Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hi!

Ha! Look at that! We didn't get all the way to a month this time. But as I sit here, listening to bizarrely soothing videos of women talking about brushing hair and massaging feet, and buying shoes for my shoe-loving Bigfoot of a daughter, I realized that the next several weeks are going to be...full. Not necessarily stressful, but very full. Softball tournaments, book clubs, a wedding, a pretty major birthday or two...my son is graduating from high school...work...did I mention softball?


I feel this picture of teacup kittens helps me make the transition to my next topic.

I hear you all asking, "So Missy! How goes the healthy journey?!" Well I'll tell you, friends, I have been quite the lazy girl as of late. A few weeks ago, I did participate in the Flying Pig Relay. About 6.5 miles. I walked most of it, although I ran more than I thought I could. It was hot. I probably should have eaten ahead of time. Anyway, my point is, it was kind of hard.

Here I am, at the end. I felt so accomplished that apparently, I don't have to ever eat healthfully or exercise again. This week, I didn't wake up and go to boot camp even once. I kept on thinking, "I am so tired. I need more sleep. Sleep is more important." But, even with more sleep, I was still feeling horrible and tired. And, being the big-brained individual I am, I finally arrived at the conclusion that living on white cheddar popcorn and pepsi and no exercise will probably continue to exhaust me. This morning I met with my beloved boot camp guru and we discussed goals and maintaining accountability. And then, this evening, I asked a group of friends on Facebook to jump on this with me. Ooh, and I read this blog called Runs for Cookies, (Isn't Katie adorable?)  Anyway, I love those photo-a-day challenges, and this one looks like fun:


I love this - what fun! Obviously, we're already halfway through the month, but why not just jump in now. The goals I set up with Mel today were:
1. Gain muscle
2. Lose fat (we have an Inbody machine to measure these things. I will do new measurements on Monday.)
3. Attend boot camp at least 3 times each week
4. Drop the pop, again (my nemesis)
5. Stop eating from boredom

I would like to add daily food tracking and drinking 100 oz of water

These are not new, but I need a back to basics kind of push. stay tuned for pictures this month!

I've read some good books over the past month - I reread The Giver. I forgot how good that was. So I went ahead and read the rest of the series. The rest of the books aren't as good, but they do give closure. I've also been working my way through my Goodreads To Read list - reserving books from the list at the library and picking up stacks at a time. I don't really understand why all of the people in my life can't just let me read all the time. Is anything at work really worth interrupting my reading? I think not.

It's late, and I must be going to bed. Before I go, I want to show you something I found on Etsy that I must own, as this is, for some reason, one of my favorite things to say:

Perhaps I will gift it to myself for achieving my goals. Or, my birthday is only 2 weeks away...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

And, another month goes by...

My husband put on an X-Files episode - one of the good, alien abduction episodes. I had forgotten how spooky this show could be. 


Of course, you all already know Fox is doing a limited run of new episodes. So very cool. My first Simpsons episode was the X-Files episode. I still love that episode. "Look at this Scully. There's been another unsubstantiated UFO sighting in the heartland of America. We've got to get there right away!"

I have spent the last month driving my daughter all over Guam and back for volleyball and softball in the evenings and weekends. Her volleyball team played in its last tournament in Louisville this past weekend; they did relatively well, 3rd place. The Girl and I had a great time during our non-volleyball hours - we ate dinner at Mark's Feed Bag and did some unhurried shopping at Target. I may be the last person to discover Mark's Feed Bag, but oh my, it was good barbecue. Lovely, unstressed time together, which is rare for us.

My boy is going to be graduating in a month. We did the required studio senior pictures to go in the yearbook, but we did not buy any (they were insanely expensive, and my son never looks like that.) So on Easter, I took a few pictures of him and the two of them. They are not great shots, but they definitely look like my kids.


See that he is not wearing the tuxedo top and dickie. He is wearing his favorite t-shirt - "Keep Calm and Carry a Towel." Gold star sticker to you who gets the reference.

Of course, boot camp is still happening. We've recently moved outside for the mornings with good weather. My weight has been going the wrong direction, entirely because of my poor food choices. So last week I tried Tosca Reno's Cooler 1 plan - very little sugar, very little fat, so very much protein, lots of veggies. I like veggies, but I found I dislike an awful lot of protein sources - I don't like fish or eggs, and we were not allowed beans. I got really sick of chicken and turkey, really quickly. I did 3 days, but stopped after. A lot of my boot camp friends are feeling great on this plan (it is a short term plan,) but I am apparently not ready. I definitely need to decrease my sugar intake. 


Look, another spooky skies picture. Ok, this one I took, featuring the sunset, the moon, and my smelly butt pear trees. 

It's time for bed now. I will have to chat with you again soon - lots going on. Night!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh. Hello!

Happy Spring! It was a rainy, dreary first day of spring for us in the Ohio River Valley.
I've been a bit absent this past month, haven't I.  This has been true in so many facets of my life - I was sporadic with my boot camp attendance, eating horribly, messing up work issues, spacey, irritable.  End of winter blues, maybe?

Let's discuss the health stuff, first.  I am about to admit something here, and it is painful, but true.  I gained ten pounds this past month.  TEN!  Drinking pop, eating mass amounts of candy and junk (Ding Dongs were a particular vice.  Not exactly gourmet fare, that.)  I think I may have made it to boot camp 5 times between February and March 15. I stepped on the scale on Monday and almost fell over from the shock.
Some things I've learned (or RElearned) from this past month:

1.  Momentum is key - this is for both exercise and nutrition.  If I go one day, it's easier for me to go the next day, and the next, and the next.  If I stop, it's harder.  Pretty simplistic, but important.
2.  Planning is so important - I know this, I've blogged about this, and I still fall into my own trap of "I don't feel like making a meal plan and prepping my food.  I'll just wing it."  And then I buy Ding Dongs on my way to work.
3.  I am not particularly motivated by money.  This is a new lesson for me.  I entered a challenge at boot camp where we put $5 into a pot at the beginning of the month, and the members with the highest percentages of loss won the pot.  I've also entered a few DietBets.  I thought, because there was money involved, I would be more committed.  Nope.  Good to know.
4.  Pop is BAD!  I know this!  Why is dropping the pop so hard for me?!
5.  White rice seems to have a very nasty effect on me.  Like, serious bloating, horrible, distended belly.  I do not know why.  This really doesn't have anything to do with weight loss, but it's something I've discovered recently.  I realize it's not the most healthy option, but it is a comfort food for me. The last few times I've eaten it, I've had this bloat, and the white rice is the only common factor.
6.  Getting up at 4:30AM and going out in the snow and cold is really hard.

This week I hit my mental reset button (again, I know, but at least I keep hitting it.)  I went to boot camp each morning this week.  Even this morning, when my workout buddy was unable to join me, I went.  I logged every bite I took, even the crap.  Today was particularly bad, but I logged it all.  I made green smoothies the night before, put them in the freezer, and took them out before I left for boot camp so they were melted enough that I could drink them on my way to work.  They're very filling, and I sip on them all morning, so I don't feel hungry again until lunch. I need to do some more meal planning, but I'm feeling better about this.

Other things I learned this past month:
1.  O. M. G. My mind is blown. Seriously, this habit is going to be as hard to break as drinking pop.
2.  My sweet sister R. is getting married!  Very excited.
3.  Tay's "Better Than Sex" tea Best way to spend a Friday evening.
Yes, those are Girl Scout Thin Mints.  I bought 1 box this year, and have been nibbling at them slowly.

I love to read.  You all know that.  I read a lot, and most of it is pretty lightweight, mindless fluff, and I have no problem with that. Once in a while, though, I read something that grabs my heart and squeezes so tightly, I have trouble catching my breath.  I've been slowly savoring I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by the late and wonderful Maya Angelou.  Very slowly, reading a few chapters, then taking a break for some fluff, then a few more chapters.  It is worth the read for the language alone, which lingers on your tongue like a deep, dark chocolate. Each chapter is another part of her childhood (so far, I'm only 60% through), and the stories are entertaining at times, disturbing at others.  They are stories about life for an African American in the south in the 1940's and 50's, so I knew to expect disturbing.  Today, though, I read a chapter that touched me so deeply, I was in tears.  It is graduation day, and the whole community is elated.  Everyone is dressed up, giving gifts, excited about the future.  And then the key speaker, a white gentleman running for election, mounted the stage, and began to speak about the great changes in store - new science equipment, famous art teachers - for the white school.  Then he went on to praise a football player and basketball player who had graduated from their school.  The message was obvious - "The white kids were going to have a chance to become Galileos and Madame Curies and Edisons and Gauguins, and our boys (the girls weren't even in on it) would try to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises." The speaker leaves the stage shortly after, the diplomas are handed out, and the valedictorian begins his speech.  The room is hushed, angry, the entire audience stricken by the words of their "esteemed" guest speaker.  The valedictorian then turns to the students and begins to sing "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing", the poem by James Weldon Johnson, set to music by J. Rosamond Johnson, and the entire room joins in, and is empowered.  "We were on top again.  As always, again.  We survived.  The depths had been icy and dark, but now a bright sun spoke to our souls.  I was no longer simply a member of the proud graduating class of 1940; I was a proud member of the wonderful, beautiful Negro race."  Tears running down my face (at my office, no less), I wanted to shout out "Amen!" I am neither an African American woman, nor a religious one, but I was compelled by Maya Angelou's beautiful, powerful words. I've heard her speak on NPR - I think I may have to get this book on audio. If you haven't yet, please read it.
Image result for maya angelou quotes
Have a glorious evening, friends.

Note:  Shall we count how many times I double-spaced after my periods?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thank*full Thursday

It's been a while since I've done one of these, and I miss them.  So, without further ado, today, I am thank*full for:

1.  Snow Days!  Poor me.  I only got to work 1 day this week...Weekends tend to fill up so quickly - sports, errands, catching up on things I can't do during the week.  So this week, with these unexpected days off, I finished a lot of laundry, washed a lot of dishes, and relaxed.

2.  Silicon Valley - my husband watched the 1st season, and then told me I had to watch it, I would love it, and he was right - it is freaking hilarious.
The central story follows a group of techie guys developing a file compression product called Pied Piper, but the fun of it lies in the bizarre quirks of each of the characters.  Jared (Donald), the gentleman pictured above, is their very odd, very pale business-savvy team member.  They all make me laugh, but Jared's extreme awkwardness is endearing.

3.  My feet.
Yes that is a strange thing to say.  But I love my feet.  I realize they are big, and I have been told my big toes are odd, but I love my feet.  My sister and I went for pedicures the other day, and they are all pretty and soft, and I take such immense pleasure in having them rubbed and touched.  Admittedly, when the guy was using the pumice on the ends of my toes, I couldn't help but giggle, but for the most part, I find the foot massage more relaxing than ticklish.  I do love a good foot massage.  Last year I went for an hour long reflexology treatment, and it was amazing.  I would do that again in a heartbeat.

4.  My Monthly challenge group on Facebook - I started doing this plank challenge in January, and some others started doing it with me, and then my friend J suggested we start a Facebook group for the people who wanted to do these monthly fitness challenges with us.  This month we are doing squats.  Today was 110.  My butt and thighs are cursing my existence, but they will thank me in the long run...Anyway, we all cheer each other on, and make it kind of fun.

5.  So this couple I love took me to a concert a couple of weeks ago.  I haven't been to a concert since...I don't know, Jane's Addiction, 2001?  Anyway, my friend M got tickets to see Umphrey's McGee, and he invited me to go with him, his wife, and their friend.  I had never heard their music, but it sounded like fun, so, there you go.  It was fun, way fun, and ...wait, did I write about this already?  I may have.  But I didn't say how thankful I was for these friends.  So there you go - I'm very thankful for them.  They are good fun.  For a long time, I found it very difficult to make friends as an adult.  Do other adults find this to be a challenge?  It's funny, though, as I am getting older, I am finding it easier to make friends.  I think this may be due to my own acceptance of my own quirks, maybe?  I'm a little more comfortable with myself.  That said, other neuroses are raising their freaky, misshapen heads.  Like the whole "fear of crowds" thing.  Which should have made the concert that much more uncomfortable, had I not been imbibing freely.

In honor of the return of the Thank*full Thursday post, I share this guy:

From Office Space.  Has anyone ever rocked a handlebar mustache quite like him?  I think not.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It sucked, and now it's over.

Oh my goodness.  It's been a rough one this week.  Best laid plans and all that.  I don't even remember what derailed the first two days.  I went to boot camp on Wednesday, and it was good fun, as we did a "balls and bands" workout, with medicine balls and resistance bands.  Thursday I overslept.  Later that day, the crazy happened.
My mom ended up in the emergency room.  Anyone who knows me, or has been reading here for awhile, knows my mother has had heart attacks.  Understandably, we are rather cautious with her.  Thursday, she was on break at work, when she noticed a lump on her calf that was painful to touch.  She did not hit it on anything, bump into anything, etc.  She tried to stand up, and she could not walk.  A coworker's wife had recently had a blood clot in her leg with similar symptoms, so they decided to call an ambulance.  After blood tests and an ultrasound, they determined she did not have a blood clot, and the doctor said she had "just a bruise, go home."  Of course, the swelling has only gotten worse, and it sometimes feels like it is on fire, so she saw her own doctor Friday, who said he thought she might have a burst blood vessel, but he doesn't really know, and if it still bothers her on Monday, she should go back.  As of this afternoon, she was still in pain, although it is not as bad.  I have some issues at work, and craziness with one of my daughter's sports...and I may have let myself get a bit overwhelmed.
Anyway, I ended up not going to boot camp Friday, either, and my eating habits were really bad.  Like, a kid with unlimited access to junk food bad.  All of this is to say that, one month into my Dietbet and Get Fit program, I am actually 3 lbs up from my starting weight.
I am going the wrong way!
Let's take a break from my whining and excuses to discuss a disquieting trend.
I went to visit my mom today, and we were watching House Hunters.  My mother is an avid HGTV watcher.  I used to watch it, too, but I lost interest.  Probably because I simply cannot relate to people with a $1 million budget.  Anyway, they looked at three different houses, and in each one, as they walked into the master bathroom, they would gasp in dismay over how "tiny" the bathroom was.

What do people want to do in their bathroom, gymnastics routines?  Seriously, what is the deal with the huge bathrooms?  "We have to have separate sinks."  Why?  Have you forgotten how to take turns?  I certainly don't want to go to the bathroom with someone else in the room, and if I'm in the shower, there is plenty of room for the other to brush their teeth.  How much space can you possibly need in your bathroom?  You think this one might be big enough?


Speaking of big bathrooms, do you remember those Calgon commercials in the early '80's?  I remember thinking "why are those women bathing in swimming pools?"  I just looked for a picture, but I couldn't find a clear image.

Ok, back to business.
Today, after dramatically throwing myself to the ground with dismay following my weigh in, I came downstairs and informed my husband I had to get back on track.  We went through the crisper full of veggies I have purchased over the past two weeks and haven't prepared, and cleaned and chopped everything that had not disintegrated into a primordial soup.  I have breakfasts and lunches planned out, as well as dinners for the next 4 nights and snacks.  I have my clothes laid out for boot camp tomorrow morning, and workouts planned for the rest of the week (as well as fallback workouts if the weather misbehaves the way they say it will.)  Watch out people.  I'm about to get fabulous.

Dolvett will keep me motivated, right?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How to win yourself a Missy.

Let's start with a healthy changes check in, and then we'll move on to something fun.

I don't think I shared with you all, but I signed up for the Transformer on Dietbet last month.  You a sum of money each month, and then, at the end of the bet, everyone who loses 10% of their starting weight splits the pot.  I love that you are required to check in each month, and that you have to lose a certain percentage with each check-in, so there are no unhealthy weight loss sprints at the end.  Other than regular exercise, I have not been on top of things - I prepare ahead for breakfasts and lunches, but my dinners have left something to be desired, and I have stopped more than once for junk.  My girl has practices several times a week, and I am rarely home for dinner anymore.  But my first weigh in is next weekend, and I know I gained 2 pounds, so for crying out loud, no more crap in my body.  No more pop, no more stopping for junk.  Ooh, that pop thing is tough for me.  I've talked before about my need for planning - So, here is my plan for the week:

Workouts:
Monday - morning workout at home
Tuesday - 5:30 PM kickboxing class during the Girl's volleyball practice
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - Boot camp
Saturday - 7:30 walk with Flying Pig team
Sunday - rest (easy walk or yoga)

Meals:
Breakfasts - green smoothie, steel cut oatmeal, or yogurt and berries
Lunches - ham and tomato sandwich or tortilla soup, bell pepper strips with hummus
Snacks - cottage cheese with pineapple (on volleyball days) or orange and almonds
Dinners have been planned and shopped for, and lucky me, I have a husband willing to do the cooking for the week.  The menu includes chicken "fried" rice, spaghetti and meatballs, Slowcooker chicken verde, salads.
whbpicture

Let's do something fun now.  You all know I love my lists, so I was looking for a fun list to make tonight, and in honor of Valentine's Day being next week, I thought I'd do this one:

"List 5 ways to win your heart." (for all of you who are hoping to, ;)

1.  Talk books with me (duh.)
2.  Rub my feet.  Or my palms.  Or the space between my shoulder blades.  But mostly my feet.  I'm a very tactile person.
3.  Cut the fat off my meat.  That sounds rather childish, but my husband is pretty reserved, affection-wise, but he generally cuts the fat off my steak for me, if we have it.  It makes my heart go pitty-pat.
4.  Make me laugh.  Seriously, it doesn't take much.
5.  Listen without judgement.  I don't need an answer, just an ear.

My list makes me think of Janet in "Singles."  Remember the movie "Singles?"  I loved that movie in college.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I love my weekends.

I do love an empty Sunday morning.  I just get so much done.  Wanna see?

I made up a batch of my favorite chicken tortilla soup (with no chicken, and I added spinach today.)  I used my rice cooker to make steel-cut oatmeal today, and it worked brilliantly.  I roasted some veggies I had sitting in my refrigerator that had to be cooked.  I made two batches of brownies (Superbowl night.)  I've washed, dried and folded 4000 loads of laundry, done squats and planks for a new challenge, and done the grocery shopping.  Of course, after all the cooking, you end up with this:


I'll trade you a jar of soup if you'll do my dishes...

I went to see a new band the other night - Umphrey's McGee.  The music was decent, and I loved everyone, and stroked a lot of people's hair.  There may have been alcohol involved.  Young hippie-ish people who may or may not have been using herbal refreshment are very receptive to having their hair played with.  Of course, I am receptive to having my hair played with all the time, and I don't need to be influenced by anything.  I just like having people play with my hair.  Yes, I know this is weird, I accept this and go with it.  After, we went back to my friends' house and hung out, watching Key and Peele and eating grilled cheese.  Then something magical happened - we decided to watch The Neverending Story.  I haven't seen this movie in years, and it did not disappoint.  The imagery is so trippy - no wonder it has stuck with me all these years.  

I never noticed the nipples on those Oracle statues as a kid.  There may have been jokes about them being "as hard as rocks" at the third gate.  There may have been thumb wars fought.  I may regress to a 12 year-old boy when drunk.  It was a good night - I should probably have more like it.

Softball time, and then off to a superbowl party.  Go Sports!