Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Week 25 Scorecard

Well, it's another weigh in. Another Tuesday. Another day closer to the mission trip and my 30-pound weight loss goal. And I had pizza last week. Really, really good meat lover's pizza. Thin crust - points for that.

I'd like to be annoyed that I seem to have slowed to less than a pound a week, but I really can't be. I have to figure that for every half-pound lost, it's really like a pound: the half I lost, and the half I didn't gain. So it's like I've really lost 52 pounds already!

See? Told ya I do math.

Seriously, I'm down about a half-pound (.4) this week and I'm okay with that. It's that lovely time of month on top of finally getting to work out again, so I'll take the celebration and move on. And it's already freaking hot in Texas.

My total so far is 26.5 pounds. Three and a half to go in three weeks for the next goal. Next week I won't be in such a good mood if it's less than a pound again! Let's do this.


Last Monday, I'm minding my own business working in my office, when the washing machine starts making this horrendous noise. I run in there, expecting to see water shooting everywhere or something. Luckily that was not the case, but the noise was bad. I waiting for R-Dub to get home, hoping his aura would fix whatever it was. [It works with computers...]

Sadly, the washer had gone to the big junkyard in the sky, at least emotionally. So off we go to buy appliances I didn't want with money I didn't have. AND, because our broken washer had been part of a stackable set, we couldn't just get a replacement for that. Had to get both a washer and dryer.

On the up side, the floor of the laundry room got a thorough scrubbing by my wonderful Bug, and I didn't have to do laundry for two days while we waited for delivery.

It's a nice set, and it's kinda handy not to have to lift wet clothes up to the dryer in a stacking set. It hasn't made me love doing laundry.

But wait there's more! The set was delivered on Thursday around 4pm. About 30 minutes later, R-Dub left for the Depot to get a new hose and a longer power cord. He sends me a photo of the SALE SIGN on MY washer/dryer set!!! EACH PIECE was $200 less than we'd paid!

This would be a completely different story if we'd not seen the sign and gotten our money refunded. Seriously, how awful would it be to have lost $400 just because we used an existing hose? I think it should be a law that they just automatically refund stuff like that -- what customer is going to say, "No, just keep my money"? I get all revved just thinking about it.

Anyway, now that it cost less, I like the whole set a little more.

Workout Recap

Why do Mondays come around so regularly? I much prefer Saturdays, which seem to not come around often enough.

Anyway, to the workout recap for this week:

Last Monday I recorded my run, and the intent I had to do water aerobics that night. Instead, I got to unexpectedly buy a new washer and dryer because mine decided to blow up Monday afternoon. NOT a fun way to spend money earmarked for other stuff! So, I didn't get the two-a-day I intended.

Tuesday -- water aerobics. 50 minutes, reps of 50 or 100 for each movement, plus 5 minutes treading water/running in place for cardio. Arms sore next day!

Wednesday - 2.1 mile run in 25 minutes. I didn't drop off quite as much as I do on the 2nd mile. It was already HOT at 7:30 in the morning.

Thursday - off day. And in case that wasn't enough, I had pizza. Yes, it was incredibly good.

Friday - 1.9 mile run (not sure why I didn't get 2 miles on the Garmin). Started about an hour later and the heat slowed me down.

Saturday - yard work. Ran the weed eater for the first time in a year, and now I can't lift my arms. Pulled weeds, then played in the pool for an hour or so, and did some stretches to try to get feeling back in my arms.

Sunday - off day.

Monday - dentist appointment today, so no run this morning.

I did add the RunningAhead app to the sidebar - It imports from my Garmin, so I think I need to learn the whole interval thing. I walk to warm up, so I don't usually start the Garmin until after the first tenth of a mile. That's probably not the best way to track true distance. Maybe I'll get that figured out this week. It's funny that the tracker has all runs since the first of the year -- but I didn't wear the Garmin very often! The total mileage is really low, but I don't know how to reset it! More stuff to figure out, I guess.

Okay, posting this and hoping the weigh in Tuesday shows a difference - PMS and all!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 24 Scorecard

Roughly six months down, and somewhere around six months to get to my goal. I looked back at my summary page and realized there was only one week where I've tracked a gain - hooray! A few had no loss at all, but I think that's okay. Given that I can show a 3 pound shift up/down in three days, I think the Tuesday weigh ins are, on average, showing reality.

So for today's weigh in, I was down about 1/2 pound (.6) -- I really think my scale only has even numbers on it anymore. Total to date is 26.1 pounds

I did get my work outs done this week - I still took it easy and just stayed on the elliptical for the week just to see how I felt. The first day was a little uncomfortable, but the others weren't bad. I'm calling myself back to normal now (or as normal as I get).


Yesterday I posted a working tracking set of goals for the next month before our mission trip. I got to run for the first time in a month, and today I can't move. It's pitiful, really. Water aerobics tonight to try to work out the stiffness. Or maybe a shot of Cabo. Or both.

Monday, June 18, 2012


At long last, I'm getting serious about tracking my workouts. I know, you've all been wondering and waiting with bated breath about it. I blog to serve.

Here's what I'm thinking. I already do my weigh ins on Tuesday mornings and blog about that at some point on Tuesday. I think I'll do an entry on Mondays (hey, look! It's Monday now!) listing out what I did the previous 7 days. Or, that might be really boring so I'll do something else. Let's just play this by ear.

Week of 6/11 to 6/18
Monday: [first workout since injury 3 weeks ago] elliptical, rolling hills setting, difficulty 4 (minimum) to 12 (maximum); 30 minutes; 420 cals

Tuesday: elliptical, rolling hills setting, difficulty 4 (minimum) to 12 (maximum); 38 minutes; 475 cals

Thursday: elliptical, rolling hills setting, difficulty 3 (minimum) to 10 (maximum); 40 minutes; 450 cals -- I wanted to see if I could increase my time without hurting. It worked, but I'd rather up the difficulty and get the calorie burn.

Saturday: stretching in pool, prepping for water aerobics, a little yard work. Probably an hour, maybe 150 cals

Monday: finally ran outside! 2.03 miles in 26 minutes, which includes a couple of walking intervals in Mile 2. Felt good!

It will be good for me to see a direct relationship between my workouts and my weigh in results. I have water aerobics scheduled for tonight, so it'll be a two-a-day!

One of the purposes of tracking this is to finally make myself do more weight training. We're 4 weeks out from the Haiti mission trip and I want to have what I need to work hard and avoid injury. Last week was all about cardio - trying to get back into the groove after three weeks out. Water aerobics is one part of weight training (the fun part) but I can't avoid pushups forever. I'm still debating what I want to do, and this should get me to try several types of workouts.

What do you like to do for your workouts?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why I Eat Paleo

Welcome to my new readers! Thank you, Katie's blog, for sending people my way.

In case you were wondering, and to keep you from reading a bunch of blog posts to figure it out, the following is a list of why I decided to change to a Paleo/caveman/dino-food way of eating. Okay, I'm really doing this list for me, but you're welcome to read along!

  1. I am tired of measuring/weighing/counting my food intake. After a half-lifetime of dealing with calories or WW points, I'm just over it.
  2. It's a challenge. When I first learned about it, I was all "I can't give up...[fill in the blank]!!! Turns out, I can. I can pretty much do whatever I decide to do.
  3. But it's not particularly difficult. "In" and "out" foods are pretty straightforward. Once I wrapped my head around the fact that peanuts are legumes and not nuts, it was all easy from there. When I read a menu or a recipe, I immediately know whether it's Paleo friendly or not. And I can make my choice from there.
  4. My definition of a "treat" has already changed. I really wanted some dry cereal a couple of weeks ago. I grabbed a handful, expecting to be transported to some higher plane of enjoyment. Meh, not so much. It was okay, but I didn't need the handful. My expectations of anything I eat are extremely high -- that better be an ah-mazing cookie before I'm going to be tempted. I think maybe wedding cake could qualify, but I haven't had the opportunity lately.
  5. It doesn't stop me from social situations. I will plan ahead, or make suggestions that I know I can live with, but just two months in, I'm already okay with avoiding the cheese and crackers on the snack table. People may look at me funny, but that's pretty normal.
  6. I'm seldom hungry. Paleo isn't specifically designed for weight loss, but there's a huge help in being satisfied by the foods you eat. I don't go to bed hungry, I don't skip meals, I don't really feel the urge to snack much. I don't have to measure out 3 ounces of a protein and force myself to stop. If I want 5 ounces, I eat it. I eat more vegetables than I ever have in my life. I finish a meal full but not stuffed, and I'll still be satisfied two hours later. This is very different from those thousands of meals where I'd fill up on some carb, be miserable leaving the table, and yet look for something to nibble on in a couple of hours.
  7. I feel better. I don't have heartburn or digestive issues. I sleep well. I have energy to work out.

That in a nutshell is why, at this moment, two months in, Paleo is working for me. I know it is not for everyone. But if you're tired of whatever you've been doing, or it's not working, or you can't maintain it, maybe a little research is what you need. There are some excellent websites that give guidelines and recipes. Nerd Fitness, The Clothes Make the Girl, Whole9/Whole30, and Health-Bent are my favorites.

I wondered how many reasons I'd come up with. This may be one of those constantly updated posts!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 23 Scorecard

After almost three weeks of being sick and unable to work out, having no motivation to cook, and just general yuckiness, I'm finally on the mend. An extremely annoying doctor visit reminded me why I don't go to doctors, but at least I got some medicine that helps.

I got to work out yesterday for the first time! I could only do 30 minutes on the elliptical but it was a good 430 calories that I needed to burn. If you saw yesterday's post, you know grocery shopping played a big part of my weekend, and this week I'm making lots of new Paleo food and trying new things.

And the result? Down two pounds! Sweet! Especially after being stuck for a while. That puts my total at 25.5 pounds total loss. I've got five weeks to lose 4.5 more to hit my 30-pound goal.


I was surprised at how scared I was about not working out for three weeks. After not missing many workouts all year, I was convinced this was going to derail me -- it would be like starting over to build the habit. Maybe I thought about it enough that I kept my enthusiasm up even when I couldn't get off the couch! One workout isn't proof that I've not lost it, but with summer I'm starting a new routine.
  • Water aerobics - a friend is joining me at least once a week to workout in the pool. My plan is to get my cardio in earlier in the day when it's not 110 degrees, then use the pool for strength and ab work. If you've never used a noodle to work out, you're missing something. I had the best looking arms I've ever had doing water aerobics twice a week.
  • Work schedule - I'm blessed to work from home, and since no kids have to be hustled out of the house, I can adjust my work hours a bit to allow for morning workouts/leaving early if needed.
  • Running -- Once I'm confident I can leave the house, I'm going to finally work on improving my speed. I don't have any real desire to run long distances, but I am interested in improving my 2nd - 3rd mile speed. Currently I drop off ridiculously after the first mile. I'd like to be around 11-11:30minutes on each mile I run. Turtle pace, but it works for me!

And finally, here's the after picture of the refrigerator shown yesterday:

Now if I could just get the rest of the veggies off the counter!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The eternal shopping weekend

I'm finally feeling better and can expend some energy on menus and food. Starting at 8am Saturday:
  • Farmers Market #1
  • Farmers Market #2
  • Sam's
  • WalMart
  • Kroger
And yes, I've already thought of something I forgot. Sigh.

And this is the current state of my refrigerator:

Does everyone's fridge look like this after grocery shopping? This doesn't count the cabbage, cauliflower, pineapple, jicama and limes that are still on the counter. I've got to get all the veggies cut up, and maybe that will keep me from feeling so stressed! If I do that at lunch today, maybe I can post an after picture.

The top shelf has Paleo "cookup" labeled. I have a new cookbook that gives details on what to pre-cook once a week to keep from those panic nights of "I don't want to take an hour to cook!" Those two containers have my first Sunday cookup meats -- ground beef and grilled chicken to be used as needed through the week for lunches or a quick stir fry. I also have mini-meatloaves in the freezer for later this week. I will pre-cook veggies as well as have a bunch sliced for salads by tonight. If you like the idea, check out Melissa's blog for details on what and how she does it. I'm just learning this part, so I'm not good on quantities yet. But I really like the idea, and will give it a shot.

You can't see it very well, but on the Paleo shelf on top of the strawberries is a batch of kale. I'm determined to try making kale chips. Seems like everywhere I look people are singing the praises of kale and I'm just late to the party. I'll try to take pictures and let you know what I think.

I just realized I had never posted pictures of one of my favorite food prep ideas (thanks, Pinterest!). I'd buy lettuce and invariably throw out at least half - making salads was a pain, even knowing they're good for me. Then I found this idea and it seriously works! You must have a food sealer with the Mason jar sealer attachment - I found the attachment on Amazon for about $8.

Wash the lettuce leaves and dry them as much as you can. I use my salad spinner then pat with paper towels. If there's water, it reduces the freshness of the lettuce.

Chop the lettuce - I lay all the leaves together and just dice 'em up. This is the next chance to pat them dry.

Start stuffing the chopped lettuce into mason jars. These are the 32-oz, wide-mouth jars - they're just easiest to work with. Any size will do, though.

Stuff the jar as full as you can.
Using the vacuum seal jar attachment, seal the jar and put the ring on.

These beauties are ready for the fridge. I reserve space at the back of a shelf - these jars are large enough to be seen. Each jar has enough lettuce for about two large salads (like for a meal) or three dinner salads.

I buy the multipacks of Romaine and cut them myself. I suppose you could do this with the bagged salad, too -- but if I'm going to do this, I'd rather save a couple bucks.

I do not reseal after opening -- that's my cue to eat more greens. Once opened, you've got 2-3 days to use the lettuce. Oh, and this does not work with spinach. Too much water content!

I've had lettuce stay fresh as long as a month when I do this! And I just found a link to the site where I got the idea, so I can give credit and avoid guilt.

I'll take a picture tomorrow of the after -- once I get the lettuce done!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lessons from "The Shawshank Redemption"

I've had movies on the brain lately, and got this idea for writing about some of my favorite movies/books/TV shows from a "what can I learn from this" perspective. Notice the title doesn't say "Lessons I'VE Learned" -- that's because I don't think I've learned all this stuff yet! But, maybe it'll make me think about it again.

Starting with one of my absolute favorites, The Shawshank Redemption. I can't guarantee no spoilers, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

  • Life is not fair. Andy's not guilty of the crime, but convicted anyway. He gets proof of innocence, and it's taken away. No matter the surroundings, know that "fairness" is not the standard nor a guarantee. Deal with it.
  • People in power may abuse it. Warden Norton, Captain Hadley, even the the "sisters" took the position of power and made life miserable for anyone they could. Figure out how to work around that, and don't become one of them.
  • Know the guy who has "been known to locate certain things from time to time." Not because he can get you stuff, but because he's probably a good problem-solver, thinker, and somebody you want on your team. Even better, be that guy!
  • Sometimes feeling normal is the most important thing. Whatever that definition of normal is for any person, that feeling can change a day or a lifetime. Drinking beer on a roof, listening to opera, sitting in the sunshine...it doesn't have to be huge to be valuable.
  • First impressions are often wrong. Red "didn't think much of Andy" when he first saw him, and bet against him the first night. Give yourself a chance to change your mind, and there's no telling who might impress you. 
  • Hope is a good thing...and no good thing ever dies. Andy insists on this, but Red believes hope will drive a man insane. I think Andy gets this one right. Hope gives you the will to keep going. Hope is faith.
  • Get busy living, or get busy dying. 'Nuff said.
If you haven't seen this movie, put it on your list. The language is rough, as you'd think a prison movie would be, but it is so worth it.

 What movies make your "I learned something" list?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 22 Scorecard

To keep from dragging this out -- not a good week. Not AWFUL, but not good.

No loss (that's bad) but no gain (that's good). I'm so very frustrated that I haven't been able to work out at all for over two weeks now. That scares me more than anything -- since the beginning of the year, I've not gone more than 4 days in a row, usually over a weekend, without a decent workout. Now it's been 15 days and I still don't know when I'll be pain free and able to do something. Walking isn't even an option. I've done a little bit of water aerobics, but not enough to count. Grrrr.

My fear is that I'll find it harder to get back in the routine more than it is about whether I can still run as far/long as before this break. I worked so hard to make sure the habit was there, that now I've broken that habit for far longer than is good for me.

This was not how I wanted to start the summer. This is the time I could ramp it up, since my schedule frees up some with school out. Grrrr x 2.

Okay, I'm shutting my whiny self up about that. Doctor appointment tomorrow, and maybe I'll be all fixed after that.

Breathe in, breathe out. I'm not going to fail.