Tuesday, January 14, 2014
It's been quite a couple of weeks. We had ice on New Years Day, then THE BIG SNOW in the midwest on January 5-6. Just laid around the house. Actually, that's not quite true...I shoveled a 150 ft driveway three times on Sunday and once on Monday and now have a little tendonitis in both shoulders.
Then, on Tuesday January 7th when we could get out of the driveway I took my little dog Chica into the vet because she had stopped eating on Sunday and was coughing, particularly when she first got up in the morning or from a nap. The vet found a pretty bad heart murmur,but said that her lungs were clear, and gave her some antibiotics for what appeared to be an absessed tooth. I went back to work then, and when I got home at 4:30 she was breathing hard and went downhill from there. She died in my arms at around 10:30 that night from congestive heart failure. I am still very sad, but she lived her life on her terms, and was fine until she wasn't. Even at the vet's that morning, she was running around greeting the girls in the office and all the various office animals (they have an office bunny and an office cat). So if she had to die younger (she was only 8), at least it happened quickly and she didn't linger in pain or unable to be the active dog she was.
The first picture was when I first got her as a neglected litle rescue dog, and the second was about six weeks ago.
On to the future. I have backslid on my diet all the way to 201 pounds from my low of 140. However, today I went back to the gym. It's frustrating how much more effort it takes to do things and how much slower I am, but at least I am on my way. I'm doing the plank challenge with my niece...everyday you do 10 more seconds. Today I did a mile and a half on the treadmill at 3.8mph and about 10 minutes on the recumbent bike. And the plank thing for 20 seconds. And I did pretty good on food except for not getting lunch until 4 pm, which led to a snickers bar.
On the road with you,
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Today is my last day of work (except for a half day on December 26th) until January 6! It's time to do some serious reflection on my health and happiness. I will be here at home, mostly by myself (with dogs and cat) so I have almost three weeks to redevelop some healthy habits. At noon today I am going over to the rec center on campus and pay money for a membership for next semester...and that means changing my sleep habits...going to bed earlier so I can get up at 4:30, walk the dogs, go to the gym, come home, get ready for work and be at work by 8. My healthy habit goal is GYM AT LEAST 4 DAYS PER WEEK.
I dumped cable tv a few months ago, but now have discovered the vice of Netflix and all of the internet tv shows and podcasts that can be a complete time sink. I need to limit those and spend more time getting exercise with and without the dogs. My healthy habit goal is LESS THAN ONE HOUR OF TV PER DAY.
My eating is actually not too bad right now, especially given that it is the holiday season. I made 4 batches of decadent toffee (can you say butter and sugar boiled together until dark brown, poured over nuts and chocolate chips melted on the top)--my Grandmas's recipe. But I put all those batches in little one cup containers (like 30 of them) and gave them to neighbors and colleagues at work, and only one container left for me, which I have been eating from VERY slowly! And Sunday I picked up 40 lbs. of citrus from the elementary school fruit sale. I'm planning on eating an orange as soon as I finish this blog. My healthy habit goal is MORE VEGETABLES, LESS PROCESSED FOOD.
And let me gripe a little bit about the weather. Saturday I awoke to 7 inches of VERY heavy snow. I hear it's going to be a snowy winter, and since it started so early, a LONG one. Anyway, I eventually got outside and cleared the end of the driveway where I had been plowed in by our hard working city employees. You know you have to get at least that part of the driveway done because the car is not capable of climbing over a two foot pile of compacted, frozen solid snow. And since I was out there, and it wasn't too cold, I did the rest of the driveway and the sidewalks too. But I am apparently the ONLY person in my town that does this. No one bothers to shovel their sidewalks. Which means that if you have a little dog, you have to walk in the (dangerous) street. This is my biggest pet peeve. If Chica the chihuahua walks more than about a half block on snow, she stops and picks up one foot, and then the other, until I pick HER up and carry her for the rest of the walk. So I guess I'm doing a little strength training with my cardio. My winter healthy habit goal is to KEEP WALKING THE DOGS SO THAT I GET AT LEAST 10,000 STEPS PER DAY ON MY SP TRACKER, even if I have to walk in the street.
Another goal for me this year is to be more aware of my spending, and to limit the frivolous spending in favor of saving for bigger things. I have decided to go on a faculty student sponsored trip in August to India. It's actually not a horribly expensive trip, but I still need to think before I spend and focus on saving. So my healthy habit goal is to BE MORE MINDFUL OF MY SPENDING HABITS, UTILIZE A BUDGET, AND PREPARE FOR A GREAT TRIP!
Finally, my attitude. I tend to be kind of a sarcastic person, and can get cynical about life and stuff. My healthy habit goal is to BE MORE GRATEFUL, THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS, AND PUT THAT POSITIVITY INTO ACTION!
Monday, November 18, 2013
One of the things I often crave is chocolate (and peanut butter, too, but that's a different story...) and a couple of weeks ago I was surfing the web and up popped an ad for "Choffy" Like ground coffee you put in a French Press, but made out of cocao beans instead. So I thought, hmmm, what the heck, and ordered a bag. It.Is.Amazing. You make it and pour it in your cup. after it has steeped for 5 minutes and it's like dark chocolate heaven. It's so smooth, you don't even have to put any sugar or milk/cream in it, though you could. It's kind of expensive ($15.00 plus shipping for a 12 oz bag) but it's worth it for a special treat or maybe stress relief at the end of the day...
Oh, and did I leave the best news for last? An 8 oz serving is 20 calories, only a tiny bit of caffeine, full of antioxidants, only three grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein!
The only negative is that it really doesn't work in the Keurig. It really needs to steep.
If you Google "Choffy" it should come right up. I love it so much I might become a distributor.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Yesterday I went to the doctor, not because I was sick, but because it had been a year since I'd had bloodwork done and figured I'd better face the music about my blood sugar and my cholesterol. Not that my diet has been horrible but it could be a lot better.
So, my doctor hands me the results of the bloodwork and says "I think you'd rather be about 25-30 pounds lighter, but I can't really say anything, because your numbers are good, and I know you are walking your dogs for at least 30 minutes a day.
Here are the numbers:
Fasting Blood Sugar--84 (optimal less than 100)
Cholesterol----200 (optimal less than 200)
LDL --116 (optimal between 100-129)
HDL--75 (optimal greater than 50)
Triglycerides--47 (optimal less than 150)
So, I've dodged a bullet! This gives me motivation to get back to eating more healthy, getting back to the gym, and getting rid of those extra pounds again...this time for good.
My plan to return to the gym (after the first of the year)...wear my workout clothes to bed, get up at 5, take the dogs out, feed the dogs, take myself and my pre-loaded gym bag to the campus recreation center (where I can work out for less than $100 per semester), work out, and then get showered, dressed, made up, and accessorized there and to work by 7:30. Can I do it? I think so.
Wish me luck!
On the road with you,
Friday, October 25, 2013
And I only work half a day on Fridays! This has been a really busy week, leading up to a conference program at our local History Conference yesterday. My colleague and I did two sessions yesterday morning, and that was after about 20 hours of work getting ready for it this week. God forbid that I should get things done early. I've known about this program since APRIL. But it turned out great and I think that people who attended were really satisfied. It was about using trade books to help with the Common Core State Standards in Social Studies classes.
The big news of today is that I got my SP Tracker in the mail. So cute and easy to set up. Maybe this will help me get motivated again. I certainly hope so!
I do have to work on Sunday afternoon, but the rest of the weekend is fun. Tonight I'm going to see "The Little Shop of Horrors" at the university, and Sunday evening am going to a "Fright Night" concert put on by the Eastern Illinois University Symphony Orchestra. They do this every year and I've never gone. I hear it's really fun for kids--the kids all wear costumes and the conductor wears a Dracula costume that is very scary.
The only stressful things left on my calendar have to do with the sorority I advise. Initiation is in a week and I'm probably going to have to tell three new members that they can't initiate because of poor midterm grades. There will be much crying. And then there will be installation of new officers, and all of this year's reports that I am going to have to plow through and correct and give back to the officers to retype and look at them again ad nauseum until December 21 when the semester is over! And then it starts all over again.
This week I did two things for myself. I applied for a sabbatical for Spring 2015, and I let the Provost know that I am applying for a Professional Advancement Increase (like a promotion, but after you are already a full professor). The main reason to do it is that it's a 7% increase in salary, which I can definitely get into. It'll help pay for my new car, which I got this summer after the old one broke down, unfixable, while I was on my way to my family in Iowa.
So, I'm doing laundry and it's beeping at me. I think I'm going to do some cooking tomorrow, including making fresh applesauce to freeze with some Winesap apples I got on Wednesday. I also have a cabbage that needs to be cooked or something, so I'm going to do a corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. And make a big salad I can eat off of for a few days, and boil some eggs for quick breakfasts or lunches next week.
Hope you are all doing well!
PS: The cat brought me a dead goldfinch today. Naughty boy.
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