Monday, June 27, 2011

A Test Drive

Well, I had an unexpected day today. My mother had called me about taking her to an estate sale. This is a very large estate, and it the second time the house has been open. My mother purchased some very nice items at the first sale. After my morning exercise and healthy breakfast, I drove and picked her up. I didn't have time for lunch, but I grabbed a large apple and threw it into my bag for after the sale.

At the sale, my mom ran into a friend. She had another woman with her. As we were leaving the sale, the friend invited us to go "out for coffee" with them. She selected a little cafe. I was hungry, as I hadn't eaten lunch. The friend's friend hadn't eaten lunch either. I ordered a chef's salad with vinegar and oil and a to go box. I had a glass of water to drink. I immediately put half of the salad into the box. I asked for the salad dressing on the side and just dipped my fork into it as I ate. I used very little dressing.

After spending the rest of the afternoon with my folks, my mom said I should just stay for dinner. She was serving left over roast beef in the form of hot beef sandwiches. I had one slice of bread, about an ounce of beef (the smallest piece I could find in the pan) and just enough gravy to dampen the toast. I also had about a half a cup of cauliflower (no butter.) I ate the rest of my left over salad along with it. Not bad.

Tomorrow I am heading off to visit my kids. Today was a test drive of how to eat when I am away from home. If today was any indication, I should be okay when I'm at the kids'. I was pleased with my choices today.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Nice Day, Hangin' In There

Well, this is a first. We had two, count 'em TWO, nice days... and on a weekend, to boot. My husband and I went to a local art fair, and then did a few errands. I bought an air popper for popcorn, and some new measuring cups and spoons. (I'm using more now that I'm measuring things.)

I made the Spark Recipe for Cola Chicken for dinner. I've made cola based barbeque sauce before, but I wasn't sure my husband would like it. He did, and said I could make it again. So, we added another recipe to the repetoire.

I have been doing my one mile walk via DVD every morning, and have remained beneath my target area; but my weight loss has stopped for now. I figured that once I got rid of the water weight, things would slow down, and they have. I am not discouraged yet, I've been down the road before. I also know that I shouldn't be weighing myself every day. I do feel that my exercise DVD is getting easier every day, and that is important. I am eating healthy, which is really what this is all about. My fitness plan is that I will start adding strength training a little at a time as my cardio improves.

I started making a list of things to pack for my visit to see my children. I have included some healthy muffins (breakfast food), healthy snacks, my walking DVD and exercise clothes. Still nervous about how this visit is going to go. My kids work some of the days and I will be out and about the city. Normally, I would grab a McD's slider and a sweet tea and call my meal done. Not this trip. I'm going to have to plan ahead for lunches on the go when I'm not at home.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trying Out Some Nouveau Cuisine

It was a stunningly beautiful day where I live today. I had the windows open, the sun was shining, and I could hear the birds singing. We live where we have very few gorgeous days like today, and I appreciate them so much!

I exercised to my DVD and then set out to try some new recipes from the Spark Recipe app on my iPhone. I had tried the Skillet Lasagna the night before. Now, I like lasagna; but I'm not a great fan of soft cheeses. I come from a long line of lactose intolerant people (did you know that lactose intollerance is in your genes?) and I eat very limited dairy. I wasn't fond of the Skillet Lasagna, and I think the reason was because of the soft cheese that is in the recipe. Undaunted, I just told my husband that he could have the leftovers (I'd made a double batch) and that I wouldn't be repeating that recipe.

This morning, I tried again. I made the Low-fat Dark Chocolate muffins. Wowsers! We LOVED them! They are sweet, chewy, moist and delish! I tweeted my delight, and my daughter-in-law wants to try them when I visit this week. This is a recipe that I will make again, and probably again. I had one with my egg white and veggie omlet, and I was off to a good start on my day.

For dinner, I tried the Salsa Turkey burgers. Another winner! I had purchased pre-made, frozen turkey burgers in the past, and didn't care for them. The salsa, parmesan cheese (a hard cheese,) and the spices really made these burgers tasty! They will be repeated, and my husband was happy to hear that news.

It feels great to start finding healthy choices to add to my menu repetoire. One of my goals this summer is to find ways to make this new lifestyle do-able once I go back to school in the fall. Having recipes that are easy and quick to make, yet help me to hold to my new lifestyle are going to be a big part of the battle! Yay!

My son wants me to come for my visit a day earlier than I had planned this week. I'm excited about going (because we are going to a Twins game), yet it will give me a few more meals away from home than I was expecting. I'm planning on bringing my exercise DVD with me, and perhaps taking their little dog for a morning walk while I am visiting. I'm trying to plan the best I can so that I will be prepared for challenging moments during my visit.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Summer Project

Each summer I look for a project to keep myself occupied. This has been a theme for me since my nest emptied 6 years ago. I was very involved in my children's lives, and I found myself a bit lost when they went off to college. Six years ago, I decided to reawaken my interests in art, knitting and spinning; which had been on the back shelf for awhile. Each summer since, I've undertaken some sort of extensive art or knitting projects.

This summer is different. This summer, I decided my project will be me. Although weight has been an issue for me since I started having babies in 1983, I'm really starting to feel the effects of all this extra poundage. I am having trouble doing the things I want and like to do, physically. This is simply unacceptable to me. For the first time in my life, I feel the burden of this weight, and notice that it is causing me to change the way I live my life.

And so, on the first day of my summer vacation, I weighed myself and started keeping track of the things I was placing into my body.

I purchased a couple of weight-loss books for my Kindle, and read them. I found the books motivational, and I started doing a few exercises as well. One of the books I purchased was the Spark, which introduced me to a website.

That was three days ago. I reluctantly decided to set foot on the scale to see if I could get a starting point for myself on that website. I was shocked!!! In 16 days, I seemed to have misplaced 15 pounds! I stepped on the darned thing again today and was doubly shocked to discover another 4 were gone!

Now, I haven't just fallen off the old turnip truck here, and I know that this dramatic weight loss will come to a screeching halt, or at least slow-down. But, I had a surprising reaction to this news today. While I was squinting and staring at the needle on the scale, wiggling to and fro to see if it was somehow hung up, I felt a twinge of panic. Holy cow! This is really happening! NOW WHAT?!?!?! I'm not sure I would know how to be a thin person! This massive layer of fat seems to be a protective suit for me. Once I self-talked myself into believing I could adjust to a thinner body, I noticed another dark feeling lurking around the corner. I'm very used to failing when it comes to my weight. And there it was, Failure, peeking around the corner of the bathroom door. Well, I picked up my hairbrush and chased that badboy down the hall. But I know he still is lurking in my subconscious, and I'll have to keep an eye on him.

I am anxious about the next two weeks. I will be going to visit my children next week for a few days. They like to take me to their favorite eating joints when I'm there for a visit. I've already given them a heads-up that Mom will be foregoing the infamous "Bucket of Tots" with cheese sauce this trip and may be looking for those weird veg-e-table thingies. When I get back from visiting my kids, I will have a boatload of family in town for a week. That means eating at my parents' house, taking my guests to their favorite burger joint (a must, every time they visit), ballgames, and night-time popcorn over board games. It will be a test, to be sure.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June is Bustin' Out All Over

My first week of summer vacation has flown by! I had one day of laziness within a series of very busy days. 

I spent Monday with my mother, as my dad was out fishing with a friend.  We had intended to go to a very ritzy estate sale, but we were surprised by a visit from my mother's aunt and cousin.  I had not seen this particular cousin since I was a teenager, so we had much catching up to do.  My great-aunt has recently had a series of health issues, but she is just as spunky as ever. 

On Tuesday, I put in my first double-class shift at the Therapeutic Riding facility. (See previous post) I must say, it is quite a workout for a person my size to be walking in eight inches of sand for a couple of hours. I was a side-walker for the first class, and lead the horse for the second class.  We have a wonderful instructor, nice clients, and good horses.  It is good exercise for me, as I am busy thinking about all that is going on rather than paying attention to how much I'm huffing and puffing and sweating.

Wednesday was a lazy day for me.  I was sore and tired from my day at the horse barn.  I knew I had family arriving the next day, and that the rest of the week would be hectic.  I spent some time knitting, reading, and generally relaxing.  
I've made two of these diagonal washcloths in the past week.  This orange/yellow/pink one for Katie's new sunny kitchen, and a green/brown/cream one for my mom.
Katie loves giraffes, so I made this giraffe and tree patterned dishrag for her in a bright orange color. She doesn't have a dishwasher in her new apartment, so I imagine these washrags will get a lot of use!

On Thursday, my sister-in-law and nephew arrived from Arizona.  My nephew was headed to Camp Buckskin out of Ely for a month of camping.  This is a very big deal for him, his first camping experience, and the longest he has ever been away from home.  Camp Buckskin is a camp for children with disabilities, such as my nephew's Asperger's Syndrome. I spent the lion's share of each day with my parents, sister-in-law, and nephew every day through Sunday. I drove my nephew to camp on Sunday along with my dad and his mom.  I most sincerely hope that this camp will be a very valuable learning experience for him!

In addition to spending long days with family, I squeezed in a baby shower on Saturday with my daughter-in-law, and part of today (Monday) with my daughter.  My daughter had been home for a bachelorette party honoring a friend.   We had a nice lunch at Mexico Lindo before she headed out!
We took this picture just before Katie headed for home today.  She had a used dinette set in her car that Bob had found for her new apartment!  I hope to get a chance to spend some time visiting my kids this summer.  I don't get to see them nearly often enough for my tastes.  My son is going to help me refine my web presence, and my daughter says she will go yarn shop hopping with me! 

Tomorrow, it is back to the horse barn for another 3 1/2 hour session.  I hope to get my plants into my planters, as it seems that summer has finally arrived in the northwoods!

Be grateful and see the beauty in each day!