Saturday, December 31, 2011

Now it is the theme from "Rocky"

Did it.  Finished my official walking 5K.  So glad my friends encouraged me.  Especially Ruth, who slowed way down to walk it with me.  I had one goal.  The race began at 4 p.m. and I wanted to be done by dark.  Met my goal!  And I am wearing my very nicely designed long sleeve T-shirt as I type.

Stopped hearing the theme from "Jaws" and now I am hearing the theme from "Rocky".  You know, where he runs up all those steps.  Gonna fly now!

It feels good to finish with a group, instead of just walking for the "fun" of it.  By this time next year, I am visualizing myself wearing a single, instead of double-digit size.  Yes, I can see it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I hear "Jaws" music

I did it!  Signed up for a 5K.  An official one with an entry blank and T-shirt and everything.
Can't say it was on my bucket list.  Can't even say it was on my radar, before this weight loss, cholesterol-lowering journey.

But, until it is done, the ominous music from "Jaws" keeps playing in my head.  After this, I can no longer describe myself as a couch potato.  I can't even accurately describe myself as a "fat lady".  But, the overweight lady sings just does not have the same ring to it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

One more day and then I will be sitting with friends and a feast.  I am trying to not let the day or this whole week be about the food.  But I do love turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.  My mouth can water just thinking about it.

But I am cooking to avoid leaving leftovers, so the big meal does not become "Big Eating Week".  Used the healthy cookbook recipe for my apple crisp.  My side dish contribution is green beans.  If I can visualize what a serving size is on my plate and not believe the plate should be full, I will be fine.

And just to keep me on track, I bought the size medium sweat pants,  Not the size large.  That way, they should still fit in the spring when I keep losing weight.  Pray that I learn how to eat to live, not live to eat.  Blessings to all and enjoy your family first, then the feast.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy or Gorgeous?

The other morning in the shower I noticed the two choices for my body wash.  One has happy in the name; the other says gorgeous.  So every morning, I make a choice. Do I want to be happy or gorgeous?

The gorgeous body wash was actually picked out by my daughter.  She likes the scent and it has some sparkle to it.  The happy one, I picked out and it smells mildly of citrus and is very reasonably priced.  But even so, I normally pick "happy" to start my day.  Maybe "gorgeous" just seems like too much work.  Also, I figure with God's help, I can be happy every day.  Gorgeous seems to fade with age.

So every morning, with God's assistance.  I can have a happy day.  Whether the number on the scale is slightly up or going down.  Whether home schooling seemed productive or a day-long argument.  Whether the laundry gets completely done or left in the dryer.  Jesus, we are set to have a happy day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do they have FBC?

After shopping with my friend Bonita, we have a new acronym.  You only need this when shopping for sweaters or long shirts to wear with leggings.  Does it have Full Butt Coverage?

I really like my calves and ankles, but right around the bottom and belly area I appreciate a full coverage in this area.  Perhaps it is just another way I am lying to myself, but that is not something I want the rest of the world to see.  It was fun though to say when asked if everything on my driver's license was correct to say:  "No, my weight is wrong!"  To put it in Weight Watcher terms, I have lost 10 percent of my starting weight.

Not a good idea to slack off now.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming.  In the name of hospitality I have felt false guilt about not eating other people's offerings at potlucks, homes, parties, etc.  No one really cares whether their dish goes home untasted by me.  Just another example of my egocentric thinking.  I would like to be aware of every bite, lick or taste.  And if I have tasted it before and it is not on the Top Ten List of things I most like to eat, then pass.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why does it feel like hibernation?

I have a really bad habit during these cold months.  I must think I am related to a bear, because I want to load up on carbs.  Breads and cake and pie and whatever is in my eye line.  Even before I was overweight I weighed more in the winter than the summer.  Of course, that could have had something to do with my increased activity level in those mild and warm days of spring and summer.  Maybe the availability of fresh fruits and veggies at a more reasonable price?

Snow days are not really days that inspire me to go for a walk outside.  But from last winter I learned that shoveling the driveway is quite a workout.  Especially when you have to do it several times a day!

Probably doesn't help that I want to find a popped popcorn recipe with dark chocolate to give as gifts for Christmas.  All that taste testing may not be a good idea.  Oh well, today is a brand new day.  And today I am going to put on my warmest sweats and go for a walk.  Later, 'gators.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The downfall of walking at the mall

It was very cold and rainy yesterday.  I decided I would get more walking accomplished at the mall. And maybe some early Christmas shopping done.  The trouble with walking at the mall is that it is like golfing:  lots of stops and starts.  Not what one would call moderate or strenuous exercise.

If I added up what I spent in addition to the time I walked at the mall, I wonder if it would add up to a gym membership...Not quite, but something to be aware of when doing my inside exercise.  Last summer, when I noticed the walking and spending trend I locked my purse in the trunk of my car.  That way, if I saw something I wanted (not needed), I would have to walk all the way back to my car, get my purse, pay for the item and return to my car.  Most days it just wasn't worth it!

But, today (even though it is November), it is not too cold or rainy to walk.  For that, I am thankful.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Frost is on the Pumpkin

Over a decade ago, when I worked at Wal-Mart one of my co-workers remarked that almost every holiday has a chocolate connection. Let's review:  Valentine's Day, boxes of chocolates; Easter: hollow chocolate bunnies with eating- the-ears- first protocol: Memorial Day and Fourth of July: have you ever been to a potluck with no chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies or brownies?; Halloween candy: isn't the "good candy" the real chocolate candy bars?; Thanksgiving, well not everybody likes pumpkin pie...; Christmas brings us to red and green M&Ms.  Well, you get the idea!

How many years ago was the Mounds and Almond Joy candy bar slogan, "Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut; Sometimes You Don't"?  I can still hum it...

Don't get me wrong. This is not a rant on why chocolate is evil.  I love chocolate and I still eat it while losing weight.  I just eat less of it than I used to.  Sometimes it is one of those "trigger" foods that makes me hungrier after I eat it, but at least now I notice.

But on Halloween day when little children may knock on my door and ask for the "good candy" I just needed to share why there will not be any bags of "fun-size" candy bars in my house.  Because I would eat more of them than the trick or treaters.  And I am trying to change that...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Maybe a few less cheeseburgers?

Well, my cholesterol was relatively unchanged.  Except my good cholesterol number went up to 49, and the ratio is better than last time.  I did lose five pounds since my last appointment, so I guess I was not at the plateau I thought.

However, not dreading the doctor's appointment was an accomplishment and now I know that food choices do have quite a bit to do with those numbers.  So, maybe a few less trips to the drive-through and a few more baked or grilled fish dinners will help me be and feel healthier.

And a weekend of indulgence does not have to throw me off the track for the rest of the year.  I actually do like my own cooking, but my taste buds need to be trained to recognize the long-term bad choices and not get distracted by the immediate "tastes good" gratification.

They are trained to prefer diet soda and low-fat popcorn instead of all the sugar and all the fat.  Baby steps, baby steps...

Friday, October 14, 2011

It is not about the numbers

I remember them talking about this at Weight Watchers.  Sometimes it is better to track your measurements than the number on the scale.

The number on the scale is barely moving, but after walking for over a month I can fit into a smaller size.  We are talking hips here, people.  Nice feedback to fit into smaller, non-elastic waist pants.  Woo hoo!

On Friday, I will get actual feedback from my blood test.  I am actually looking forward to seeing how much my cholesterol numbers went down.  That's a change, too.  Usually I am dreading the bad news.

Another number has changed, too.  My BMI is no longer in the obese range.  Now, I am merely overweight and heading toward normal.  Well, normal weight, anyway...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Have fun storming the castle...

If you are a fan of  "The Princess Bride" you know the line that comes next.  "Do you think they'll make it?"  "It would take a miracle!"

There are lots of inspirational lines in that movie.  Which is why my husband and I and now our daughter have watched it over and over again.  We even have a back-up, back-up copy because we like it so much.

But the miracle for today is that for the first time since I started this 4 to 6 times a week walking thing, my right knee did not hurt!  Or at least this was the first day I noticed.  Maybe it is harder to notice something that isn't there.  Inconceivable!

The other miracle is that my daughter wants to come with me now.  She challenges me to run for a little bit and she is delighted with how easily she can beat me!  Some mornings she would rather sleep, but having her join me may mean it will be easier to keep going when the weather gets uncomfortably cold and the mornings are dark.  That is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why did the tree leave?

Ahh, the colors of fall are on the ridge over the trail and at Kohl's.  There was this kind of perfumed air, but on my way back I found out it was someone steam cleaning their car's carpet.  I have a cold, but I did think it was kind of a different smell than leaves usually have.

A couple of mornings ago I saw three deer on the path.  I kept walking just slightly slower and they watched me until I was invading their "personal space".  Off they bounded.  Said a little thanksgiving prayer because the three of them reminded me of our family of three.

The darkness keeps getting closer to our start time for walking, but it is still beautiful weather.  Now I remember why our anniversary is in October.  It is one of my favorite times of the year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

From dread to delight, but not overnight

Okay, that was weird.  I woke up and actually wanted to walk after taking yesterday off!
I may have officially entered an "I like to exercise" stage in my life.  It is starting to seem like for the first time in a while I am working on developing a good habit.

Not saying that I am doing this alone.  I found a couple of walking buddies and what home schooling Mom does not appreciate adult conversation?  Plus, when I go by myself it makes a pretty good prayer interval.  No phone, no interruptions.  Is this what people mean by having a "quiet time"?

Saw another deer, too.  Just the back of him, because there is heavy machinery "improving" the trail.  Think I have until November when it will be too dark to walk before 8 a.m.  I wonder if I can incorporate a walk at lunch break.  If I take Amanda, it counts as P.E.  Cool beans!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fat (or Food) in my Head

I have come to the conclusion that most of my issues with food are not about the food in my house.  It is about the food in my head.

When I was carefully tracking what I ate, I noticed that I was consuming more calories in snacks than my actual meals.  And that I ate more in the later part of the day, which I considered to be my time to relax, than in the hours before dinner.  I have known for a long time that I am an emotional eater.  It is my fallback for celebrations, comfort and often, boredom.

Coincidentally, I eat more when my husband is home:  weekends and evenings.  Not that I am blaming him. I am just thinking, here.  I know part of it is that growing up, eating felt like a competition.  Sometimes, even a race!  My Mom would sigh, put her fork down and tell my Dad, "Slow down!  You're making me tired, just watching you eat so fast!"  He learned to eat fast in the Army.  They did not have leisurely meals.  You ate as fast as you could, then on to the next thing.

Well, slowing down while eating.  Another thing to do intentionally, instead of the way I've always done it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visible improvement

Well, this morning it happened.  I was not just aware of sore muscles; I could actually see a muscle in my leg.

Wearing a pedometer on most days helped me to figure out that even when I wasn't "going for a walk" I actually could accumulate a couple of miles a day just doing what I normally do.

When the weather was snowy last year, going to the gym was not an option even if I had a membership.  But I was surprised how many steps shoveling the driveway and doing laundry (downstairs) added up to in a few days.

Not saying that all my "couch potato" activities are eliminated.  I still like to watch TV sometimes and a few games of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook is relaxing after a day of teaching, but my goal is not to make sitting around what I am characterized by.  Don't want my legacy to be my knowledge of TV or movie trivia, but passing on a healthy lifestyle to my girl.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Deer me

Another serendipitous moment.  Just as I got to a fork in the trail, I saw a deer.  I stopped.  He stayed still and so did I.

Then I went on around the bend.  Ahhh.  That doesn't happen at the gym.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fiber bars

Note to self:  Eat the fiber bar AFTER the walk...I'm just saying...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caramel apples, sort of

There is just something about autumn that I love.  The crispness in the air.  The reduced air conditioning costs.  And the one holiday that is just about food--Thanksgiving.  (Not really, I do give THANKS, too.)

I also enjoy mixing candy corn and peanuts as a mix.  Tastes reminds me of a Payday candy bar.  This year I was really craving caramel apples...But that thick caramel is messy, not good for my teeth or waistline.  So, I came up with a compromise alternative.  According to the package of caramels, a serving is 5 pieces.  I eat a giant Granny Smith apple, alternating bites with the caramels.  Less calories than my first choice, but better than not feeding the craving and eating everything else instead.  

What mind games do you play with food?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sore muscles

Well, after my third walk since Saturday I am noticing something odd.  My muscles are starting to hurt.  The advantage of sore muscles is:  I must have some muscles or they could not hurt!

So, my body is no longer the consistency of pudding.  My interim goal is to get rid of that roll of fat around my belly.  I believe it's Indian name is Butt-that-bounces-in-front.

You remember that rap song "I Like Big Butts"?  Well, I can sing that to myself with new lyrics.  "I hate my big butt, and I cannot lie."  But more than singing, I have to stop sitting on it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Darker colors are slimming

Everyone has heard this, right?  Well, that is my reason for using a fake tanner.  Because, if my legs are darker they must look thinner.  Unfortunately, my scale is not succumbing to this logic.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

just colorful

I actually got up early to take a walk.  I figure if I can develop this habit first then I can adjust the type and quantity of food later.  When I worked on the food choices first and then started exercising, I just felt HUNGRY.

But today, there were a couple of bonuses from walking.  As I reached the first bend in the trail, I glanced at the sky and saw a double rainbow.  Beautiful, and a benefit of getting up a bit earlier.  At the same turn on my way rainbow.  But, there was a colorful hot-air balloon above the treetops.

Color is one of the advantages of not going to the gym and walking outside.  Seeing my neighbors lush lantana and all the wild plants along the trail.

Good smells is another advantage of being outside.  The trail smells differently because of what is growing now than it did in May or June.

Anyway, seeing rainbows and hot air balloons is just a more fun way to start the day.  I am grateful God doesn't make us live in a black and white world.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's mostly air

A few weekends ago I polished off a bag of Cheetos cheese puffs...the popcorn kind without hulls.

I read how many calories were in each serving, but I am thinking, "How can these things make you gain weight?  They are mostly AIR!"

"Enabling" clothes

My project for today was to eliminate my "enabling" clothes from my closet.  You know the ones I mean.  Too big, too stretchy, too accommodating of eating between meals and after dinner.  

Ironically, the most comfortable clothes to wear while you gain weight are the ones that were designed to be comfortable while you exercise:  sweat pants and sweatshirts, and stretchy "yoga" wear.  But there were other culprits, too.  All those elastic waist knit pants that paired with baggy or long T-shirts.  As a short person, there were days I could not afford a pair of zip-up jeans and when I still worked at Wal-Mart those were not allowed by the "dress code for associates".

As someone who is a bit sewing-challenged and tired of hemming everything (even the petite pants) I jumped on the capri and crop pants bandwagon with both feet.  Finally, I could get some pajamas that did not have to be hemmed.  Oh happy day!

Of course, all those 3/4 length sleeve and capri-length pants were not particularly flattering, but they sure cut down on the amount of altering I had to do.  And I could always say I was dressing for comfort, not style, anyway.

As I watched a few makeover cable shows I noticed a common denominator of people whose style was in a rut.  They had children or friends or family who knew they could look better than they did, but their personal style mantra was:  But, it is comfortable.  Occasionally their excuse was:  But, I like it.

It is kind of like tuning yourself out when you look in the mirror each morning.  I only had to look at myself a few seconds or minutes while brushing my teeth and making sure my outfit matched before heading out the door.  But, other people has to look at me all day.  Really, I should have been more considerate.

I will never be a mini-skirt and stiletto heels kind of girl, but having a fitted pant or princess-seamed, non-knit shirt in my closet wouldn't actually kill me, would it?  Yes, I know the uniform of my generation is jeans and a T-shirt, but it is time to swim upstream.  Away from the conformity of fashion and toward the personal style of getting dressed "on purpose".