Monday, October 29, 2012
First, I want to thank those who have been reading my blogs. After 3 years of being totally mute on SP, suddenly the words are tumbling out and through my keyboard.
In addition I would like to thank whole teams. Two in particular – Maintenance and Masters Runners. Finding a niche has changed my attitude. Instead of being overwhelmed with the hundreds of thousands of Sparkers and lost in the maze of information, I have a home – a couple of homes actually – and a few more I plan to visit more often.
Ok, I suppose you are my “imaginary” friends and acquaintances, but we are united in a common purpose nonetheless. Reading about your successes, setbacks and plans to improve encourage me to strive to be a better person in all areas of life.
One of the trivia questions last week was whether or not Sparkers who participate in Community are more successful than those who don’t. The answer was TRUE and although I hover at the 66% correct mark, this time I guessed right figuring that it wouldn’t have been asked if it wasn’t true.
I really believe it.
So thank you all. You’re making my mornings brighter and strengthening my resolve to continue this journey. Now I’m off to the gym in a rainstorm, the beginning of Sandy, I suppose. If I didn’t start my day here, I might have just pulled the covers over my head and gone back to sleep.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Yesterday, I actually had to ask an employee where to find the cake mix. Suddenly, the location of candy for Trick or Treaters was a mystery to me.
This is what happened. As I walk into my supermarket, the produce is on my right. I always need fruits and vegetables. As I proceed counterclockwise around the store, I don’t even break stride as I toss my 100% WW bread into the cart, averting my eyes from the bakery on my right. Straight ahead is meat. Let’s see what’s on sale. Skinless, boneless chicken breast and a turkey breast to cook and slice for sandwiches - good! Turning left, the dairy section is along the back wall. Organic yogurt, eggs, egg beaters, reduced fat cheese, 2% milk and OJ – all staples needed in my fridge.
One more left turn and I’m in the immense frozen food section. Avoiding the sale on ice cream (Oops, I mean frozen dairy dessert), I pick up a package of Skinny Cow ice cream bars, a lot more expensive per unit, but I’m worth it. Birdseye “steamfresh” vegetables are on sale – very good to have available, especially in the winter. A couple of Healthy Choice Steamers needed too. Some days I’m just not cooking and I don’t stress over this.
A few quick detours to grab pasta, olive oil, peanut butter and oatmeal since I know exactly where to find those and to inquire about the above mentioned Halloween candy and cake mix. (Thank you SP- spice cake mix + pumpkin = muffins - Betty Crocker, I’m not!). Then I’m done and ready to check-out.
Disclaimer: Some of you know that I live with the Junk Food King and he DOES know where to find the pop tarts, snack cakes etc. He also buys the cleaning supplies. I cook and do laundry. He cleans. This arrangement has worked for 45 years. I’d be happy to add the cleaning supplies to my list if he would abandon his solo shopping trips. Sadly, that’s another story.
Friday, October 26, 2012
The Donna Reed observation was my teenage son reacting to my news that I had agreed to host a German exchange student. Her host family had backed out at the last minute.
From “Nick at Night,” he knew Donna Reed – the 60s sitcom icon of perfect homemaker with a perfect family. Our family of 5 was more along the lines of this. At the end of the work/school day let’s make sure everyone is fed, washed, with clean clothes, sports/band practices/music lessons completed, homework done and carpools managed. Perfection was never on our radar.
Needless to say, fast food and mother’s helper, Stouffers Entrees, were commonplace. It may be strange to imagine now, but I didn’t think there was much difference between the hamburgers and fries at McDs and the ones I made at home. OK, they were “home” fries cooked in butter with onions, not French Fries. Wasn’t their “shake” the same thing as I made in the blender with milk and malt? I left out the raw egg my mother used to throw in there to “build me up.” I grew up eating Brooklyn pizza so what was wrong with Pizza Hut?
I know there was some who limited their family to specific kinds of food. I even knew one who never watched TV. By choice, they didn’t even HAVE a TV. For me and mine that wasn’t how we lived. Busy, active and fit with no weight problems in sight, we ate like typical Americans.
Returning now to the German exchange student. She was an attractive blonde that my 14 year old son definitely approved of and welcomed to our home. She arrived and announced she was a vegetarian! A what?? The home cooking that I did do always involved meat – a good amount of meat. Whole chicken or turkey in the oven, baked BBQ chicken, pot roast, pork chops or some ground beef thing in the crock pot. My lasagna and spaghetti always had meat sauce. What on earth would I fill the plate with? Fortunately, SHE liked to cook. What a treasure! My favorite food had always been whatever somebody else made and put in front of me.
Cordelia was living with us as the Berlin Wall fell – the world was changing. By the time she left us, our little world had changed too. It was the beginning of paying attention to what we were eating, although we never became vegetarians.
Did I lose weight as a result of eating healthier? Actually no. First of all, the bad choices didn’t disappear overnight and I learned that I was perfectly capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too. I was always active and never technically overweight to begin with. However, I do credit my sudden awareness for the fact that as the obesity epidemic grew, I didn’t add to the 25 extra pounds I was already carrying.
I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware of nutrition when my children were young. Fortunately all three were active, fit and of normal weight. I’m old enough to remember the resistance of companies to listing the nutritional values on grocery labels, let alone posting/publicizing them at restaurants. In pre-Internet days the information wouldn’t have been easy to find even if I had been so inclined.
Parents want their children to do better than they did in all areas of life. At least in this one area it will be easier for them to make the right choices. Of course, it’s still up to them to do it.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
My car’s gas tank is always in the red zone according to my husband. He wonders how I can go so far on “fumes.” It’s just laziness on my part. I hate to spend the time at the pump so I do it as infrequently as possible.
This is not the case with my body’s fuel tank. I’m filling it all the time, especially in the morning about an hour before my workout. Most days “workout” means running. Twice a week it’s aerobics/weights class at the gym and a short tm session.
Yesterday the morning included some unusual events and as I began my run I realized that I hadn’t eaten breakfast. That had to be the first time in a decade. I seemed to be running OK in the beginning, but my stomach was growling as if to say, “where’s the WW toast, peanut butter and OJ you’ve been giving me every day”?
It was a strange sensation. I realized 2 cups of coffee and a menthol cough drop were not enough to keep me going. Come on, body! Can’t you use some of that fat that persistently clings to my thighs and rear end? There’s plenty of fuel there. What are you waiting for? A famine? Get busy converting it! My body did not listen to my orders and I kept slowing down and finally quit, planning to get back out there after lunch.
I know people who workout on an empty stomach and some who skip breakfast entirely all the time. Obviously, I’ll never be in that group. As for my car, my Dad used to complain about my gasoline habits too. He said that when I let the tank get that low, all the gunk is dredged up from the bottom and circulates through the engine hurting its performance. I wonder if there’s a parallel with my body?
Well, now back to the fat burning articles and advice. Maybe I should fiddle with my “octane levels?” I have more to learn.
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