Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankful For Normalcy!

Well, Thanksgiving weekend is almost at a close, and I have to admit that I'm more than a little thankful!  We've had a great weekend (Eric had 4 days off), but my eating was a bit off the rails.  I am so ready to get back to eating normally and having my workout schedule.  I feel neutral about myself for the weekend, and I am proud of some things and disappointed in other things.

Positives:

The one thing I did every single day, despite it causing heart palpitations, was to track all of my food.  All of it.  I would have never done that in the past, I would have blown it off and not worried about it.  It wasn't pretty seeing the numbers, although I think my highest was on Thanksgiving, and it was something like 2,200 calories.  Not the greatest, but I suppose it could have been something like 5,000 calories!  The important thing was that tracking all of it made me say "Whoa Nelly" once the numbers started creeping up.

I discovered that I'm addicted to exercise.  That's not to say I LIKE it all the time, but I definitely need it, and that's a good thing.  On Thanksgiving we did a 3 mile walk and I felt awesome.  The next day we didn't do anything, and I felt horribly depressed and was in immense physical pain the whole day.  Saturday we got out and did a really brisk 2 mile walk and I felt completely different afterwards.  Today we didn't really do any meaningful exercise (we walked from my car to a bar, does that count?), and I felt deflated again.  My back is in pain.  There is no doubt about it, I have to exercise every single day!

I stayed aware.  That doesn't mean I was successful or stayed in my macros, but I never had that "screw it, throw caution to the wind" mentality.  

Negatives:

I ate more and exercised less than I intended.  I had a lot of unplanned alcohol on Thanksgiving, plus an extra piece of cheesecake that night.  I cannot put into words how sick I felt after doing that!  I really should have stuck with my pre-planned indulgences and the really pretty champagne we picked out for the meal, but instead had to be a dummy and throw cocktails and extra dessert into the mix.  The horrible heartburn was certainly enough to deter me from pulling a stunt like that.  The rest of the weekend was sort of similar, just all food that didn't make me feel good physically or mentally, yet I ate it anyway.

My digestive system is so. screwed. up.  I had kind of gotten better, but all of these shenanigans had my system saying...


Oh and my last negative is that I abandoned Richard.  :(  I didn't do Stomach Formula a single time the past 4 days, which is pretty lame of me.  

Moving On:

Tomorrow is a new month, and I am pretty excited to get back into things and start feeling good again.  I have some new strength challenges I want to throw into the mix, and of course start back with my cardio stuff.  I have recently felt curious about lifting weights, although I have no clue about lifting at all.  I wish you could just find some beginner class on doing it, but everything seems to be a "holy shit let's do a thousand burpees and go bonkers for Crossfit" these days, so I don't really know where to begin!  I did dig out my dumbbells, and would like to actually start using them.  I am going to talk about all of my December challenges in my next post so that I don't make this one too long.

I thought I'd leave off with some pictures from the weekend.  We really did have a great Thanksgiving despite some over indulgence, so I wanted to share some of the happiness.

Our 3 mile Turkey Stroll on TG morning
Drinking and annoying Molly while waiting for the turkey to get done
We put up our Christmas lights!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Super Quick

No big post today, I've got to fit in a ton of exercise before meeting Eric for the movie I've been waiting for for months, "The Theory of Everything"!  I am so excited, hope it doesn't disappoint.  After that we are meeting some friends for a quick beer, then I'll have some Thanksgiving prep to do when I get home.

I just wanted to take a quick moment to give a quick cyber hug to all my readers, be you lurker (you can't hide from Blogger stats!) or participant, and tell you to have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you are traveling out there today, be safe!  I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love, blessings, good friends/family time, and of course good eats.  Take the time to truly reflect on the good in your life and be thankful for it.  Be patient and kind to others.  If you must go out and do shopping on TG or Black Friday, be nice to the people who are having to work, look them in the eye and say thank you when they are helping you!  If you are going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, be super kind to your server, thank them for everything, and make sure you tip them.  Sorry for the Sesame Street lesson, I guess I have a heavy heart with all the stuff going on in the media, and want to try to do my part to put some kindness out into the world.  Seriously people, be kind to one another.  The world needs it right now.

Today's Activities:

Zumba
Stomach Formula Day 29
Richard Simmons STTO 2

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs/salsa)
Lunch:  ? (something off the theater menu, it's a fancy theater with a full menu)
Dinner:  Deviled eggs, beer.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

28 Days Later: Stomach Formula

Today's weigh in brought me a lot of joy, because even though I only lost 0.6 pounds this week, I am now at the lowest weight that I was two years ago.  It only took me two years, but I am back on the wagon.  ;)  Hell now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it was more like two and a half years ago.  The thing that kind of kicked off my journey in earnest was the PINK Method by Cynthia Pasquella.  Judging by the stats on the blog, I know a lot of people are curious about and searching for information on PINK, Cynthia and the Hungry Hottie cookbook.  I don't have anything bad to say about Cynthia or her programs really, except that in the long run they just weren't going to work for me.  I did learn some things, got into some better habits and still have a handful of friends that I met while doing PINK!  At the end of the day, it is just way too restrictive of a lifestyle, and I am so much happier just following a mindlessly simple "eat less move more"mentality.  Not only am I happier, but it's actually working.  I lost another 2 inches as well this week:  half from my bust, half from my waist and an inch from my hips!

Today also marked 28 days on the Stomach Formula, and old Richard still beats me up!  I am shocked at how much stronger I've gotten on 80% of the moves, I don't know that I've ever had this much core strength.  I did have a kind of "womp womp" moment when I took my stomach pictures today.  I swear my stomach looks bigger than last week.  Obviously it is not since I am down an inch and a half in that general area, but the pictures are seriously messing with my mind.  I decided that I'm going to drop back to taking status pictures once a month.  For one it's going to be easier, and two, it's just difficult for me to see a difference in the pictures week to week, which leads to a lot of self doubt.  I can see a clear difference in the picture I took today vs the one 28 days ago, so I think it would be healthier to just limit the picture taking to once a month.

So I don't know if anyone else watches CBS News, I certainly do in the morning for the Charlie Rose hotness, (while simultaneously wanting to slap the snot out of Gayle King).  Anyway, they had an interesting story about the FDA enforcing calorie counts nationwide at chain restaurants.  You can read the article here.

So of course there are the naysayers who think this is government over reach (YAWN) or that it's useless since people who are determined to eat certain foods are going to eat them anyway.  However, as someone who counts calories I think this is awesome.  We don't go to that many chains, but it makes my life about a billion times easier when stats are posted.  And there have been many times where seeing calorie or fat counts on a food has been enough to make me go, "ooooh, maybe not tonight."  I have faith that there will be many people who do the same.  Overall, transparency is always valuable and powerful, even if the consumer doesn't use the information.  For every person who doesn't use the information, there will be 10 people who will.  Anyway, just thought it was interesting!

Today's Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 28
Richard Simmons STTO 3
Zumba

Today's Menu: (don't be hatin' on my lunch)

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs/salsa)
Lunch:  Dr. Kracker flatbread, pimento cheese, pickle
Dinner:  Tabbouli salad, hummus, pita
Snack:  Apple with PB and chocolate chips

Monday, November 24, 2014

Countdown to Thanksgiving!

Today was so much better from an eating and activity standpoint.  I don't know why, but I've been in a super great mood today.  Maybe it's because I'm excited that Thanksgiving is near or maybe because I got 8 hours of sleep.  Regardless, I'll take it.

I started out the day with a 2 mile walk with Molly, which was very nice.  It was in the 50's here so all I needed were my compression capris and a t-shirt.  It was nice not having to bundle myself and the dog up like Kenny from Southpark!  After we were done, Molly and I had some selfie fun in the car.  The most remarkable thing is how happy she looks in the picture, she HATES having her picture taken so she usually looks like a depressed praying mantis when I try to do selfies with her.


After we finished up, I popped over to New Seasons to pick up our turkey!  Since it will be just me and Eric (plus I'm sure Molly will finagle a slice), I just got a little 11 pounder.  I did some last minute shopping for things I need for Thursday, but other than that, I'm ready for Turkey Day!  I have even been working on a playlist of music to put on while we're just cooking and having fun.

Once I got home I did my Richard DVD and settled in for the rest of the day.  I still have to do my Stomach Formula Day 27, but that will only take 7 minutes.  I'll go do it right after I publish this blog.

Today's Activities:

45 minute walk
Stomach Formula Day 27
Richard Simmons STTO 3

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (scrambled egg, spinach, salsa)
Lunch:  Veggie Soup
Dinner:  Pasta with tomato sauce and ground turkey

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Repenting ;)

Yesterday was just about what I expected.  I sadly didn't get up in time to squeeze in a quick workout, and I am even more bummed out that I totally forgot to do my Stomach Formula yesterday!  I don't even know what happened with that, usually I am very good about remembering to squeeze it in!  I guess that breaks my streak, which makes me so mad at myself.  :(  Today I did Day 25 and 26 right after one another to make up for forgetting, and so that I will be on schedule tomorrow.  Let me tell you, that was fun times, doing two of those stomach workouts in a row!  Tuesday is technically the 28 days that I said I was going to do the Stomach Formula, but I am extending my time with the program yet again and taking it to 63 days/9 weeks.  Those uneven numbers kind of make me crazy, but that would take me to the end of December.  I have really improved with my ability to do the exercises in the videos but I still have to take mini breaks or substitute some of the moves. I feel like I might as well continue on until I can comfortably do the routines.

We did have a ton of fun yesterday, got to hang out with people we hadn't seen in awhile, and of course drank and bought a ton of wonderful wine.  I kept up my food tracking streak, although tracking everything I did yesterday and watching the numbers tally up was a kick in the gut!  ;)  I am so glad that I moved my weigh in days to Tuesdays since I don't think I'd be very happy with what the scale shows tomorrow.  It's not that I feel bad about having a day where there's a lot of indulgence, but I do know the line between "that was a fun break with yummy stuff, back on track tomorrow", and "FML, it's not even enjoyable and I will pay for this tomorrow".  I tipped over that line, mainly with the wine.   Due to a misunderstanding at one winery they poured us a larger flight than we wanted (and of COURSE we had to drink those wines!), and then we stopped in at a third winery that we hadn't originally intended on just to see one of my friends.  Since I am technically "industry" and the girl who works there is my friend, they poured us a special  holy shit amount of wines.  I really could have done myself a favor and done a lot of spitting yesterday so that I could taste the wines without having to actually consume them.  I certainly wasn't going to do that with the first winery that was doing special food and wine pairings, nor would I have done that with the gorgeous champagnes we tasted yesterday, but for the extra wines/wines at the third winery I could have.  I just felt gross and bloated by the time I got home, slept like crap and felt off all day today.

For breakfast I repented from my wine sins with a smoothie, and then I ate a weird mishmash of things for lunch.  For dinner I threw together a veggie soup in the crockpot and am looking forward to that.  

I really do have to make sure I eat at a deficit and get tons of exercise in for the next few days.  Our planned Thanksgiving meal is pretty tame all things told, but I'm sure we'll be doing stuff while Eric is off work, so I may not be able to do my normal routine with as much exercise as I normally squeeze in.  My goal is to either maintain whatever the scale says Tuesday over the Thanksgiving holiday, or to heaven forbid, lose a tiny bit.  If I play my cards right, I think I could lose.

Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 25 & 26
40 minute walk

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Berry Protein Smoothie w/ spinach
Lunch:  Dr. Kracker flatbread, pimento cheese, boiled shrimp
Dinner:  Veggie Soup w/ egg noodles







Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh Yes They Call Her The Streak...

Anyone else remember that Ray Stevens ditty?  Anyone?  Nope, just this Southerner?  Okay...anyways.  Unlike the song, I am not talking about running around in the buff, but about my 40 day tracking streak on My Fitness Pal as of today.  I am pretty proud of that, I think that's the longest I have ever consistently tracked at a time.  I've also been very honest in my tracking and made sure to count everything, even high calorie days where I went over.  It's all really kept me in check

Yesterday honestly wasn't "bad", I just ate back all of my exercise calories which is something I'm trying to do as little as possible.  Eating back some of them is fine, just not all of them.  One of my dear friends is about to have a baby (like, any minute now about to have a baby) so we went out with her and her husband last night.  I was VERY proud of myself about dinner.  We went to this pub called the Thirsty Lion, and their burgers are pretty great, but it just wasn't worth it when I looked at the macros.  I went instead with a spicy tuna roll, which you wouldn't think would be great at a pub, but it was super tasty.  I also shared some ceviche with Eric.  Even though that came with chips, it was a fraction of the damage that a burger/fries would have been and I was just as happy.  I had planned on one glass of wine, but had a second one.  That was my bad and I totally didn't need it.  I still would have been under goal, but we went and had frozen yogurt at my favorite place.  The yogurt itself isn't so bad, but the place we go to is a magical land of toppings, and I revert to a 6 year old kid who is like "I want this, and this, and THIS".   Once that was said and done and I calculated all the toppings + yogurt, I broke even for yesterday.  Ah well.

Today hasn't probably been a shining moment for me though.  Again, nothing really awful, but I ended up not doing any activity other than my Stomach Formula stuff, and I really should have because we're going to have a busy weekend where I will be less active.  Honestly, I just got caught up in doing stuff around the house and lost track of time.  Then I realized I had to go pick up medication for Molly at Costco, yada yada, suddenly it was 5 pm.  I didn't plan out my eating really and ate lunch too late, so I didn't eat nutrient dense stuff and was hungry all day.  Ate way too much at dinner.  All things where I should know better, but honestly it was kind of nice to have a rest day even though I didn't rest at all!

Tomorrow is going to be iffy, we have to go pick up a cheesecake from my friend that we preordered for Thanksgiving and we're leaving out early so I may not be able to squeeze in an activity beforehand.  We are friends with the owners at Republic of Jam, and if you are ever in Oregon you've got to stop in and see them!  They do unique jam flavors and cocktail syrups, are super awesome women and very talented.  Anyway, Lynnette had preorders for goat cheese cheesecakes, so we got a chocolate one for Thanksgiving.  Our planned TG meal is actually pretty healthy, so this will be the big indulgence!  Anyway, Republic of Jam is out in wine country, so we're stopping in at Soter Vineyards because they are having a member party, AND stopping in at another winery called Scott Paul since they are doing champagne tastings.  Like for realz from France champagne.  Oh and we're having breakfast with Lynnette and her wife Amy at a cafe beforehand.  All I can do is make the best choices I can tomorrow and see where the chips fall.

Today's Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 24

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Avocado, toast, 2 clementines
Lunch:  Dr Kracker flatbreads, Laughing Cow Cheese, tablespoon of pimento cheese
Dinner:  Boiled Shrimp + Caesar salad (yes with croutons and cheese and the fatty dressing)
Snack:  Cliff Bar


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Motivation

So, one of the things I like to do every day is creep the My Fitness Pal message boards.  I never post anything or friend request anyone because, strangers.  Well and because I'm a lone wolf who kind of likes to do my thang.  Anyways, few things ever really grab me or stop to make me think, it's usually all just an excuse to mentally insert a Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme while people battle one another.


I am not ashamed to admit that I love a good internet slap fight.  The battles are usually over being gluten free just for the purpose of losing weight, doing cleanses (which I also agree is BS), the proper way to lift, etc.  But I actually read a post yesterday from a user that made me stop and evaluate my journey present and past, and a lot of what she said resonated with me.  The post is too long to copy and paste here in full, but the gist of it is that "motivation" to work out is kind of bullshit.  You do see the motivation thing thrown around a lot when it comes to weight loss, inspirational memes, quotes and whatnots.  We've all seen it in our Facebook feeds.  I am not really the "create a Pinterest board of bodies that inspire you" type person, but I do relate to the mentality of only being able to work out and be healthy when I am motivated to do so.  It's how I used to feel, I could only work out if I was "motivated" to do so, could only eat right when I was "motivated" and consequently could only write blog posts if I was motivated by all of my other motivational shit.  Taking emotion out of everything and having a "it's gotta be done" mentality has been freeing and a relief.  And I'm sure that you all are thrilled that I write so consistently now, and that 90% of it is all about my clandestine love for Richard Simmons, right?  RIGHT?

A couple of the quotes that stuck with me from the MFP post:

I say this all the time, Motivation is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Only little kids fall for that trick or need that sweet bit of help. We're adults. We take our medicine because we comprehend why we need it and so we take it.

Put aside your mindset that the only way you can workout is if you are motivated. Teach yourself to do what you need to do because you do want it. You want the change. You want to get to the other side where all this stuff makes you happy. The side where all of this is so much easier because you aren't fighting it tooth and nail.

The medicine thing especially caught me.  Right now I have to take stupid blood pressure pills, and I will probably have to take them forever.  I don't want to take them.  But I also don't want to keel over dead with a stroke, so I take them.  There is nothing noble or inspiring about it.  I don't like paying bills.  But, no paying bills = no roof over my head.  I don't say "I'm so not motivated to pay my mortgage, I'm going to just not going to pay it for awhile."  The working out started out the same way this time around.  I want to drop weight and be healthy.  The only way to do it is to work out and eat at a calorie deficit.  The only way to maintain when I get to whatever weight is the best weight for me is to keep eating in a healthy manner and being active.  Every freaking day.  In other words, do what has to be done, even and especially when I "don't feel like it".  I know there is nothing very romantic about that, but it's true.

It's not that I'm never inspired by people, or that I don't have moments where someones awesomeness propels me to work harder.  I so admire the Kara Gouchers and Misty Copelands of the world.  I am so inspired by Katie from Runs for Cookies.  I don't think it's a bad thing to look to certain people, or have a body in mind that you want, or a quote that lifts you up.  I think those wonderful moments are the ones that make the crappy moments less crappy.  But I can't only be healthy when I'm inspired to be.  Eventually that emotional gravitas fades away and I'm just left with me.  And then what do I do?  I've still got to do what needs to be done, whether I'm inspired or not.

So, I guess now that I've pontificated on the Internet, I can slow my roll for today.  I actually do have to quit pontificating so that I can work out, lol.  

Today's Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 22
Richard Simmons STTO 3
Zumba

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Runner's World Whole Grain Muffins
Lunch:  Tabouli Salad
Dinner:  Chicken and Rice casserole + spinach salad
Snack:  Apple with peanut butter

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weigh In, SF Day 21 and Thanksgiving Food Tips

Today's weigh in went really well!  I was down 1.4 pounds, which I was pretty happy with.  I feel like I am chipping away at this weight thing once and for all, and that's it's really going to come off.  If things keep going like they're going, I could be close to the 100's by New Year's, and that's super exciting.  I only lost 2 inches this week, but one of those inches was a whole inch from my bust.  It made me so insanely happy.  Short of winning the lottery I will never be able to afford a desperately needed reduction, so every inch dropped from there naturally makes my life better!

It was also Day 21 of my Stomach Formula program.  My pictures this week did look slightly different than  last week, though I wish there was a more noticeable difference.  There are just little things that I notice because well, it's my body.  Some parts are smoother (not like Kim Kardashian's extremely Photoshopped ass smooth, but less lumpy), but no grand changes yet.  I do notice a huge difference in core strength, which is the whole point I suppose.  The exercises still make me sore, but I'm able to put a lot more intensity into them.  Tomorrow will be the beginning of my "final" week doing it, but I think I'm going to keep doing it beyond 28 days.  No reason not to really.

So Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and I wanted to pass along two food related things that might help some of y'all out.  The first one is a slow cooker discovery that I'm a little ashamed I didn't think to do sooner, BUT now I do it all of the time.  I bake sweet potatoes in the slow cooker!  I am madly in love with baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, but I hate that it takes a zillion years in the oven.  In the summer when it was so hot and miserable, I was desperately trying to find ways to have healthy meals that didn't require me turning the oven on and making our house into a hellish inferno.  I saw this post from PaleOMG and just about smacked myself in the head.  Now I won't bake sweet potatoes any other way.  It's SO easy, they come out perfect every time, and you can do several at once to have over a few days.  I think this would be a great way to have a healthy option at your Thanksgiving table, who wouldn't love a yummy baked sweet potato with a pat of butter and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on it?  Plus it saves you precious oven space!  It's also fun for regular potatoes, and I'm sure it would work for beets too.  Here is the recipe for slow cooker Baked Sweet Potatoes.

The second thing I stumbled on is a recipe to make your own cream of mushroom/celery/chicken soups.  I get really skeeved out about canned soups, they never taste very good and they have so many preservatives and sodium.  I was poking around online because I found a casserole recipe (the one I made for dinner tonight) that calls for cream of mushroom soup, so I wanted to see if there was a good alternative.  I stumbled on this food blog called Salad in a Jar and she has super easy recipes for all of the "cream of" soups, with a lot less scary ingredients.  I know there are a lot of Thanksgiving casseroles and dishes that call for cream of mushroom soup, including the (in my opinion) revolting green bean casserole.  If you also get icky feelings about using canned soups, then you should check out her recipe for Cream of Mushroom Soup.  There are links below her recipe to her recipes for Cream of Chicken and Cream of Celery soup.

Hopefully those help y'all out!

Today's Activities:

45 minute walk with Molly
Richard Simmons STTO 3
Stomach Formula Day 21

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  2 eggs, avocado, toast
Lunch:  2 slices deli turkey, baked sweet potato, pickle
Dinner:  Chicken and rice casserole (used homemade cream of mushroom soup. Recipe above)
Snack:  Dr. Cracker flatbread, pimento cheese

Monday, November 17, 2014

Distracted Running

I decided to move my weigh in days to Tuesdays, so I don't have weight loss news to report today.  I decided to do it because it seems silly to do the weigh ins/measurements and then progress reports and pictures for my Stomach Formula stuff on separate days.  Plus, weekends tend to be times where I exercise a little less and probably eat a little extra, so Mondays are never that pretty.  So Tuesdays it is.

We were totally bad this weekend.  I mean I didn't drastically go over calories Saturday and Sunday, but definitely didn't make "healthy" choices.  Yesterday was probably the worst.  We went to see the movie Boyhood at a second run theater here in Portland, and all of those places manage to have amazing pizza and beer just sitting there tempting you.  I got a slice of cheese pizza and a Rainier because I'm classy, and then we saw a Louisiana themed place that of course I had to try, and HAD to get a shrimp po-boy and an Abita Amber.  Then we got home and snacked more.  At the end of the day it's fine, but I shouldn't be hoovering down that many salty/naughty things in one day.

Today is back to business as usual.  I decided to leave Molly at home and go for a run this morning since it is frosty cold, and that's how I like my runs.  I wore compression pants, a dry wick shirt, gloves and a hoodie.  The hoodie was against my better judgement and it ended up making me feel like something was choking me for the first mile .  I got so frustrated that I had to make a pass back at the car to take the hoodie off and then freeze my patootie off for the rest of the time I was out there.  I did a lot of thinking when I was running, and realized that I just kind of don't like running right now.  Like at all.  I'm trying to figure out if that's just for right now, or if it's permanent.  I don't really know how to feel about these feelings since the running thing has been my identity for the last couple of years, hell it's my blog name.  When I recommitted to this whole "I'm getting healthy FOR REALZ" thing a couple months ago, I made a list of unofficial rules for myself.

1)  Eat 80% healthy, 20% whatever else.  Don't feel bad about the 20%
2)  Do something activity wise every day.  Doesn't matter what it is, do what feels good.
3)  Quit saying "I'll try" and "hopefully".  Either do it or don't.
4)  No more self pressure and abuse.
5)  Do what makes you happy for forever

I've overall done really well with my rules, and I think that's why I've been able to be consistent this time around.  Running is a different story.  Every time I've run the last couple of months I feel like I'm violating rules 2 and 4.  Obviously running is an activity, but I'm not enjoying it.  There is no enthusiasm there, and it definitely starts the self pressure and abuse cycle for me.  "God I'm so slow, I am never going to improve." "I did a marathon last year, why does two miles feel like torture, what's wrong with me?"  "Why can't I run the way I see those other people running?"  That is literally the dialogue in my head the whole time, and while I can be sarcastic and self deprecating, this is different and it's not healthy.  When I do my walks with Molly it's totally different, I feel present and alive, I look at everything around me, and I feel good.  I literally feel like I could walk for 10 miles.  I enjoy it.  When I do my silly Richard Simmons shit, I laugh, it's fun, I don't feel resigned, I just get up and do it.  I feel antsy if I don't do a walk or Richard, but with running I feel like I'm dragging myself to the gallows.

I am going to let it ride for the rest of the year and run now and again to see where my head space is.  Once the new year starts I will have to have some sort of mileage built up to do the Shamrock Half.  Other than that, I am honestly not going to worry about it.  The way I see it is that I have plenty of things to feel good about, so I can't really make time to feel bad about the running thing.  I'm losing weight, I'm healthier mentally and physically, I've been consistent in so many ways and I'm happy.  Nothing wrong with any of those things.

I wanted to leave the post with a couple of food recommendations.  One of them is a sort of gimmicky thing, which I usually don't fall for, but I had to buy these today.


I love avocado and would eat it at just about every meal if I could.  I've gotten burned in the store the last few times because I've gotten the larger avocados and they have stringy membranes going through the flesh.  It's insanely gross and a bummer, but I read that the larger avocados have this membrane and the smaller "Hass" ones don't.  I saw these "single serving" avocados in the store today (that are coincidentally Hass), and decided to give them a chance.  They're perfect because they're super little, I can eat the whole thing and not worry about storing the rest and keeping it from going brown, AND there are no gross stringy membranes.  Plus the egg carton-esque box is kind of cute.

I also got these crackers in the store today.  I really like them but forget they exist every now and again, then "rediscover" them.  Not sure why I forget about them, I don't like many doctors, but I have no issue with Dr. Kracker.


They are super crisp, taste good, have tons of seeds going on, and they are the perfect snack with hummus, peanut butter or cheese spread.  Highly recommend them if you can find them.

Today's Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 20
2 mile run

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Banana (wasn't very hungry)
Lunch:  Turkey sandwich with tomato and avocado
Dinner:  Boneless pork chop, baked sweet potato, steamed green beans
Snack:  Dr. Kracker flatbread with pimento cheese (Damn you Bitsy for introducing me to this!)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sweatin'

So yesterday I got my copy of Sweatin' To the Oldies 3, and not a day too soon since I could have performed a one woman show by heart of the first one.  I busted out the new one today and I have to admit it was pretty amusing since I hadn't laid eyes on it since I was 15 years old.  Some observations.  First of all, Richard always has some show boating hussy in every one of his videos, I swear.  I thought the girl in the orange crop top in the first one was bad, but this girl in her jorts (over bicycle shorts!) is eye roll inducing.  Some of the moves in this one are "sexier", hip rolls and thrusts and that kind of thing, and this girl was so over the top with it.  I caught her at her most glamorous.  ;)


Secondly, sweet Jesus do I miss the 90's.  This was 1991 I believe, so there's still some 80's fashion amazingness, but with that Blossom/My So Called Life thing starting to creep up on the outfits.  And I want to order some Zubaz pants now because several people in the video are wearing them.  If you're a youngun you have no idea what I'm talking about, but it's this gloriousness.



In a world of skin tight pants, I kind of long for the loose and free wheeling ways of the Zubaz.  I just looked and there is still a Zubaz site up where you can buy them, and you can join the "Zubaz nation".  Um, get me my passport, because I want to join.  Let's bring them back people.  And I promise that lady isn't giving the bird, I'm not sure what is going on there other than unfortunate screen cap timing.

Thirdly, I've decided the song "The Name Game" (one of the songs in the workout) is the ear worm from Hell that burrows itself deep in your skull.  You know how you hear stories about the military playing loud awful American music to wear down terrorists before they interrogate them?  Yeah, they could use "The Name Game" to do that.  All day I've been catching myself being like "Molly, Molly-bo-bolly, banana fana fo folly....oh damn it!!!"  Truly awful lol.  I promise I didn't just take pictures, I actually did do the workout, which is a little longer and a little more sweaty than the first tape.

Today overall has been better.  I've felt more energetic and positive, I got both Richard and Zumba done, and I've been really good with my food.  I'm trying really hard to eat back less of my exercise calories on a day to day basis, mainly because I think MFP over exaggerates how many calories activities burn and I don't want to slow down my progress.  I always seem to get hung up around the same weight, and I'm at that weight right now.  From a psychological standpoint I've got to get past that number once and for all, because I'm tired of battling back and forth for the last few years.  I realized this week that I'm at that weight, and I also slipped into bad habits and snacking, so I totally had the "OMG, I'm sabotaging myself YET again" epiphany.  Time to buckle down and move past it.

Today's Activities:

Stomach Formula Day 17
RSSTTO III
Zumba

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (eggs, mushrooms, basil)
Lunch:  Squash salad with pumpkin seeds
Dinner:  Tuna and white bean salad from Pastini

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Positive Thoughts for Richard!

So I just posted in Facebook about this, but I have been freaking out about Richard Simmons all day after reading an article on my fave celeb gossip site Dlisted.  I guess he has become kind of a shut in due to depression over a knee he needs surgery on, isn't teaching classes anymore, etc.  It seriously made me so sad and bummed out.  The poor guy has dedicated his whole life to helping others, including my lazy ass, so I hope Richard is able to get the help and support he needs for whatever is going on.  The world would be super sad and a lot less sparkly without him.  It's so weird because I talked to my mom today before I read this article, and we talked about Richard for awhile.  She was lamenting that she didn't have her VHS tapes of Sweating to the Oldies anymore, so I went online and ordered her two of the STTO DVDs.  Then I read this article and it gave me a case of the sads for the rest of the day.  I am "friends" with him on Twitter, and he did tweet a couple of tweets (or whoever is running the account for him) about all the love and support he's received from fans today.

Today wasn't a great day for me really for exercise or food.  I got thrown out of my routine and got all flummoxed about it, so I wasn't able to do as much exercise as I wanted.  It really bummed me out and got me agitated because I am very scatterbrained and it's hard for me to get into a routine, so when I finally get into one I get almost Rain Man about it.  If anything disturbs my plans it makes me crazy.  I ended up eating a rushed and terrible lunch from a nutritional standpoint, not drinking enough water, and not committing to doing my Zumba.  (By the way Meg, yes the little instructor guy is very cute and tiny!  He flies around that dance studio!  I love how he explains stuff).  I am disappointed in myself for doing that, we had pizza tonight so I really needed to get that extra activity.  I ate up ALL of my exercise calories from yesterday and went over, and really didn't want to do that again today!  I'm going to have another disappointing day Monday if I keep all that up.  I guess tomorrow is another day and all of that.  I did do my ab workout today.  I seriously almost blew it off, but then was like, OMG I can't let Richard down lol.  I know that's stupid, but at least it made me do it.  I am actually pretty pleased with how much easier the workouts are getting.  I definitely feel stronger in my core, just to end on a positive note.

Today's Activities:

Richard Simmons STTO
Stomach Formula Day 16

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Pineapple and blueberry protein smoothie
Lunch:  2 pickles, tortilla chips and hummus (yeah, soooo healthy)
Dinner:  Homemade veggie pizza + sparkling wine


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I'll Follow The Sun

You know that phrase "colder than a well digger's ass"?  Yeah, that's Oregon right now.  It's not as bad as say the Midwest, but boy it's freaking cold.  I took Molly for a walk and it was 31 degrees with insane wind gusts ranging from 40 to 48 MPH.  I did my best to keep us in the sun since the shade was just awful.  We were bundled up like crazy ladies and our walk was still pretty miserable, but we toughed it out for 35 minutes!  They're talking about snow tomorrow.  I can't believe just like 2 months ago I was having panic attacks and deep depression over the heat.  I will gladly take this over that!

Today's post is going to be quick since I've got some stuff to do around the house and we're going out tonight for a late birthday dinner for my aunt.  We're going to this great Mexican place in Portland and I wanted to make sure I had calories to spare for that today, so that's why my activity list is going to look like overkill.  It's really not by the time I get a margarita and some nibbles of deliciousness tonight.  I gave that Zumba video I did on Youtube yesterday another chance, and I actually was able to pick up more of the routines and get a better sweat in, so I think I'll continue to put it in the routine now and again.  My new Richard DVD should be here today or tomorrow, and I will be glad of it, the first one is getting a little stale.

Today's Activities:

35 minute walk with Molly
Richard Simmons STTO
Stomach Formula Day 15
Zumba

I am so excited about dinner tonight!  The food at Nuestra Cocina isn't the typical Tex Mex food, I think it's closer to traditional Mexican, so it's a smidge healthier.  Lots of grilled things and unique flavors:  http://www.nuestra-cocina.com/nc_menu.pdf   Those grilled prawns are calling my name for sure.  Otherwise, I've kept my food pretty light today so that I can enjoy tonight.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (eggs and turkey sausage)
Lunch:  Chocolate cherry protein smoothie
Dinner.  Unknown

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Stomach Formula Day 14

Today was my 14th day on the Richard Simmons Stomach Formula.  I have to admit, I was disappointed when I took my tum pics today, I couldn't really see a difference from last week, and in my front shot I even looked bigger than last week.  Obviously that isn't true since I have measurements to prove that I am smaller than on Day 7, but it just kind of sucks!  I'm not expecting 6 pack abs in 2 weeks, but I mean....really?  I have THE worst stomach, and it always takes forever for any kind of improvement to show there.  I know I should be proud that I've stuck with this every day for 14 days, I'm doing something to change my health, yada yada, but I'm honestly just pissed that I will apparently look like the Kool-Aid guy for the rest of my life.  Anyway.  I am just going to let it go and move on from this, and hope that by freaking day 21 that I would see a difference in my pictures!

I gave that Zumba video I found on YouTube a try today (link below).  I like Zumba, but it's hard to find classes close to my house, and it's yet another dancey thing that I'm more comfortable doing in my home since I can wear whatever and modify steps however I need to.  Again, I am not a dancer in the slightest, I have a hard time picking up routines, so being able to do it at home is just a better option.  This video was pretty decent, maybe a little advanced for me because the routines seem impossible!  It's funny, it's from a college in the UK, so everyone has British accents. I might keep poking around for a slightly easier one, because half the time I was standing there going "wait, what?" trying to figure out the routine.  I need something that I can keep up with so that I can consistently sweat instead of having to stop.  This is why I thank God for YouTube sometimes, so I can try out something like this and determine if I want to use it long term or not!

I also did a walk today, but we have this insane cold front that's about to come in, and the wind is blowing at almost hurricane level gusts.  I took Molly for a walk and didn't dress warm enough, so I was pretty miserable the entire time.  She wasn't exactly thrilled either, especially because the trees were making so much noise, and the wind was howling around the corners.  I wanted to stop after 15 minutes, but toughed it out for 35!  

Today's Activities:

RSSF Day 14
35 minute walk with Molly
Zumba

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Breakfast burrito (eggs, turkey sausage)
Lunch:  Homemade black bean patty
Dinner:  Leftover Chicken and Dumplings
Dessert:  Single serving chocolate cake

Monday, November 10, 2014

Zombie Lady

I slept terribly last night!!  I don't know what it was, but my anxiety was through the roof, and I was convinced that I kept hearing noises in the house.  The first time sounded like our bedroom door opening and shutting, which nothing will bring you from dead sleep to awake in 2 seconds like that noise.  The second time it sounded like someone threw something against our bedroom window.  With our cray neighborhood nothing would surprise me, but I think I was probably dreaming it.  I had a really hard time getting back to sleep after both of those incidents.  As a result I was moving REALLY slow this morning, and it was so hard to get motivated to exercise!

Well the scale treated me as I suspected it would this morning and I had a small gain, but I was only up by 0.20 pounds.  Really not the biggest deal, I know that is all due to the awesomeness (not) of being a woman, and a woman with crazy tummy issues on top of all that!  I am pretty confident that next Monday the scale will be down again.  As a little added "don't sweat it" motivation, my measurements reflected loss.  I lost a half inch from my neck (!!!), an inch from my waist and an inch from my hips.  Oh, and a random half inch from my right thigh, lol.  It's funny, I didn't have that same, "oh I can tell Richard is doing a number on my abs" feeling last week, but clearly things are happening what with the waist and hip measurements.  I'll take it.

I felt so tired today that I really didn't do as much as I wanted.  Molly and I went for a 45 minute walk, then I came home and did my Stomach Formula Day 13.  I tried out two new ballet videos, but they were just stretching/warmup type things. The girl who does them is very good, but the videos have no sound so that makes it a little more difficult to follow along.  The foot video was very interesting, it's the type of stretching I don't do enough of for my feet.  The links are below if you are interested.  I poked around on Youtube and found a full length Zumba video that looks promising, so that will be another aerobics video I can add to the mix.  Oh, and I ordered another Sweatin' To The Oldies video, #3.  ;)  I remember hating #2 as a kid for some reason, I can't remember if it was just lame or what, but we had and did #3 a lot, so I just got that one.  I love the first video, but I don't want to get sick of it.  I've pretty much memorized it at this point!

Today's Activities:

45 walk with Molly
Ballet Foot Strengthening
Ballet Barre Warm up
RSSF Day 13

Food has been on point today, and I can tell whatever hormonal stuff was going on with me has calmed down, because I don't feel quite as strong of an urge to snack.  I again ate a bigger breakfast, so I was able to make it to lunch without feeling famished. I also forgot how great jicama is, not because it tastes all that amazing (I always have to have True Lime on it), but it has tons of fiber and is very crunchy.  It really does fill you up!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Oat bran, prunes, Applegate turkey sausage links
Lunch:  Homemade black bean patty, cup of Simple Truth tomato soup, jicama slices with lime
Dinner:  Chicken and Dumplings
Dessert:  Apple slices with peanut butter and chocolate chips

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend

We've had such a nice and relaxing weekend!  It's no secret that fall and winter are my favorite times of the year, and besides all the obvious reasons, there are two more.  One is that for some reason, our social calendar seems to lighten up and we have a lot of time to ourselves.  There's not a lot of rushing around and having to squeeze in this, that and the other, so I tend to feel a lot less anxious.  Secondly, this is the time of year when all of the good movies start coming out!  We love the Golden Globes, Indie Spirit Awards and of course the Oscars, so this time of year is when the award worthy movies start coming out.  We started off our weekend on Friday night by going to see St. Vincent with Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy.  It was really cute, although kind of predictable, but it was a very sweet and enjoyable movie.  Melissa McCarthy was great in it which made me glad for her.  Since Bridesmaids she's really been in some stinkers, but this movie proved the girl has chops.  Sometimes I think these comedic actors do better when there is a slightly serious edge to the story.  My favorite person in it was actually Naomi Watts, she was totally great and funny.

Sadly my crab rangoon roll ups that I made before the movie were NOT award worthy.  It wasn't even a taste so much as a texture thing, the canned crab really felt gross.  It was kind of like hair or something.  Note to self, spring for the fresh crab meat at the seafood counter.  I did have an almond Snickers at the movie and it was delightful.

Saturday was so beautiful!  We went for breakfast at our favorite bakery, La Provence.  I had an insanely huge breakfast compared to what I normally eat, so I was stuffed by the time we left!  I got the "daybreaker" breakfast, so I had two sunny side up eggs, chicken sausage, and roasted potatoes.  I also got a very lovely passion fruit mimosa. Our breakfasts also came with a croissant, raspberry jam and a piece of brie cheese!!!  It's way too much food, literally two people can split one thing.  I did eat the brie with a little spoonful of the jam, but I saved the croissant for my breakfast today.    After that we came home and got Molly to take her for a walk so that we could justify eating such a crazy breakfast!  We couldn't believe how pretty the weather was, I even wore shorts with knee socks on the walk because it was so warm in the sun that you really didn't need a full on warm up outfit.  We walked for two miles, so not bad.

Self-ay!


My wonderful and seldom pictured hubby


Annoying Molly, who hates having her picture taken
Last night I did something that I've ever been able to do, and that's to make a pizza crust that didn't taste like crap.  I seriously have trouble sometimes making "simple" things like bread come out right, and I have never made a pizza crust that I've liked.  They're always super doughy or flavorless, and I've never been able to get that crisp chewiness that I really like in a pizza.  I found this yeast specially formulated for pizza dough when I was shopping the other day, so I decided to buy it and give it a try.

I searched online for a pizza crust recipe that looked decent, and stumbled on this one from Alex Guarnaschelli from the Food Network.  I figure that she is Italian and has a bunch of successful restaurants so that it couldn't be that bad.  I used the pizza crust yeast, and even though it says you don't have to let it rise, I did for like an hour.  I also chopped up some fresh rosemary and added to the dough for a little pizzaz, then topped the pizza with bell pepper, basil, green olives, mushrooms, caramelized onions and cheese.  I have to say, I was so pleased with how it turned out!  The dough was incredibly easy to roll out and handle, and it baked up just the way I liked, thin, crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle.


The recipe also made enough for two pizzas, so I froze the other ball of dough plus the other half can of Muir Glen pizza sauce I used, so we'll be able to do another pizza night at some point!

My TOM is in full swing, so I don't have high hopes for the scale tomorrow.  Having a lovely French breakfast plus a pizza night within one day probably won't help my case, but I guess we'll see.  Maybe I'm wrong since I've been more moderate today.  I did do Day 11 and 12 of my Stomach Solution program, so I'm almost done with Week 2!  For next week I'm going to start adding in some ballet barre challenges to the mix, though I need to make a final decision which ones!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Misty Copeland

So I started poking around on Pinterest last night to see if there were new workouts I could do to start targeting other muscle groups in my body (specifically glutes) besides my abs.  Side note:  I just joined Pinterest a week ago and I still don't know how the hell to use it, or how it's any different than bookmarking sites in folders on your favorites.  I don't even know how to ask for friends lol.  Anyway, I started looking at ballet barre workouts because I absolutely love the long, lean muscles that dancers have.  A lot of the workouts talk about Misty Copeland, as well they should!  If you're not really aware of her, Misty Copeland is a prima ballerina in the American Ballet Theater, and she has a very interesting and crazy story that is worth looking up.  She's a prodigy who became a soloist at 25, which is one of the youngest in ABT history.  She also just got a great Under Armour commercial that is very powerful and is a positive message for girls.  I think she is so beautiful.  I rarely say "oh I wish I had a body like such and such famous person", usually because most of them look painfully thin to me.  But Misty is a different story.


I love the power in her legs even when she is just sitting.  That obviously takes a lot of work, but boy to have legs and abs like that!!  The Oregon Ballet Theater does have super duper beginner ballet workshops for adults, but I dunno about all of that.  Graceful is not an adjective that has ever been used to describe me, and I was raised Baptist so I don't have any rhythm.  I would be stumbling around thinking I look like Misty, when I would really be looking like Corky St. Clair from one of my favorite movies, "Waiting for Guffman".


I think I'll just stick to finding an at home barre workout for now.  ;)

I peeked at the scale this morning and I am up just a tiny bit, like literally 0.4 of a pound.  It's kind of a bummer, but my TOM is going to happen soon, plus I have been snacking like a crazy person this week so I suppose it's to be expected.  I keep reminding myself that Monday is a few days away, plus I'll be taking measurements again and I will probably have lost some inches somewhere.  It is a bit of a relief that the TOM is likely what's causing this sudden weird urge to snack, I thought I'd kind of lost my mind!

I decided to leave poor Molly at home today and go for a run by myself.  I love Molly to death, but having her with me can be a drag because she is so slow and can't/doesn't want to go very far.  You'd think going for a simple walk is torture sometimes!  I just drove out to the neighborhood we usually go to and ran for two miles, then walked for one mile.  The run was okay, I still don't feel that stamina and snap that I used to have, or the drive to keep going.  I could have pushed myself to run another mile probably, but I honestly just wasn't into it.   I came home and did my ab workout, then just busied myself for a bit in the kitchen.

My food has been good today, I've been so busy that I haven't even really had time to snack!  Tonight we're going to a movie, so I have kept things lighter so that maybe I can have some candy or something if I feel like it.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Oat bran, prunes, 1 baked egg
Lunch:  Delicata squash salad
Dinner:  Crab Rangoon tortilla roll ups, small salad, and baked sweet potato chips

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lazy Day!

Thank you everyone for loving me even though I ranted yesterday LOL.  Seems like I am not the only one troubled by everyone's inability to enjoy the holidays anymore.  If you agree with me, then all I can say is that no matter how much outside pressure you get from advertisements, society, peers etc, you don't have to give in to it.  If you want to have a low stress, low maintenance holiday, just do it.  Don't buy into the shopping, the having to rush through everything and be perfect.  Just enjoy your loved ones and take it easy.  I know we're just going to eat, sit in our jammies, drink champagne and watch football for Thanksgiving.  On Monday I will probably scope out some Cyber Monday deals from the comfort of my own home.  What more could you want out of life really?  Anyway, I promise I'll try not to get into too many more off topic rants.  ;)

Back to health and fitness, yesterday was not a great day for me from a food standpoint.  I think my TOM is close and maybe that is why (in addition to the time change) that I have been relentlessly hungry.  I bought a box of Special K this week against my better judgement, and totally went to town on it yesterday.  I don't know what it is about cereal, but it is very difficult for me to have in the house.  Doesn't matter what the cereal is, I will chow down on it, though I usually can't stand sweet cereals so I don't eat much of those.  I ate so much of it that I didn't eat my planned dinner.  *sigh*  Guess that's the last time I will be buying that.  I did walk, do aerobics and do Day 8 of the Stomach Formula yesterday, so from a fitness standpoint I was fine.  I even got in over 15,000 steps!

Today has been fairly lazy.  I didn't sleep as long last night so I have felt kind of tired today.  I so easily could have reverted to Lazy Mary and have sat on the couch to channel surf, but I forced myself to drive Molly out and get a walk in with her.  We managed to dodge the rain so at least it wasn't a miserable one.  After that I did my RSSF Day 9, but that's all that I had in me today.

The food thing has been better today, I ate a pretty big breakfast and it seemed to tide me over until lunch.  I hate eating that much in the morning, but it's better than hoovering down my entire kitchen, so I guess I should do it more often.  I decided to take the time to make myself a nice lunch today (I usually pull something together fast), so I roasted a Delicata squash with salt and pepper, then tossed it with arugula, vinaigrette and pumpkin seeds to make myself a fancy salad.  It was really wonderful and filling, and I have an extra Delicata in the kitchen so I totally am going to do it again tomorrow! I also broke down and bought some prunes today to see if I can start diagnosing solutions for my belly issues.  I actually like prunes so this isn't really a biggie, it's just hard to spend 100 calories on them.  But ya know, maybe they'll get the job done.  I am mostly excited tonight for my dessert, which I got from my favorite bakery in the world, La Provence.  It's this really beautiful chocolate, hazelnut apricot thing...I don't even know how to describe it other than YUM!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs, mushrooms and 1/2 a croissant with butter
Lunch:  Squash salad with vinaigrette
Dinner:  Jersey Mike's turkey sub
Post Lunch Snack:  Prunes, glorious prunes
After Dinner Treat:  Crunchy Hazelnut dessert from La Provence

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bring Back Thanksgiving!

So, I'm going to do something that I very rarely do here, and that's rant about a personal opinion on something not related to fitness.  I don't bring politics or anything like that here because it's not appropriate,  and this isn't really related to that anyways, but I may offend someone.  Hopefully I don't.  Having said that disclaimer...what the frick happened to Thanksgiving?  Truly, honestly, what happened?

It all started quite simply, I wanted a freaking wreath for my front door.  I'm getting old and like to do things like decorate the front of my house, so I wanted a Thanksgiving wreath.  I want to acknowledge the changing of the holiday, the awesomeness of what Thanksgiving means, and enjoy it before acknowledging and appreciating Christmas.  We do a big hoopty do for Halloween and Christmas, and I have one small little sign that says "Happy Harvest", but no Thanksgiving stuff.  (More on the word harvest in a minute).  I figured I could get a Thanksgiving/fallish wreath, maybe a silly turkey decoration, something to liven up the street I live on since NO ONE decorates for anything here.  It started at Fred Meyer and the day after Halloween.  I went and looked for Thanksgiving decorations.  They did not exist.  Like, at all.  I scrunched my face and went to the Dollar Tree, figuring there would be some stuff there.  Nope.  Today I went to Joann's Crafts, knowing that of COURSE they would have Thanksgiving stuff, or worst case have some stuff where I could DIY decorations.  There was one pitiful shelf of "harvest" decorations on clearance.  Not a single turkey, fall leaf, cornucopia, pilgrim, anything.  Nothing.

I searched the store thinking I could get the stuff to make a wreath, but no.  No acorns, no fall ribbon, no fake leaves, no Indian corn.  Nothing.  The one thing all of these stores have in common?  10-20 rows of Christmas decorations.  I finally picked up this lame scarecrow door hanger thing for the front door and checked out.  I have officially turned into my dad, who never hesitates to let his voice be heard, and asked the girl checking me out, "When DOES your Thanksgiving stuff go on sale?  I am really surprised that there's barely anything here."  The reply?  "Yeah it's Christmas now, so if you want Thanksgiving stuff, you need to come in during July."

I am truly appalled, sad and angry about it.  First of all, no, it is not Christmas, and no, I am not coming in during JULY to buy stuff for Thanksgiving.  I JUST pulled in my soggy skeleton ghouls from our yard and threw away our pumpkins from Halloween.  It is November 5th.  It is the quiet period before the ramp up to Thanksgiving.  You know, the time where you gather with family and friends, enjoy each other's company (hopefully), acknowledge your gratitude and blessings, eat a good meal and watch football.  Now it's just a big retail boner over Black Friday, except now Thanksgiving Day is fair game too for shopping deals.  Yes, we can't let store employees have one lousy freaking day to eat with their families, we must get a bunch of crap we don't need on sale and trample each other.

The other thing I've noticed?  When you do find Thanksgiving related stuff, it doesn't say "Thanksgiving" or anything about being thankful anymore.  It's all "Happy Harvest", "Harvest Blessings", etc.  Is there some ban on the word Thanksgiving now?  Are we not allowed to say "Be Thankful?"  I guess you can't really encourage people to be thankful for what they have, while getting them frothing at the mouth over sales that are so great they have to leave the dinner table on Thanksgiving to go buy stuff.  There doesn't seem to be a profit in being thankful sadly.

At the end of the day, this isn't ultimately that I couldn't buy a wreath, it's just more that the general society's priorities got shoved in my face.  I don't like being rushed, I don't like chaos, and I sure as hell am not going to be rushed and frantic over the holidays.  I love this time of year, I really do.  Nothing makes me more excited than the first chill of fall, then decorating for Halloween and handing out candy to the kids.  Then comes Thanksgiving, which I really love and always have.  I love stopping for that moment and reflecting on the year and saying, "yeah, I've honestly got it pretty good."  Then and only then, is Christmas a thought in my mind.  I love celebrating each season as it comes, enjoying each one for its unique meanings.  I'm just sad that more people can't ascribe to that.  I literally wanted to chastise the people in the Christmas aisles and tell them that they are the ones creating this problem and falling for a bunch of corporate sales tactics.  I know that is judgmental, but it's how I felt in the moment.  I mean do we really think we won't be able to buy Christmas decorations between now and Christmas?

Sorry to have gone on about that, but I really needed to get it off my chest.  Hopefully I didn't piss anyone off!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stomach Formula Day 7 + My Doctor Trip

First things first, let's get all of the boring doctor crap out of the way!  I am VERY happy to report that my blood pressure was 124/68!  In June it was pretty dire, we're talking 180s/90s, so this is a major improvement.  It's good to know the meds are working and that my heart isn't going to explode lol.  I was a bit disappointed and irritated in the doctor (as I am most doctors).  I discussed my intense brine/salt craving with him and asked if it could be related to water consumption or something else.  He totally dismissed me and said it was "psychological".  It's like well, I didn't have the urge to drink an entire glass of pickle juice and eat up to 10 slices of those sandwich pickles in a sitting before, but okay.  I also discussed with him my distressing lack of being able to be "regular", and he just didn't seem to be bothered or care.  He basically told me to take Colace and that was it.  I mean really?  There just has to be a better resolution than that you know?  I guess I will keep experimenting with various things to see what works.

On to better stuff!

Well, I have officially completed the first week of Richard Simmons Stomach Formula, which makes this the first time in my life I've ever cared enough to focus on my abs and stick with an ab workout like this.  I am pretty proud of that!  I took pictures on Day 1 and then again today, and I can definitely see a difference in how my stomach looks.  It's really more so from the front than the side, but even from the side there is a difference.  Maybe someday if I actually HAVE rock hard abs and the thought of posting pictures of my bare belly on the internet doesn't make me want to pull out smelling salts and take a shot of tequila, I will post my progress pictures.  ;)

The program is technically supposed to last 21 days (another 2 weeks), but I want to carry it to 28 straight days.  After that, I would likely incorporate it into the workout routine every other day at the least.  Having the videos be only 7 minutes long and available on YouTube is actually pretty awesome, because it literally means I can do it ANYWHERE, even if I was traveling somewhere.  It makes it a lot easier to stick with it.  I found that if you can stick it out to Day 3 that it starts getting slightly easier.  I'm curious to see if I will see a difference in doing the workouts all over again this week, theoretically it should be even easier.

The time change is still affecting my eating.  I had breakfast at around 7:15, and I was absolutely starving for lunch by 10:15 even though I did actually have a little snack.  I went ahead and gave in instead of waiting, because once I get in that mode, I'd better eat or the rest of the day is going to be "what food can I wolf down next".  I still ended up in a bit of a spiral and ate more snacks than I should have without parsing them out evenly.  :(  Tomorrow I'm going to really try to make a better point of having a bigger breakfast and then a small snack before lunch.  I really hope that my body clock can even out.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Special K with almond milk + one cup raspberries
Lunch:  Tortilla wrap with ham, arugula, guac and carrots + cup of sliced cucumbers
Dinner:  Pasta with tomato and mushroom sauce
Snack 1:  Corn muffin and a clementine
Snack 2:  Chips and salsa
Snack 3:  Rice crackers and hummus
Activities:  RSSTTO and RSSF Day 7


Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm a Loser Baby!

So today was weigh in day, and cue a big George Takei "Oh MY".  I lost 3.6 pounds last week, which is honestly unbelievable considering how much sodium I consumed yesterday!  That is 9.2 pounds lost since October 15, and I'm sure some of it is water weight, but still.  As exciting and motivating as it is, I'm wondering if I should up my calories just a little since I don't want to lose too much too fast.  I think an extra 200 a day or so would be appropriate since I have been very active, so I may tweak it to see how that affects things.  I also lost another 2.5 inches total, so yay me!  I lost half an inch from both my waist and hips, so maybe that Richard is working his magic!

Speaking of Richard, I had a double dose of him today with STTO and the Stomach Formula Day 6.  I can't believe that I've almost completed the whole week, but then I get to do it again for 2 more weeks!  And Molly has started doing this annoying thing where she jumps down and gets in my face while I'm trying to do my ab workout.  I literally clocked her in the jaw today on accident because she chose to do this right as I was in the middle of this halfway seated twist move.  Then she decided to lay behind me with her paws touching my head.


This dog is so ridiculous.  And please forgive my Kim Jong-un hair, growing it out has been trying to say the least.

Usually I am pretty excited to "fall back" for daylight savings, but I have to admit that the time change has really messed me up.  I haven't slept well for the last two nights, and it's also thrown off my eating.  I was so hungry for lunch at like 10 am that I had to tide myself over with an apple and some PB!

Tomorrow is a little bit of a D Day because I'm going back to my doctor to get my blood pressure checked and probably get a refill on my meds.  I admit to being an awful person and not getting my BP checked between the last time I went (Julyish?) and now.  I know it's very serious and I should get it checked more.  I am really hoping that the medicine has helped and that with the dietary changes that maybe it's even lower.  Unfortunately with my family history, I don't know if I will be able to get off meds, though I'd like to think that maybe someday when I lose enough weight and have a healthier frame that it could be possible.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
Lunch:  Leftover salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts
Dinner:  Chicken soup with corn muffin
Snack 1:  Apple with peanut butter
Snack 2:  Fun sized Kit-Kat and Almond Joy
Activities:  RSSTTO and RSSF Day 6

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mellow Sunday

Short post since we've had a fairly quiet day.  We did get up and do a "family walk" this morning for about 50 minutes and did a little over 2 miles.  I think we've done a really good job this weekend with getting up and being active, and for taking advantage of the small amounts of time with no rain!  I hit over 14,000 steps yesterday and have almost hit my 10,000 minimum for today, so I am pretty pleased by that.

I did my day 5 of Richard's Stomach Formula.  I hesitate to say it's getting easier, because it is NOT easy!  It is getting more "doable" I guess, and I don't feel wrecked afterwards for an hour.  I do think my core is already a bit stronger, so I'm eager to take pictures/measurements after day 7.  (Those pictures will not see the light of day on this blog!)  I will admit, the videos being only 7 minutes each has been a huge incentive to keep going even though they are really hard.  I mean, EVERYONE has 7 minutes to spare a day.  Having a different workout every day is also helpful, it keeps things fresh.  That Richard knows a thing or two!

I made a really yummy lunch today that I was really happy with.  I made a wing sauce with Frank's hot sauce, butter and a little garlic powder, then tossed it with shredded rotisserie chicken breast and made some really awesome wraps.  The wraps had all the "wing" fixings:  blue cheese, celery, and carrot.  I absolutely love wings, but this was a slightly healthier compromise for a nice afternoon of football.  Frank's is the best too, you can't use anything else!

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs with herbs/mushrooms and 2 slices turkey bacon
Lunch:  Buffalo Chicken Wraps, chips and guacamole
Dinner:  Salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted carrots.
Activities:  50 minute walk and RSSF Day 5

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hagg Lake

Last night went just about as planned, and we had a lot of fun, although we were hopping to it all night handing out candy!  When I plugged my Jawbone in at the end of the night, I had a little over 15,000 steps!  We always enjoy looking at all the little kids in their costumes (the pissy teenagers with no costumes, not so much), and this year we were also handing out stickers to the little kids.  They LOVED that, so I may continue to get that as an non-candy option next year.

The food I made was hit and miss.  The stuffed figs (stuffed with a marcona almond and topped with honey, thyme and citrus zest) and the loaded sweet potato bites (sweet potato rounds that are baked and topped with Greek yogurt, scallions and smoked paprika) were amazing.  The edamame dip was super gross, and I would definitely not make it again.  It's the type of thing where you wonder if they actually tested the recipe before they published it in the magazine.  The vegan queso was great, although I wish it had been a little warmer.  Next time I will probably put it in a sauce pan to heat it up.  And I am sad to report that those ginger cookies from the Runner's World cookbook were an utter disaster.  I know I tend to substitute and modify recipes a lot, but I made this one as written.  I knew it didn't look right (this is why I modify recipes a lot, I can tell when something isn't going to work), it turned out more like a muffin batter than a dough for starters.  When I cooked them they looked like little cakes (and like cow flop I might add), and they tasted absolutely wretched.  I took a tiny bite and it was like consuming dirt mixed with pepper.  Note to self, never attempt to make a cookie that doesn't contain butter.  In the spirit of not eating things that don't taste good or make me happy, I threw the cookies away and ate 2 fun size Twix instead.  MUCH better!

We were shocked, but we got trick or treaters up until 10 pm, which kind of pissed us off because our light was off, which I thought was supposed to be the universal sign of "don't knock".  We were both exhausted and wanted to go to bed, but were worried people were going to continue ringing the doorbell.  I told Eric that we had such a surplus of candy anyway, that we should just put the bowl outside so that people could self serve if they were insane enough to TrT that late!  I put a nice note in the bowl saying that we were going to bed, and to feel free to take a couple pieces of candy.  We cracked up when we got up this morning, because all of the candy was gone!  I'm sure some little shit emptied the entire bowl into their bag, but at least we got rid of the insane amount of candy that we had and we don't have to worry about it!

Today was the only dry day in the middle of a really bad front of rain, so I told Eric I wanted to go for a hike to take advantage of it.  I feel like I sit around a lot on the weekends and am not quite as serious about fitness, so I wanted to do something active.  We decided to hike around a local place called Hagg Lake, which is about 20 minutes from our house.  It was super foggy this morning and it was so cold by the lake, which you could barely see because of all the fog!


Isn't that pretty?  It was like something out of a movie.  We did a little over 3.5 miles in an hour and 48 minutes, got very muddy, very wet and very cold!  By the time we started hiking back, a lot of the fog had burned off the lake.


We were famished and didn't eat lunch until 2 pm!  Talk about hangry.  We did get pizza from a local grocery story, but I only had one slice (technically 2 slices, but it was a tiny pizza and 2 slices would have been the size of one normal slice).

Tonight I am going to have a late evening date with Richard for Stomach Formula Day 4 which Eric watches a concert on TV.  Afterwards, I did get us slices of our favorite cake to enjoy, so I'm going to eat that.  (yay for burning tons of calories hiking!)

Today's Menu:

Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs and a smoothie made with pineapple, orange and a date
Lunch:  Slice of pizza and half an apple
Dinner:  Shrimp Fried Rice (I used brown rice)
Treat:  Chocolate Salty Dog cake
Activities:  3.5 mile hilly hike and RSSF Day 4