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Welcome 2011

Saturday, January 01, 2011

As many have read, I had problems flying out on Christmas Day as planned due to Delta canceling over 500 flights due to expected weather. For whatever reason, I waited until Christmas Day to see how the weather here would do and I slept in. What I realized when I woke up is that Delta could have made their morning flights (and it appeared that my flight out of Atlanta that morning was on time, which just made me cranky). Realizing that I ran a very big risk of not flying out the next day, I canceled the Delta flight (at no charge, so I am very grateful to Delta for that and to the agents who helped me re-book) and booked on American. The cost was a bit higher, but I wanted to go ahead and fly out on Christmas Day; the little voice was telling me this was the thing to do. So, I did it. Friend WC kindly drove me to the airport. The airport was beyond quiet and the flights were good. While waiting for my connecting flight in Dallas, the shuttle service I use called and canceled my pick-up for the next day, validating my get out of town now feeling. I had canceled the second leg of the shuttle trip but had been unable to cancel online due to the changes to the reservation. At any rate, while I got in much later than I planned, I was in Louisiana on Christmas Day.

The few days there were good. Among other things, we sold my very first car... finally. It was a 1987 Honda Accord Hatchback. I loved that car, probably more than any other car I've had. And, I drove it for 10 years. However, it was time to let it go. We got a good offer for it and took it. The new owner - a young lady who will be starting community college in January. Her dad is a Honda fan and currently works at the dealership we originally bought the car at. I feel like it went to a good home and am glad that we own one less car.

Speaking of cars. Over the past couple of years, I've been monitoring the value of my car, a Toyota Matrix I've driven for 7 years and very much enjoyed. However, car prices are good and Toyota had good incentives. Add this to helping a friend car shop several months ago and I'd done most of the preliminary work. So, the Saturday before Christmas I test drove the Prius. And, I liked it. I hadn't planned on buying that day, but the trade-in on my car had gone down over the past couple of years (expected). Toyota gave me good value for the trade-in, as well as a good discount, in addition to the 0% financing. So, with a little bit of sadness mixed with excitement, I traded in the Matrix. I'm now the proud owner of a Toyota Prius III in Sandy Beach Metallic. I'd have preferred a light shade of blue or the red, but neither was available, so I decided to try a different car color. Not sure about a light interior, but so far I'm enjoying the car. I expected the gas milage to be lower in the winter due to the colder weather and running the heater, but right now I'm getting about 49 mpg and I haven't even used a quarter of tank. Stay tuned for how it goes with the car, because honestly, it just fascinates me.

The year ended on a sad note, with the death of my college roommate. However, overall, 2010 was basically a good year. I've got good vibes coming at me for 2011. I wish everyone nothing but the best in the coming year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XHASTEDMOMOF2 1/2/2011 7:06PM

    What a sweet ending to the ownership of your beloved first car!! I know you'll LOVE your Prius, especially now that gas prices are soaring!! (Do you find yourself distracted by the gauges when you're driving?? I used to!!!)

Anyway, here's to a wonderful 2011 and I can't wait to read about what workouts you are doing and what yummies you are baking!!


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SASSISPRING 1/2/2011 2:37AM

    My deepest condolences on the passing of your friend. It's hard when someone is young to lose them. It's great though you have wonderful memories and she'll live on through those memories.

Sounded good that it all worked out for you to fly out on a different flight on Christmas Day and how it all came together. Nice about where your car found a home. Even nicer on the trade-in with your new car. Enjoy!!

Happy 2011!!

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ELISADENK 1/1/2011 4:44PM

    My! You had an adventure! Thanks for sharing. Sorry about your loss.

May 2011 be better than 2010!

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In Memoriam....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today I learned of the death of my college roommate, Becki. We were roommates for four years and they were all good. We shared pizza at 2:00 in the morning, had road trips, argued, but generally we just had a good time. We turned out to be very good friends in addition to roommates, which just enhanced the whole college experience. She was much too young to die. I will miss her, but she will always live in my memories and in my heart.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XHASTEDMOMOF2 12/31/2010 7:14PM

    It sounds like you have some very awesome memories to hold on to!!! I'm sorry for your loss!!


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SASSISPRING 12/30/2010 6:11PM

    My deepest condolences to you and her family and friends. emoticon

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WILLIAMV3 12/30/2010 5:34PM

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

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LISAWILLBEFIT 12/30/2010 5:33PM

    I am sorry for your loss.It is horrible to lose someone special so young.Lisa

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BABYSOX 12/30/2010 5:32PM

    I am sorry for your loss. I suggest you remember all the good times that you two had and that will keep her memory alive.

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Pins and needles...

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve and I've spent today and the past couple of days preparing to head to my Mom's. Not feeling the greatest, but looking forward to Christmas. Tonight I find that in anticipation of the huge storm due to hit the northeast and east, Delta has cancelled over 500 flights out of Atlanta. Mine was one of them. I knew Atlanta was a bad idea when I booked that flight, but it was the best deal and time. I'm told by Orbitz (I booked through them and while they answer their phone, Delta isn't) that Delta is re-booking people and to check their website. I have been and nothing has changed. I entered my contact info. Still nothing.

I've accepted that I'm probably not flying out of here tomorrow morning, but I would like to know what they've come up with because now I'm just hanging in limbo. Hard to enjoy anything. Plus, I have to the let the shuttle service know when the flight is and hope they can still get me there. I do have a friend I can ask, but I'd rather not.

I know this is just one of the risks of flying this time of year, but it's making me long for being able to get in the car and drive. Still, I know once they post the new itinerary then I'll know and I'll be okay. Or I should. I think it's the not having control of this and the total shut-down/shut-out by Delta that's making this even harder. I did call Orbitz back and they did confirm that Delta is re-booking and I should know shortly but somehow I'm not optimistic and I'm not sure what to do since Delta isn't talking. Hard to know which way to go.

Now off to take a deep breath and hope for the best.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADLINS 12/30/2010 5:40PM

    Thanks for all the travel wishes. I wound up canceling Delta and re-booking on American so I could get out Christmas Day as snow was predicted for the day after. While waiting for my connecting flight in Dallas, I got a call from the shuttle service canceling my pick-up for Dec 26 due to.... weather. So, I was glad I went with my little voice and re-booked.

Nice to know it can be done last minute, but made me cranky that I went through the effort to plan several months in advance only to have to re-do. But, I did get there and I had a good time and now I back and it's good to be home. :)

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XHASTEDMOMOF2 12/27/2010 6:44PM

    Hope you were able to get to your mom's without much trouble and that you are having a wonderful time visiting with her and staying warm!!! Take care, my friend!!


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SASSISPRING 12/27/2010 3:35PM

    Even though you couldn't make it for the day, at least you are still able to make it over. That's good. I agree that the not knowing is difficult and frustrating, so good that you found out. I imagine you are heading there now, safe trip!!

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STRONGERLEANER 12/25/2010 7:33PM

    Merry Christmas!

Hoping they got your flight plans straight!
Hoping you have a wonderful time with family!
emoticon emoticon

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ADLINS 12/24/2010 9:56PM

    Breaking update. :) My flights have been rebooked. Not for Christmas day but for the day after and late at that. Not what I'd hoped for, but I was also able to extend the trip by a day, so it just about gives me the same amount of time. The really big down side is I won't be with my family on Christmas Day - literally the first time ever. I knew it had to happen sometime and at least my Mom and I are both calm about this.

Still, I think it's going to be a good Christmas. Just different.

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VERITY50 12/24/2010 8:20PM

    So Sorry to hear of your travel woes... Hope it turns out well.

Merry Christmas!

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What a day....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I set a lot of "to-dos" for today and am just finishing up. Happy, happy cause I'll still have time to sit down and relax.

First, I tracked food for 6 days last week, which I'm totally happy with as my goal was 4. I even tracked all the bad stuff that snuck in (in small amounts, thank goodness) and still stayed with in my calorie range. I kept on track with my exercise goals. I lost 1.8 pounds, which is probably more water than anything, but I'll take it!

I learned something interesting as well. I do a light, late breakfast/brunch on the weekend or an early dinner. So, even with a "treat" I'm at the very low end of my calorie range because it's basically just 2 meals and little snacking. I've never worried about getting the minimum, just going past the maximum. Something to think about.

Today, was good on several other levels as well. My bedroom heats almost not at all. The rest of the apartment is fine. So, Friday I got a window insulation kit and today I insulated a portion of the window in by bedroom. It's a big window and basically divides in thirds. I insulated the third that has no insulated curtains in front of it and will insulate the others in the coming weeks. It's tricky, but my first attempt wasn't bad. Especially, when you consider the windows go from mid wall to the ceiling and then from wall to wall. They are about 60" high and 100" wide. I'm short, so I got a lot of stretching. Still, I felt good when it was done.

Then, I took care of household cleaning, which I won't go into, but I also managed to bake muffins for breakfast this coming week and I tried a new recipe. The recipe is one of those from Whole Foods and is called Black Bean Cakes. It is a "mush" of brown rice and black beans and seasonings. They look good. The recipe says to do 4 cakes, but I did 8, which helps with the calories. Not to mention the size for the 8 is just fine for me, so I think the 4 would have been huge. This recipe calls for a food processor. I have a mini-food processor, so I had to do it batches. I really like the mush for the recipe though and it's made me even more interested in making my own black bean burgers. I've never had a desire for a food processor (not to mention not really having any room to store it), but I may have to re-think that.

I'm pooped, but extra happy that I got done what I set out to do today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRONGERLEANER 12/17/2010 3:55PM

    It is so satisfying to make a plan and see it through.

Congrats on all you've accomplished.

Hope you're doing well in the snow!

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XHASTEDMOMOF2 12/16/2010 5:33PM

    You definitely had a busy day!!! Go you for getting so much done!! We put that plastic wrap on our sliding glass doors to help lower our heating cost -- hopefully you will be a lot warmer putting it up in your room!!

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ELISADENK 12/13/2010 6:45PM


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SASSISPRING 12/13/2010 1:25PM

    Excellent!! You sure did awesome!! I used to insulate all my windows and it made such a difference. I can't do that in this apt though. The former tenents did and it left behind the tape, pulled paint off the wall and generally ticked my landlady off. In my bedroom I rolled up a towel and stuck in there, which made a big difference. If it gets colder, I'll do the same to the patio window. Hope it helped you out. Those are some massive windows you are working on.

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ACROSONIC 12/13/2010 9:22AM

    I'm impressed with you working on insulating your windows! Is it helping?

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Going the wrong way....

Sunday, December 05, 2010

As I enter week 8 of no frozen dinners I do it with a couple of extra pounds. Well, about 3 to be exact. Doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm a little freaked. In my 2 1/2 years of Spark, I gained weight once, about a year ago, and focus and tracking my food got me back on track. Well, this week I gained more. So, maybe I'm not focusing. Maybe it's my cooking. Maybe it's because my exercise got way out of whack. Maybe it's junk food I've been eating more of over these last couple of months. Maybe I'm not drinking enough water. This is what has been running through my head. Along with the realization that my clothes still fit the same, so maybe there is more to the story than me porking back up.

I have taken steps, which have gotten of to a positive start. To begin, I added two goals to my Other Goals here on SP. Normally, I don't care for this goal section, but this is proving to be a good motivator for me. The two goals - cardio 3x/week and yoga 2x/week. I've long had a goal of 8 yoga workouts per month. Since SP doesn't let me do it on a monthly basis, I took it to a weekly basis. For cardio, I created a monthly goal of 12 cardio workouts, of at least 30 minutes, per month. I took this to a weekly goal as well. A couple of other goals may be added - one for strength training at least 2x/week and one for tracking my food at least 4x/week.

The strength training is a bit tricky as I do some workout DVDs that are circuit based or pilates based and to me this is strength training as well. So, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to track these and count the strength (open to suggestions and would love to hear how others handle these types of workouts). I did get a new workout DVD that was reviewed by Coach Nicole - Xtreme Timesaver Training from the Personal Training with Jackie DVDs. This is 30 minutes of strength and cardio. It's a kick-butt workout. It's divided into 10 minute segments or you can do the whole thing at once. I did the whole thing yesterday, but I really feel like this DVD would work great by doing one of the 10 minute segments after a cardio workout. Still working out how to track it though as the heart rate does go up. There is no break really between moves and she does them in combo so you are working arms and legs or legs and core, etc. A little bit of cardio for sure. I can definitely feel it today.

I'm hoping the gain is not my cooking, but I had several months between weigh-ins so I have no way of really knowing. I'm wishing I'd stepped on the scale at the beginning of week 1 of no frozen dinners.

I'm making other changes. I'm now one week in of not hitting the candy jars at work. This was doing me in on so many levels. Also, no more junk food. I don't do it often, but when I get stressed I crave carbs and not the good kind either. But, I do know the more I eat of the junk carbs the more I want them, so the answer to that is now no. I can have a treat on the weekend as I know total denial will backfire on me, but no more mini powdered donuts! I know they have zero nutritional value, but I love them! One of my favorite treats is mini-powdered donuts and diet coke. Strange, but there you go. No more though at least until after the holidays - gotta leave an allowance for the good holiday treats.

It seems like a lot when written down, but for me, cold turkey is usually the way to go, so I'm going to try that again and see what happens. Of course, TOM is here, so that probably accounts for some of today's gain, but I'd really like to send the scale heading in the down direction rather than up. So, I'm really going to focus this week and see what happens.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XHASTEDMOMOF2 12/10/2010 7:54PM

    Good for you for staying on top of gaining a few pounds. When I get to goal weight, I too plan to stop weight gain before it gets out of hand again. Smart move going cold turkey!!! I'm also staying out of the bad stuff as well!!! Keep up the good work and your successful working out goals!!


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BROUSTEN 12/7/2010 3:07AM

    Here's one theory about how those few extra pounds got there.....Your scale is a sick, twisted and sadistic little monster who wants to ruin your Christmas! Tell it, firmly, you are onto his malicious little game, that you are not going to tolerate it anymore, and then kick the little thing into the closet until after New Year's...and tell him you will think about letting him out then only IF he agrees to be nice from now on. (smile)

Seriously, I admire your resolve to change so many habits all at once, let alone at a time of year when most people give up on trying to do so at all and just wait until the New Year to start, but please cut yourself some slack. Over the last 5 days I've watched my own scale climb and fall by several pounds a couple of times. I suspect I am not regaining and re-losing the same 2 or 3 pounds over and over again (although it feels like it sometimes). Instead, especially when the panic sets in, I've had to remind myself to look at the big my behaviors are changing consistently over time. Besides, the scale (that little tyrant) is NOT the only measure of weight loss progress. As you mentioned, your clothes feel the same on you--that's another measure which is telling you your body IS the same size......So use that and your behavioral goals as ways to measure your progress..... And as reasons to give yourself a pat on the back.

Thank you, though, for the reality check that the "battle" isn't over when we reach our goal weight....Working to maintain the new body we have formed requires continued effort.

Also, I need to check out how to use the goals on SP, now that you've mentioned it....I can't remember doing so yet....and that could be a helpful feature!

emoticon emoticon
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Comment edited on: 12/7/2010 3:12:40 AM

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LEAVNTHEW8BHIND 12/6/2010 4:25PM

    OMG - I'm there with you - I think I'm back on track, then the weekend comes, or meetings or this or that (anything with food).

I think the job stress (whether or not I'll have a job past Jan 31) is getting to me. Of course this all started when my family came down in August and I've stayed out of control since then....

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SASSISPRING 12/6/2010 1:28AM

    Hang in there, sounds like TOM is responsible for that gain and you'll be back at par in no time. :)

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ELISADENK 12/5/2010 9:44PM

    Interesting. Glad you are taking charge of those 3 pounds and not gaining any more. TOMS can do it. Relax. Take a big breath. You ARE on the right track. Monitor things and see how it goes. You ARE doing fine. You KNOW what to do, and have the tools to do it.

BTW, I LOVE oldfashioned, glazed donuts. Been known to eat the entire box worth in one day (before becoming a Sparkie). emoticon

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CTTAGENT 12/5/2010 9:41PM

    Glad to hear that you have set some very good, attainable goals.
I too sometimes get to where I will eat some "junk food" because I taste it, and then seem to crave more. I am working to have some handy protein snacks, such as nuts, on hand to replace the sugar/carbs. I want to try making some homemade granola bars also.
I look forward to hearing about your progress.

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