Saturday, January 30, 2010

Running While Chunky: A Guide

The following blog is what inspired me to begin Couch to 5k training. I'm reprinting it with permission of the author. Thanks Kristina!

Running While Chunky: A Guide
by Karvy09

Yep, I'm still running, still a "fit fatty!"

A few months ago, I wrote a blog called "But I'm Too Fat to Run!" which is still getting so much great responses from Spark members. I want to thank everyone who's been inspired by my and others' attempts to begin a running program. When I wrote that blog, I was 256 pounds and still morbidly obese, running, and nervous about my first 5K in a month's time. I started running at 275 pounds and everyone from my friends to family (except for my wonderful husband, my rock) called me "crazy" for training for a 5K.

Now, I call them crazy for doubting me!

Over 100 days later, I'm now 225 pounds with two 5Ks under my belt. I'm not perfect. I had my weak moments: the days when I wanted to stop, when I thought I'd NEVER be able to hit my mileage goals outside, when my shins ached, when my ankles turned, and when I despaired that I would never run as fast or as long as the others on the track.

Running can be just as psychological as physical. There are times when I broke down in tears from unrelated frustrations or from unbridled joy. You could learn something about yourself just by pushing yourself.

Because I think there are unique concerns for those who start running while obese or overweight, I started a thread on my Couch to 5K Group forum called the "Fat Runners Club," a support group for runners who are starting at a weight that they never believed they could run at. You can join the discussion here.

So what's next? Well, consider this "But I'm Too Fat to Run!" Part Two. I wanted to share a few of the tips that I and others have learned as we started our journey as fluffier runners, a concept I'll call Running While Chunky (RWC), kind of an update to my previous blog, and perhaps, PERHAPS an outline for a longer guide I hope to write. In the future, I hope to add update blogs as well.

I'm sure many Biggest Loser fans watched the final four contestants run/walk a marathon last week. Perhaps after seeing that you felt motivated to run, but are facing the doubts that are nagging you or the skepticism of your significant other or parents or friends.

Maybe you have the flashbacks back to the gym class in elementary school like I did. The 600-meter dash. The physical fitness test. Finishing last. Or next to last, like I did, right after the girl with an injury who was required to walk the whole thing. Fun times!

But you know what? Those days are over. You may be heavier now. But you are also stronger! You have come to SparkPeople to gain control over your life, and you are ontrack to a fitter and healthier you!

I am telling you right now. You can be a runner. You can do this.

You think you're too fat to run? Don't take your own advice. Ask your doctor first. Some people will not be medically cleared to start a running program, but the great majority of people will be fine beginning a routine that eases you into running gradually in order to avoid injury.

Whoa, what? Surely you mean Chapter 17 or something. No, I mean Chapter 2! Listen, what's going to keep you motivated more than actually signing up for a race? Most road races benefit charitable causes, include slower runners and walkers, and are less competitive than you might think. So do it. If you can't run the entire race, it's OK. I wasn't ready to run the whole 3.1 miles when I signed up for my 5K. I still managed it in under 45 minutes, ahead of many other runners and walkers on the course.

Many of the runners that I know who stuck their training did it because they had a goal to be as fit as possible before their 5K. Make fitness your goal as well as a weight loss goal. Losing pounds is great, and I'm so happy with my progress thus far, but weight loss doesn't even compares to the thrill of running your first 5 minutes, half mile, one mile, or 5K. NOTHING.

SparkMember NORAB52GOOD said it best: "I realized I have to first be a slow, fat runner before I can be a fast thin runner. One follows the other." Well said. You're RWC; you're not going to run 8 mph like that fit chick on the treadmill at the gym. Not yet, anyways. If you lift your foot up before the other foot has fully struck the pavement or treadmill you are still running, even if this is only 4 mph or a 17-minute mile. One pet peeve about SparkPeople is that you have to be running 12-minute miles in order for SP to classify it as running and not walking. I don't believe this is true.

I started with Couch to 5K (C25K), but there are others out there as well. C25K starts you out jog/walking three times per week, and the first week you are running for 1 minute and recover by walking for 90 seconds in intervals. It gradually gets harder and harder each week. Technically you are supposed to finish in 9 weeks, but if you are RWC, you most likely will not. It took me twice as long to finish C25K and that's OK!

Fight the urge to run longer or faster at first. Take your time. You are building up your endurance and fitness as a new runner. You will get there, but it will take time! You don't want to injure yourself just as you are hitting your stride!

Here is a list of the Top 3 items that the RWC suggest in order to maximize your experience while running.

1. Tight biker shorts that hit above the knee or tight spandex pants
This keeps the tummy and thighs from jiggling but is long enough to prevent the chafing that can occur when your thighs rub together when running. This is like the sports version of Spanx!

2. A good sports bra
The RWC are often very well endowed! My solution was to buy a sports bra one size too small so that the girls were pushed down right to my chest. Others have used TWO sports bras for support. In any case, keeping those puppies in check is integral to your running experience.

3. Running shoes
You need good running shoes (not cross-trainers) if you get serious about running. The difference is astounding when you get fitted for a pair of shoes. After running for a few months, I finally got around to going to a specialty running store to get a gait analysis and fitting and it was amazing. The RWC tend to overpronate (strike the foot at an angle) and stability shoes will be needed to help prevent injury. An insole insert might be a good start when strapped for cash or need some additional padding.

The C25K Program has a free podcast with a guy named Robert who will tell you to stop your walking and start running over and over again. It's boring, frankly. My solution to the monotony is to create your own playlist that signals when to stop and start. In the beginning you'll know that halfway through the song it will be time to start running, and soon. you might have three Blackeyed Peas songs that serve as your 10-minute running interval.

You might run on the treadmill and see the next marathoner plugging away and get discouraged. Or you'll be on an outdoor track and people will pass you or run longer than you. And when you start, you'll most likely have shin splints or some other minor pain. Work through it. Dispel all these doubts. If you want to be a runner, you can run. It may take longer and you may have to work harder at it than your skinny friends, but it can be done.

If you like running on the treadmill as winter approaches, do that. If you love the feel of running outdoors, then go for it. People will give you great advice, and people will maybe reach their goals faster than you do, but it's important to not become jealous of others quicker progress and give up. Have fun with it! Running can be a whole lot of fun and pushing your body to see what it can do is a fun game to play with yourself.

You will get there and persevere, and maybe someday you will wear a shirt like ZIRCADIA'S at your first marathon: "Because I used to weigh almost 300 pounds" and others will be astonished and inspired by you. That is my goal, anyways.

Happy running to all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fallen off the wagon...

And scrambling to get back on…

Up until recently I have been doing well with my new exercise and diet goals. I was bringing my lunch to work each day and walking the stairs at least once a day. Then I got busy at work and worked through 3 days worth of breaks. I was exhausted at night and bought dinner instead of cooked it which meant I didn’t have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. See where this is going?

I had fallen off the wagon.

I am working to get back on though, I am back to taking tennis lessons and each night I have done pushups and crunches (much to the amusement of my dog I might add). I did the stairs yesterday, 5 flights of them. I was winded at the top (not good) but I can feel the improvement. Each day I am a little less winded and I feel more energetic.

My co-worker and I are thinking about taking a cruise to Mexico in the next year, and I want to wear a cute 2 piece bathing suit on the beach and look good doing it. I think I can reach that goal.

I’ve also renewed my love of DDR. Heard of it? It’s Dance Dance Revolution, a video game that is available for most all of the video game consoles. You “dance” to selected songs by stepping on arrows on your dance pad as they appear on the screen. It will give you a cardio workout like you won’t believe

Monday, January 25, 2010

28 Days Later

As of today it has been 28 days that I've been hitting the treadmill and eating better. Still not great with food but definitely better!

I haven't weighed myself lately, this last week was TOM so weight isn't necessarily accurate anyhow. I will give myself a pat on the back for something that may seem silly though... the other day when the PMS was really bad I was craving chocolate in the WORST way. I had a chocolate bar and reallyreallyreally wanted another one but I stuck to my guns. I tried to keep busy until the craving went away and after awhile it did. In the old days I would have justified letting myself have a second bar, not that it was normal practice but because I would have reasoned that it was the PMS therefore I should cut myself some slack.

The 28 days is a bit of a big deal. "They" say that it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to create a new habit. And getting my butt moving on that treadmill IS becoming a habit :) I have missed a total of 4 days, 3 of them life got in the way and Saturday I gave myself the day off because I had been outside shovelling snow for an hour (with Pie's help thank God!) So I figured the shovelling had to have burned SOME calories! lol AND I worked through the pain of my injured knee, another thing I normally would have used as an excuse to avoid the exercise.
You know what though? All the days I missed I was itching to get on the treadmill. There were a couple other days where I was feeling lazy but come evening I'd get to twitching and get on that machine, and I felt great afterwards. (and I've finally seen all of the Sex & the City episodes - not the movie though)

I think its time that I up'd things a bit so when time permits I plan on doing 45 minutes and on days when I'm short on time I'll stick to the 30 but increase the speed/incline. I'm also planning on heading back to Curves now that I've got my treadmill routine firmly in place.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I'm Still Here... Sort Of

And I have a question. OK, so this IS me we're talking about, and I *always* have questions, but this time I'm hoping it's one that you guys have some insight on.

It's about my feet. Back when I was bred and due to foal, my Doctor told me to expect a change in shoe size. They did- wider and at least a half size bigger.
Crap- wrong shot. THOSE feet I see in my sleep. In nightmares.

Now, four years later, post last child, my shoes and boots are slopping around on me like crazy. I noticed it some a few days ago, as my socks were sucked down into my boots, but I didn't think anything other than "Time to get new socks". Today however, when I went to cue Sonny, I needed to roll my heel into his side some to get his attention. And I'll be darned if my boot- which really was tied snugly- didn't about come off.

So. My question is: can it be? Is it possible? Or is it just time to invest in new socks and probably some not-so-broken in boots? Or can you actually loose weight in your feet?

The rest of life.. well, it's been. I've been on a fresh fruit kick, and feel better for it. More movement, more riding (when it isn't fricken RAINING,) and more walking around with the kids. (OK, so to be totally honest here, more CHASING AFTER the kids as they have gone wild and reverted back to primordial genetic memories and are acting like cavemen. Bad. Cavemen.)

But we'll make it. One step at a time, one ride at a time, one second at a time. I have duct tape holding my eye twitch from knocking my glasses off, but hey- at least when I remove the duct tape, I won't have to pay for a wax on that eyebrow, right?

Clearing out the Clutter and a Book Giveaway!

One of my goals for 2010 was to work on clearing out the clutter in my life. This applies to actual physical stuff around the house, my email inboxes and mental clutter.

These things take time, but I’m finding the physical clutter the easiest to deal with. So far this year, I have cleaned out the spare bedroom, the linen closet, the bathroom cupboards and my bedroom.

Not a bad start! There is a lot more I could do, but right now the rooms and closets are tidy and I don’t feel bad when I go in those rooms anymore. It feels good to let stuff go. I’m also in a really good place with regards to NOT buying more stuff to replace what I’ve thrown out/donated… So I think we may have some progress here!

I even cleaned out my bookshelves and I have several health/diet/fitness books that I was wondering if you guys would be interested in… I am willing to mail the books to anyone that is interested. Just pass them on to another friend when you no longer need them! Leave a comment stating which book(s) you are interested (and make sure there is a way to contact you) and I’ll get in touch with you to get your mailing address. In the event that multiple people want the same book, I’ll draw names or something. (All links are to for reference.)

Body for Life – Bill Phillips

Strength for Life – Shawn Phillips

The Best Life Diet – Bob Greene (Oprah’s trainer)

The New Rules of Lifting for Women – Lou Shuler

Happy for No Reason – steps to being happy from the inside out – Marci Shimoff

Hunger Free Forever – Michael T. Murray, Michael Lyon

The Natural Makeover Diet – Dr. Joey Shulman

The Biggest Loser 30 day Jumpstart – Cheryl Forberg + The biggest loser experts and cast

The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl – Shauna Reid

Does this Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? – Peter Walsh (from Clean Sweep on TLC) (hardcover, missing jacket)

The Ultimate Weight Solution – Dr. Phil (hardcover, missing jacket)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today, I Cried

Now, I don't want ya'll thinking this is a pity-party post, because it's not. Not all tears are tears of sadness. Some can even come from joy. Several little things have happened since I last blogged and I want to tell you about them. Getting healthy is a multi-faceted thing. ALL aspects of being undergo changes. For me, that means these past few days have been emotional ones.

I'm sure most of you realize that I blog under a pseudonym. And most of you know my real first name. And I'm sure most of you realize that my blog email address is in no way connected to my main email address. And this is why:

As some of you may know, I've been involved in a 2 year custody dispute for my eldest child, Kitty. It's been ugly. Horrifically ugly. And because of this, I blog in such a way that the other parties (yes, parties) in this dispute cannot find my blog and use anything I say there against me.

But recently, there have been some changes. The Marine, my ex-husband and father of my daughter Kitty, not only extended an olive branch to me, but owned his own sh*t and apologized to me for the ending of our marriage, the way it ended and everything else that has happened in the last 10 years. He was clean, sober and sincere. His wife, whom I have had a chilly relationship with in the past, also apologized to me for the way she has treated me in the past and all the nasty things she told Kitty growing up about me that weren't true. Now, they have decided to support my suit for full and permanent custody of Kitty.

That, for me is the biggest positive turn around. It's more of a blessing than I could have ever asked for. But, it's not all!

The Guardian Ad Litem for the case suddenly began singing a different tune yesterday. A tune that is in my favor. And it started in court when he could have easily continued to throw me under the bus and had already informed me that he was planning on doing so.

I cannot tell you how these two things alone lift so much stress and worry off from me! But, things just keep getting better and better...

My husband, the Corporate Prince, has been so inspired by my dedication to the Couch to 5k program that he has now started training for a triathlon using the Couch to Tri program. He hopes to complete a spring triathlon this year, a couple Olympic distance triathlons next year, Half-Triathlons the year after and really hopes to qualify for the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii by the time he's 40. That's 6 years away, folks! But, he has found an avid interest in life and an abundance of energy since he started focusing on the program recently!

I don't think any of you know this, but my biological mother passed away of Leukemia 19 years ago. I was 5 yrs old. And I have very few memories of her. Those that I have revolve around her illness and hospitals and catheters. Back then, not a whole lot was known about Leukemia and many of the treatments were more like clinical trials with a very, very low chance of survival.

My mother was 33 years old when she passed. I am now 34 years old. I also am the spitting image of her, albeit slightly shorter.

Today, I was inspired to look up information on races and walks held in honor of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I found a few here in Oregon and some that I might consider traveling to later this year. However, I came across a group called Team In Training, where you can join the cause, get training help from their certified coaches and compete while raising money for research and treatment to help others.

I will not only run in Portland's Race for the Roses, but I will be running in my mother's honor. I will run for the mother I barely knew.

That made me cry.

So, my friends, I challenge you to find a race, a walk, a trail ride, something and donate your time to a cause that means something to each of you. Not only will we get fit and healthier doing this, but we will feel good knowing we helped make this world a little bit better, and made a difference in a life.

Are you with me??

Monday, January 18, 2010

Checking in...

Happy Monday everyone! I'm in a suprisingly good mood, all things considered. The good mood could be due to the fact that I have an appointment with my trainer after work... :-) Pain and torture, here I come!

I feel like I am in a bit of a holding pattern with my life right now - hubby's job situation (worrying about my budget), dog with an ACL problem (and waiting for our vet appointment), my legs are better, (but not 100%), etc. etc. The one thing that is actually starting to sllooowwllly come together is my exercise program.

Usually exercise is the first thing I avoid or ditch when things get stressful and busy. Last week though?

I exercised 4 (yes four!) times!

And I went riding as well, which I don't really count as exercise because it is fun. I am slowly starting to see how some people use exercise as stress relief - I used to think people that said that were a bit crazy, but I'm changing my opinion on that (or maybe I am now crazy too - hard to say!).

Another thing I am taking note of as I re-start exercising for the 23987823th time, is how I feel at each stage. I'm sort of having fun watching all of my old excuses fall by the wayside. Let's have a bit of a retrospective:

Excuse 1 - I was waffling about what exercise(s) to do and for how long. Ha - solved that problem (for now) with a trainer.

Excuse 2 - I was worried about how sore my muscles and body would be - that often deters me as well. Well, I survived sore muscles and I'm here to tell the tale.

Excuse 3 - I don't have time - I have exercised 4 times this week and still had dinner with the hubby, been out to see Rusty AND watched my favourite tv shows... No time - pffffbbttt!

Excuse 4 and my latest mental struggle? I am a total weakling.

I have lost any and all strength that I once had. I actually hurt my bicep a bit last week doing curls with 8lb dumbbells! Yikes! It is sort of funny now, but last week I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. The old Laura would have used this as an excuse to stop working out - why bother, I'm so weak...etc. etc. For some reason now, it is just another little hurdle to get over instead of a big excuse.

I'm not sure what has changed in my thinking, but I'll take it!!! :-)


Ok - subject change!!! I have been working on preparing some exercise and fitness books for a little giveaway! I have the post written - just need to edit it and I'll be posting it later this week!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Its starting to come together for me, finally!
Seems like every time I was "ready" something would happen to de-rail me. Well I've stepped up and said "Enough!" and started working within my limitations when I'm hurting and going for it when I can. And lately I AM hurting. I won't go into details except to say my dang knee got all banged up and is missing some skin, which makes bending too much very ouchy. Also both knees are, one elbow and my chest are sporting some LOVELY colour (bruises are SO sexy! lol) But I can still walk so walk I will!
I have been on my treadmill for at least 30 minutes every day for the last 17 days except for 2 days. And for 4 of those days I went on the treadmill twice! (again 30 min + each time)
I've also been eating better. Not great, not perfect, but better. My supper at work is usually a chicken Greek salad (well MY version: romaine, peppers and onion with the dressing on the side) or a Chicken burger (grilled breast on a bun with some lettuce and mozza) with a small Greek salad. I've had a small pasta a couple times and a steak once.
Now that sweet tooth... still working on that. But what I'm finding is that if I give myself one sweet treat a day it goes away. Sometimes its a few jelly beans (I LOVE "Jelly Belly" beans!!) or a piece or two of chocolate, a small bowl of ice cream. Right now that's what is working for me. And I'm able to cap it off at the ONE treat.
Best of all, last week I lost 4 lbs!!

Time Is On Our Side

This phrase comes up often- almost daily- in our hoof care practice. It comes up in conversation between Dear Husband and myself, when talking about Sonny. And when talking about my dismay with my rather rounded physique too.


It dawned on me tonight, after reading comments and trying to catch up on things, that I DO have Time. I have time to NOT put so darn much pressure on myself to go go go go go and do do do do do do. If I don't STOP now and then, and breathe deep, take a moment to see the sun, feel the ground beneath my boots or the horse between my knees, then I am too fried to give a rat's a$$ if weight has been lost or gained, or if I feel one tiny iota better or worse.

I did not get into this state of disrepair overnight. I will not change this state of disrepair overnight either. There is no deadline stating I MUST be XXX size/ weight by XXX date.

Wait- deadline. Dead. Line. That word always felt morbid to me. I don't *like* pressure like that, and often will balk and sour faster than a wrung out over run kids horse when it's applied to me.

As long as I have a realistic expectation for myself, I work fine. But saying that I'll be a size 10 by my birthday in September? Fagedaboudit. If anything, I'd pork up to a 20.

So just like we do with our horses ladies- Take The Time It Takes.

Be strong- we'll make it all the way to being HEALTHIER!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


That is where I have been. Mental, physical, lost in space Limbo. Not even the FUN kind of Limbo, where we see how low we can go, either. (Yeah, right. With MY back? HA~ We could take bets on how long it would take to recover!)

I've been working Sonny religiously, and riding, and that is... about it. Not gaining anything back, but not exactly LOOSING anything either ya know?

The Deep Freeze sent me into stasis. I swear. That wasn't me out in the cold working Sonny, it was my Evil Twin. Had to be- because my BRAIN was not engaged at all!

However, it looks to be warming up down here. Which is good- as maybe those last two brain cells (that the children have not yet fried) will thaw, and motivation can be created once again. Starting with the "Team Cowgirl Up Club": where the Motto is "SHUT UP AND RIDE!"

ETA: I did. I shut up and rode. And it was AMAZING! ;)

Friday, January 8, 2010

I've been holding out on you guys...

So, as the title suggests, I have some news that I didn't tell everyone. It's not really that big of a deal, but I was feeling guilty that I hadn't yet spilled the beans!

One of my goals on my list was to start working out regularly. I've been trying to pysch myself up to start a exercise routine of any kind since my legs stopped hurting so much in November. I did not do well at all - I was overthinking everything (as usual) and would talk myself out of even trying anything. Due to my overthinking tendencies, I often have to trick myself or outsmart myself to get anything done. Sometimes bribery works, but usually I have to resort to drastic measures...

Problem 1 - I was lacking motivation
Solution - Hire a personal trainer. (Hubby offered to help me, but I didn't want to get grouchy and mad at him!)

Problem 2 - I hate leaving the house after I get home from work because it is cold, dark and miserable.
Solution - Stop somewhere on the way home, so I wouldn't get stuck.

So, over the holidays, I was talking with my brother in law, who works out once a week with a trainer. This trainer is a friend of his and she has a small private fitness studio downtown. A-ha! This is a solution to problem 2 - I work east of downtown and live west of downtown, so I could stop there on my way home!

I called and spoke to this lady and she was busy, so she assigned me to one of her other trainers.

He sent me an email to set up an appointment and I noticed that he had his own web site. I thought I would have a look and see if I could learn a bit about this guy before going in to meet him.

Go check out the web site - I'll wait here while you do. No need to read the whole site, just check out the pictures at the top...

Did you see the pictures? Holy cow - I was totally intimidated going to meet this guy. I'm a short chubby middle-aged chick and this guy is a professional actor, model AND an athlete! Yikes!

I had my first appointment on Wednesday and all of my worry was for nothing. He is super nice, easy-going and really knowledgeable about exercise and fitness. I think he will be a good motivator for me to get my workouts back on track.

I was joking with my hubby that this guy is my own personal Tommy Europe! :-) Any of you guys that watch Bulging Brides or the Last 10lbs Bootcamp will know what I mean!

Here's to progress! (however painful and

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Goalz I haz dem!

I'm back!

Life has been quite busy lately but I do promise to drop in far more often than I have been!

Here's a repost from my personal blog regarding my 2010 goals:

I won't call them New Year's Resolution's since I read somewhere that calling a goal or project a "New Year's Resolution" is basically setting it up for failure. My friend J doesn't make resolutions, she makes rules because she will not break rules. I guess it's all in how you look at things, right?


  • Go to the gym 3x times a week, and workout out for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Complete a 5K race while averaging a 10 minute mile.
  • Spend one 15 minute break per day walking the stairs at work instead of browsing the internet (I work in a 17 floor bldg, I started with 4 flights/day and will add a flight each week).

And in case you all are interested in the personal goals for my life, here goes:

Personal Life

  • Give more handmade gifts.
  • Along those very same lines, embrace my craftiness and spend more time crafting and less time shopping. (Especially important given the $1,000 car repair bill I was saddled with today! p.s. Anyone interested in buying photo tiles as gifts? I available for hire!)
  • Utilize my dog training books and teach Storm Dog one new trick a month.
  • Put 10% of every paycheck into savings for a “rainy day”.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Surprises Unveiled

On the first day of Christmas-Birthday my Corporate Prince gave to me: an ipod in pink!

Now I can easily listen to music while I work out without bothering anyone else in the house while it's blaring and workout outside if I so choose. Also, my ipod is limited to workout music alone which makes it very, very convenient.

On the second day of Christmas-Birthday my Kitty gave to me: 2 Polish hens!

If I'm going to have hens, I might as well have some that look like Muppets, right? These girls are a little beat up from being picked on by their former flock but are recovering nicely here with my own girls. Hopefully, their top-knots and tail feathers will come back soon.

On the third day of Christmas-Birthday my Doodle gave to me: 3 goaties!

These cute little munchers are the start of my herd. First up, de-blackberry my pasture! Next, put in another pasture for them to clear and so on, and so on, and so on!

On the fourth day of Christmas-Birthday Santa gave to me: Fitness books and dvds!

They say that knowledge is power. Fitness and health are power too! So, together this should be a powerful combination!

On the fifth day of Christmas-Birthday my in-laws and Dude gave to me: Workout clothing!

From the in-laws I received new trail runners, light weight gloves for the cold, a workout jacket with hood and new yoga pants, all matching. From dude, I got a down vest and matching fitness weight fleece. Oh, and Santa brought me a new sports bra too! What great motivation!

On the sixth day of Christmas-Birthday Santa brought to me: Buckets for my barn!

And new eye bolts and carabiner clips to hold the buckets! I also got a headlamp so I can see in the barn at night or put light exactly where I'm looking when I examine a wound, a stethoscope, because we horse people really should have one, and a new halter and lead rope for the Maddie-Cakes because I detest the ones she came with.

On the seventh day of Christmas-Birthday my CP gave to me: CASEY!

Casey was scheduled to come home on my birthday, the 27th, but the weather was awful and CP didn't want to jepordize Casey's well-being in any way. Then, we had him scheduled to come home on the 30th, but it snowed enough I didn't feel safe having him trailered up. Now, it's so rainy and everything is so sloppy that I don't want the trailer getting stuck trying to get here, nor do I want to try to introduce Casey and Maddie on the sloppy footing of my pasture where I may slip and fall myself. So, we wait for better footing and weather... There just always seems to be a delay! But, both CP and Tasha (our trainer) assure me that Casey will be brought home to me as quickly as can be done safely and humanly possible.

So, those were the big secrets I made you guys wait on! I was hoping to have pictures of Casey actually here at home before I posted this but that was not meant to be apparently. Hopefully, my muscle-bound baby will come home to a trimmer and more svelte mama soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

There Is More To Life Than Just Salad: Part 1- Breakfast

Are you tired of living on celery sticks and lettuce leaves? Wondering what the heck you could possibly eat that is quick and easy and is good for you? Well, here are some ideas I'd like to share!


Now, breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. After years of being an anti-breakfast eater, I discovered just how much better I feel and how much more energy I have when I eat breakfast. Also, after 2 months of being a breakfast eater, I've learned to enjoy it, welcome it and appreciate the benefits it gives my body. I also find that I eat less throughout the day, that I'm less likely to over-indulge. Plus, it's important to eat enough calories throughout the day. Not eating enough is just as bad for you as eating too much. You need to intake calories to burn calories, or your body goes into starvation mode and turns the calories you do eat into fat to store for later. It's our body's "fight or flight" mechanism.

Some of the things I eat for breakfast are:

Oatmeal (1/2 c. instant oatmeal to 1 c. water, microwave 2 minutes, add fruit, nuts and spices to taste. I like frozen blueberries because it cools the oatmeal off quickly)

Waffles- I prefer Nutrigrain, but recently read that there's supposed to be a shortage in upcoming months due to a plant close. I tend to eat my waffles plain, but you could spread a Tbsp of peanut butter on them for some protein.

Yogurt- I mix about 2 Tbsp of Grapenuts in. It gives a nice crunch to the yogurt and softens the cereal so it's not like rocks.

Crustless Quiche- usually, this is left over from dinner the night before. And, honestly, I can't make pie crust to save my life, so I decided years ago to skip the crust (since I don't really like it anyways) and just go for the good stuff.

4 eggs (or egg beaters if you prefer)
1/2 c. non-fat milk
dash of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning blend
1-2 c. veggies of your choice, pre-cooked (I usually use steamed spinach- squeezed out or broccoli, sun dried tomatoes- not oil packed!, but you can use anything, really)
cheese- cheddar, feta, swiss- only a couple ounces, grated
Pre-cooked meat source, about a handful- but not always. Ham is especially good. A little crumbled bacon goes a long, long way

Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray a pie pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
Beat eggs, milk and seasoning together.
Add in veggies, meat and 1/2 the cheese (unless using feta, then toss it all in), Mix well
Pour into pie pan
Bake for 25 minutes
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, bake just until melted and golden (about 10 minutes)
Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes
Slice into 8, just like a pie

Makes 8 servings

Now, I know what you're thinking. Quiche is notoriously high in fat, cholesterol, and calories! Yes, but... We didn't use crust, remember? We've also modified the recipe. And you're only eating 1/8th! Not the whole pie! 1/8th of this is around 200 calories. I'm too lazy to do the math right now. Cheese is being used in moderation. Did I mention the lack of crust? It's like an oven made omlet casserole and it reheats well, unlike omlets. Remember, "diet" food doesn't have to be boring, or salad!

What about having a serving of low-fat cottage cheese, a piece of whole grain toast and some fruit? Or two mini bagels with some neufanchel cheese? Or blend up a smoothie with some protein powder? What? You need a recipe?

For those Non-Breakfast Eater Types:

This is how I started out learning to eat breakfast. These three recipes helped me so very much while I was adjusting. Plus, they're a great way to squeeze in some extra protein, which helps keep your blood sugar level and stave off the mid-morning slump. Personally, I tend to not get enough protein in my diet unless I'm being conscientious about it. Protein powder (like Gold Standard 100% whey) helps. You'll get extra amino acids our bodies need too! And no, it's not just for body builders. And it won't make you bulk up, unless that's your goal, in which case, this isn't the blog for you anyways!

Protein Smoothie

4 standard ice cubes
1 medium banana
4 large strawberries
1 serving protein powder
1/4 c. orange juice

Blend until smooth

And an alternate:

1 serving protein powder
1/2 c. mixed berries
5 strawberries
5 oz cranberry juice
5 oz water or skim milk
5 ice cubes

Blend on high until smooth

And for the coffee lovers out there:

Brew 2 c. fresh coffee
Pour hot coffee into blender
add one scoop protein powder
add preferred healthy sweetener (I used 1 tsp. hershey's syrup, but that's me)
add soy milk or rice milk (like you would use creamer)
whip in blender until frothy.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to day 4 of 2010

So, here it is - January 4th, 2010. Where does the time go???

I'm a bit hesitant to make big goals as I have a pretty bad history at accomplishing big things. I really need to break things down into smaller objectives - that way it doesn't seem so daunting. I'll try not to bore you guys with the minutae of my goals - but instead give you a bit of a summary. I actually have the three main goals below broken down into SMART goals on a big, geeky spreadsheet, so I will spare you guys the pain of reading each little item! (Aren't I nice? lol)

1) Improve my financial situation. I have a tendency to spend money like it is going out of style. I put up with a mind-numbing job for my money, so I had the notion that I deserved to spend as much as I wanted. That hasn't really worked out so well for me. Horse equipment is especially tempting. (Hence the no tack shop purchases until June 2010 goal on my other blog!)

Hubby and I wrote up a household budget this weekend and it is kind of exciting to have a grip on that stuff and to be in agreement about it all. I have some leeway to buy new clothes if required, but I have a ton of stuff in various sizes, so I'm hoping to be ok until June. I'm not cutting everything out of my life - just the crazy extra stuff - buying magazines and books, going out to lunch/dinner all the time... basically trying not to buy stuff I don't really need for a while.

2) Focus on my health, both physical and mental! My health problems of 2009 have really made me sit up and take notice. Previously, I have been a bit overweight and it hasn't really affected me all that much, or so I thought. I am really a believer that being overweight causes inflammation in the body and that inflammation is silent until it gets to be too much and then it manifests itself in some way in your body... (Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil talk about this if anyone is interested in googling it.)

So - some SMART mini-goals in this are:
  • to start working out (gently at first) 3-4x/ week and gradually increase the intensity.
  • Also, I will be keeping a journal of any symptoms/problems as required, to help my dr's diagnose and treat any issues.
  • eat more vegetables and healthy foods - and make a strong attempt to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. I will achieve this by reading more, planning out menus ahead of time and doing the prep work required.

3) Clear out the clutter (both physical and mental) I have a bit of clutter around the house, on my computer, in my email inbox(es), on my desk at work, in my brain, etc. etc. I have been working on the house and my computer since October and I am making alot of progress.

I have also been unscribing from all kinds of (basically) junk emails that I was all excited about last year. They tempt me into buying things and just clutter up my inbox. This purging feels great - I feel like I am taking back control of my life.

Mentally, I spent some time this fall pondering my decisions and life over the past few years - looking at the good and the bad. I ended up focusing too much time on the bad and not-so-good and hindsight just isn't all that helpful.

I am going to work on being positive, seeing the positive in life (even when it is hard) and repeating the phrase that hubby hit me with last week while talking all of this out... "Every day is a gift". That pretty much sums it up for me. Every day is what we make of it, so I need to work on trying to do something every day that I feel good about, so that I won't look back over these next 10 years and regret everything...

Actually, alot of my goals stem around the Nike phrase of the 90's "JUST DO IT!". I really need to show up for life and just do things. I tend to worry, plan, over-agonize, stress, worry some more and it is really annoying. I tend to keep all of those issues in my head and not bore people with it (until now - lucky readers!)

It is now time to put on my big-girl britches and cowgirl UP! Yeehaw! Let's go!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Take A Walk With Us...

Well, we did it. We survived Christmas, the week after, and New Years Eve. We made it to 2010.

I'm not sure HOW we made it, but we did. Phew...

The Little Mens and I have been trying to walk a bit more. A couple days ago, we got feeling really froggy, and walked to the tower that is behind us. While it was a great walk, it will be the last one we make out there. The road back is only about a 1/4 mile long, but... well, let's just say as we got closer to the tower station, my skin prickled and the "Danger!" buzzer in my mind was singing loudly.

We will just have to find other places to walk.
Post ten inch rain deluge, our job during the day for quite a few days was to keep an eye on the pump, and make sure it was doing it's best to drain the water from Sonny's paddock and our yard.
Walking with an almost four year old and a five year old is interesting. Jo the Wonder Nanny Dog does her best to keep up with the lead child (usually Cub,) but by the end of the walk she's lagging back by Wrecking Crew and I, letting Cub get ahead of us some. She sure does get upset though, if he ducks around a bend and out of sight...

I still don't have much of an appetite, and Dear Husband has had to growl at me to make sure I am eating enough the past few days. New Year's celebrations around here tend to go on and on and on for a few days. Sleep has been elusive, as every time there is a firework explosion, or gun shots, I wake up. And when I get *this* tired, I just don't want to eat.

But as long as Dear Husband keeps an eye on me, all is well.

Oh- some neat news! For Christmas, Dear Husband got me a new pair of jeans. Lee Riders-- totally rock by the way, if you ride because you can RIDE in them (horses y'all-- horses!) Anyways-- the jeans are a size smaller than I have been wearing, and there is ROOM in them.

I had to go to the feed store a couple days ago, and I wore my Christmas jeans and a pretty shirt that came with them... the lady that owns the store hadn't seen me for about 5 or 6 weeks, and the first words out of her mouth were: "Oh wow! You have lost a lot of weight!!"

Made my day. Totally.

How is everyone holding up for the new century? Fill us in when you can!!