kinds of combos of Tylenol and various other products, hoping to alleviate some of the pain. I have a headache - literally - all of my head hurts, even my teeth from my friggin' sinuses. If there isn't any improvement by tomorrow, I will have to suck it up and go to the doctor...

I'm a bit bummed by the whole thing, since I was doing so well. That's just life for you, I guess!

Here's to a better week next week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Name Change... We're Now "The Asylum"

Anyone want to trade places for a couple days? 'Cause I really, really could use some time to nap and be quiet.

The weather has broken, at least for now, and we've been spending time outside cleaning up the winter's messes. The ground is starting to dry up some (YAY!) and I've been able to get the horse out as well now and again too.

Portion control has been easy. Which frankly is somewhat scary, since I dearly love to eat. It is getting easier to stop eating when I reach that "comfortable" level. Fruits and veggies have been high on my priority list as well.

However, SLEEP has not. It just hasn't happened. Not much of it anyways. I said to Dear Husband the other night, "The Children NEEEED to stop getting up at six in the morning." He agreed. The children apparently did too, as the next morning they were up at five.

I'm not the type of person who can function well with out decent amounts of rest. I manage to get BY, but actually be productive? Yeah- not so much. The routine work gets done, but adding in that little extra- like walks? Not happenin'. Add in that one week ago today, about three miles west of here, three illegal immigrants attacked and raped a woman, in the middle of the day, in her yard, takes some of the fun out of a nice walk with the kids. Yes, those of you who know me, know I *am* armed. But it seems like a much more intelligent choice not to tempt fate by leaving home and more defense methods. (They did catch the bastards. However, we have been warned by policemen that there is a growing population of trouble makers in that area. Which is all too close to home.)

Away from the gloom and doom, aside from the exhaustion things are going well weight wise. My Christmas Jeans still continue to loosen bit by bit, and even I can see changes in my belly. (Dear Husband has been telling me it is happening, I just have not been able to SEE it before now.)

The funny part? Any other time I have lost weight, my bra has fit better too. The boobages seem to come under greater control, and (Thankfully) shrink a bit too. This time? The only shrinking is in my DREAMS. There is weight coming off my back- my shirts all fit better. But the boobages are Out Of Control.

That brings me to wonder....

Am I actually loosing, or is the weight just.. moving? Defying gravity even?


Oh the things we ponder when we are sleep deprived!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's Awfully Quiet Here!

Halloooo! (echo, echo, echo). Where is everybody? What's new in your lives? How are you doing with the whole lifestyle change and fitness routine? How did you do on Valentine's Day? What DID you do on Valentine's Day? Anybody?

Well, I have not been so good about working out. I've let my c25k training slide completely since losing the custody battle. And it sucks. And I've been beating myself up for it. I've been so hard on myself that I haven't been accepting my own excuses. "Flu? Flu-Schmoo! Ya shoulda got out there and run!"

Really, I know that running while sick isn't a good idea. In fact, working out while ill requires a self-check. Is it above the shoulders or below? If it's above, like a head cold, you're good to go. If it's below the shoulders, like a chest cold, wait until you feel better or you could set back your recovery greatly if not make the problem worse. Good, sound advice. No sense in prolonging your illness. But, I digress...

I've found that I'm not comfortable working out when Kitty is here. Do I fear her judgement? Why should I fear judgement from a snotty teenager? I dunno. But, it's something to ponder. I just don't work out when she is here. Unfortunately, she was here for a long weekend. So, I slacked.

Now that she's gone again, I'm still not running. The weather has been unseasonably warm and incredibly beautiful. Spring is here in the PNW. That means I've got a ton of stuff to do here on the farm. All that winter clean up stuff to get ready for spring. Crap! I thought I was still going to have a month or so to do all manner of stuff around here before spring. But, I was wrong.

I've been spending 4-6 hours a day doing chores outside in the sunshine. While it's great for the calorie burn, it's not getting me running for my upcoming race in April. By the time I walk home with Dude, I'm so exhausted the thought of running for 30 minutes leaves me worn out. This isn't getting me any closer to my goal of being able to run an entire 5k!

Finding balance for me is tricky. I tend to throw myself into whatever I'm doing whole-heartedly until I reach my goal. That was fine when it was pouring so hard outside you could grab a bar of soap and take a shower. But now? The farm calls to me. I've got a chance to get a garden in early. I still need to start my seeds. Honey and Beatrice are due to kid any time. The branches and trees that were knocked down during the winter storms need to be cleaned up. I've got roses to move out of a seriously overgrown flower bed so they can thrive somewhere instead of being choked out by weeds. And then, I need to re-dig that flower bed as it's been neglected for who-knows-how -ong before we moved here 6 months ago. And then there are spring bulbs to mark that will have to be dug and moved. The water trough needs scrubbing, driveway needs to be re-graveled, the mud pit needs to be seeded so I don't fall when I'm chasing escapee chickens, fencing needs to be re-done as soon as the ground dries enough to hold a post. The list just goes on and on!

So, how do you find balance?

Oh, and by the way, my Valentine's Day was great! We bought a used bowflex and joined the Y (if only I had the time and energy to use the membership now). I got my hair cut, took off about a foot of hair and easily lost a pound from that alone. We also saw "When In Rome" and so the husband and I are pondering moving to Italy and buying a villa when the kids are grown. Nice dream, huh?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eggplant Pizzas

For Laura and whomever else wants to give it a try


1 large italian eggplant, peeled
1 egg, beaten with a tbsp of water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato or pizza sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese or italian cheese blend


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Peel a large eggplant and cut into long "steaks" or "circles".

Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten egg then the breadcrumbs making sure it is lightly covered.

Place on a non-stick cookie sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Check that the eggplants are "fork-tender", then spoon tomato sauce on them and top with the cheese. I usually leave a few without sauce.

Bake again until the cheese has melted.

These are great as a meal, or as a filling for a hero, or sliced over a salad. I especially like them without the sauce and cheese on top of a tomato bruchetta salad.


Number of Servings: 3

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user VIOLETTE1.

Number of Servings: 3

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 3
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 182.8
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 76.0 mg
Sodium: 570.7 mg
Total Carbs: 25.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
Protein: 9.1 g

Does anyone else have any eggplant recipes to share? I've got eggplant seeds that came with an order I placed. I have never eaten eggplant, so I don't know whether I should plant them or not.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I should've also mentioned

Well if you haven't read the "Scribbles" post you should head there first. I was trying to get it done before I went to work and left a few things unsaid. The comments kinda reminded me of that.

Now that your back I'll continue....

For a long time I "poo poo'd" the idea of a food journal. I really didn't see the whole point. After all I was paying attention to what I was eating. But its funny, when you start actually writing down what you eat you pay a lot more notice.
For example I had thought I was eating fairly healthy, most days. Then I noticed that I don't eat nearly enough fruit. And since journaling I have seen that I am doing better with the veggies though.
It also brought to my attention things like how often Pie and I have pizza for lunch. Or Chinese food. Seems like it was happening way more often than I liked to remember! lol

I've also used the food diary to take note of things like those killer headaches. With the food diary I was able to discover that caffeine and chocolate were not triggers. (Thank you God!)
As for the water/headache connection. Well part of the reason I started to actually choose water as a beverage was that I had read that dehydration is a big trigger for headaches. I am usually well within the recommended daily water intake and have not noticed headaches being any better/worse/frequent in relation to my water.

And one last thing. In what may be a weird way the food diary also makes me proud. Its nice to go back a few pages and have it right there in my face how often I've worked out. Or how my food choices or servings* have improved. It kinda gives me some feedback. So for now I'm going to keep doing it.

*I had mentioned that I wasn't being super strict with my food diary. No counting calories or serving sizes. What I meant from "servings" in this context is that if I have 1 slice of pizza instead of 3. Or small fries instead of large.

Friday, February 5, 2010


One weight loss tip that I come across constantly is to keep a food journal. So around about the end of December I thought "What the heck" and decided to give it a try. I grabbed a notebook and started.
I didn't go with the super detailed version where you write your portion size and calorie intake. But I do write down every single thing that goes in my mouth. Every entry starts the same, the date and next to that I write 'water'. Every glass of water I drink gets a little tick mark beside the water heading. (more on this another time but I used to drink virtually no water). And then next to the water I note any exercise I did that day.
Under the date/water/exercise heading I write down everything I eat & drink. Everything. Even something little like if I grab a couple french fries at work that goes on the list.
I was going to take a pic of a page from the notebook but then I realized 2 things...
1- you wouldn't be able to read my scribbly writing and 2- I have my own "shorthand" that makes sense to me but probably not a lot of other people! lol
So instead I flipped to a random day and 'translated' it for you. Here is an example:

Jan. 5/10 water lllll lllll T
2 eggs, 2 strips bacon, slice whole wheat toast, 2coffee/ half pear/ chicken wrap, small Greek salad/ bbq ribs, sweet potato fries, Pepsi/2 chocolates

So there is all the food I had that day, plus I noted that I drank 10 glasses of water and I worked out on the treadmill. Some days I have better food choices, some days they're better.
A few things that I find beneficial from keeping a food diary... I have noticed that the amount of caffeine (or no caffeine) does not seem to play a role in those migraines I was getting. I also know that its much easier to keep in mind when I've had my 'treat' and to keep from letting myself have too many 'treats' in a day. Its also nice to see that I'm managing to get a decent amount of water on a regular basis.
You know what else? Seeing what I've eaten and my exercise right there makes it easier to tell myself "You don't really need one more piece of chocolate!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Am Alive!

Have not exactly *felt* alive lately, but... it's better today.

The happy news:
Pulled on my Christmas Jeans (the size 16 Lee Riders), and they were looser.
Pulled on my favorite battered and beat pair of sweat pants, and they uh... well... Let's put it this way. I asked Dear Husband the other night if it was my imagination, or were my sweats riding.. higher. I'm short waisted to start with, but things were just feeling.... weird.

Know what he said?
"Yeah honey. The other day I was wondering how much longer it would be before you were able to pull those sweats up to your nose...."

So to sum it up the Good News is things are melting. Firming up, too. Phew.

Laura, you posted food. Man, I love food. Seriously.

We've been on a make it from scratch kick lately. Why not- we can't get out and DO anything in the fricken rain and standing water, so I may as well learn new things, right? I was worried. The new things I *wanted* to learn were all-- ALL -- in the kitchen.

Cube Steak with scratch gravy. Fricken. Orgasmic. No left overs, as Husband and Children POWER CHOWED through it. I ate my share too, but the BOYS loved it.
Scratch banana pancakes. No sugar added- kids loved them. I ate two- and that was enough. They were good, but.... meh... Didn't really do much for me.

The bread machine is getting a workout too- almost every day. Simple ingredients. My usual breakfast has been coffee (probably too much of that to be truthful,) slice of homemade bread, and a clementine or two.

Lunch- left over's from the night before, if there are any. If not, then I scrounge and eat more fruits, again- smaller portions.

Supper time is always interesting. Fixing supper is an adventure, as there are usually two Little Mens "helping" me. By the time I get it fixed, get the kids fed, get the horse fed, have the kids sit back down and NOT chase the cat, shoo the dog away from the kids, greet Dear Husband, I'm too tired to eat much.

Overall- the food front is going good.

Moodwise it's been hard- the constant rain, standing water, and a lack of rest for about four weeks now has worn on me big time. When the footing is safe, I ride Sonny. If Dear Husband is home to control the kids, Sonny and I will take a walk together. (Most folks walk their dog... Not me. I walk an 1100 pound, almost 16 hand horse. Never said I was "normal".)

The never ending grey, lack of sleep, and on top of it computer and phone issues that COMCAST has been working on for a solid week... got to me.

Winter doldrums?
Sick of feeling like we are simply "marking time"?

Not sure- but after a solid night's sleep last night, I woke still a bit tired, but better, and my mood feels, well, stronger.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food - The Next Frontier

I’ve been doing pretty darn good with my workouts over the past three weeks. I’ve exercised 4x/week so far. I’m actually starting to notice a bit of a difference in my strength already – I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger yet, but things are definitely going well in that regard.

The area where I could really use some work? Food. Yep, eating is still not coming along as much as I had thought.

Just to give you an idea, I’ve prepared a little scale – (kind of like the rate of perceived exertion scale for exercise people talk about) for your enjoyment…The percentage is the amount of healthy-ish food I’m eating.

10% - McDonald’s staff know me by name
20% - meh
30% - making a slight effort
40% - meh
50% - trying, but not really trying to hard
60% - getting better
70% - this isn’t so bad!
80% - bring on the fruit and veggies!
90% - superstah!

Right now, I feel like I’m bouncing around the 40-50% level. I don’t eat that much true junk food, but crackers (even “whole wheat” ones), cheese and store bought muffins aren’t exactly healthy choices either. Also, my portions are still a bit too big and my choices are lacking in fruits and vegetables most days. This is mostly due to laziness on my part. I like to cook and I like fruit and veggies. It just takes some work to wash and prepare that sort of food… Some days it is just easier to eat cheese and crackers and a muffin…

I can feel that my not-so-healthy food choices are sort of undoing the progress I may be making with my exercise. So, what to do about it???

Plan, plan, plan. That seems to be my best option. I need to write out some meal plans and log my food for a few weeks to get into the routine of eating better. I also need to incorporate more veggies in my meals. This is a bit tricky for me right now, since the easiest way to do that is to eat a salad every day. I love lettuce and spinach, but can’t eat very much due to some medication I have to take (weird, I know!). That limits me a bit, but I need to find ways to work around it.

I’ll be posting a bit about my food progress and trying to share some recipes and tips if I come across something interesting.

How about you guys? What do you eat day-to-day? Eat enough veggies? Like fruit but don’t eat enough? Spill the beans!