Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Miss Kitty goes through phases. Sometimes, I am THE SERVICE. I am not allowed to touch her. Or I am allowed to pet her, but only where she wants and for a prescribed period of time - and if I violate these limitations, I will be bitten or clawed.
And sometimes, I get the cold shoulder, and I am not allowed to violate the rules of the cold shoulder...or worse, fail to notice that I am receiving the cold shoulder or attempt to appease her with treats.
Typical cat, I know.
Right now, she's in a very affectionate phase. I woke up last night three separate times because she had climbed back up on top of me, and was rubbing her head against my face and/or purring loudly.
And no, she didn't need anything. I'm careful to fill up food and water bowls before I go to bed, because she is VERY insistent when she's hungry.
I've slowly become more and more accustomed to Miss Kitty climbing on me. It has become her prerogative, if I am foolish enough to form a lap - or worse, I lay on the floor, whether or not I'm doing a physical activity in the process - then I will have a cat climbing on top of me.
And becoming indignant if I try to remove her...
But for the first time last night, she actually walked across my face. Literally. She was curled up on one side of my pillow. She got up, stretched, and then climbed over my face so that she could curl up on the other side of my pillow.
I've officially become furniture. Worse - furniture that pets.
I will never sleep through the night again...
Thursday, December 05, 2013
I can't believe how fast 2013 has gone!
I've been seeing reports that the first big winter storm of the year will be hitting Indiana tonight. It seems like it should be summer still, but it's time to put away the shorts and tanks, and pull out the sweaters and coats for another winter.
I'm looking at this, and reminding myself that I wanted to accomplish a lot in 2013. The first goal I made was related to holiday weight gain - I went from 155 to 166 through Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. Considering I got up to 175 (maybe a little higher) as I quit smoking, this seems so superfluous! My health is not the number on the scale, I know that. But I'm also in a position where I need to lose almost 30 pounds, and wondering why I didn't appreciate being just 5-10 pounds from my goal weight while I was there!
The second goal was that I would not make resolutions for 2013. I set goals for myself, and then wrote a break-up letter with some of the trigger foods that I wanted to cut out or drastically reduce in my diet. And as I looked at that list of "bad" foods, I did manage to reduce or eliminate many of them. I used to hit a quick burrito place once a week (usually, Chipotle but sometimes Taco Bell). Now, I only go through once or twice a month. I also used to order Chinese take-out every Friday, and pizza almost every Saturday. Now, I order them both once a month or less.
The number on the scale does NOT tell the whole story. Just because it has gone up does not mean that I am less healthy than I was. In 2013, so far, I've already quit smoking (by Christmas, I'll be at 4 months!!) and transitioned to eating at home and eating healthier foods.
I have lots of other goals, and I'm working toward meeting them. I had wanted to make it out of Virginia on my virtual run by the end of the year, but I'm a little behind. I should be out before my next birthday, though, and I'm ahead of schedule on my half-marathon training program! I'm planning to run it just after my birthday (end of March).
But I'll be doing what I did last year: no resolutions. They are too restrictive and inflexible. And no negative reinforcement. Nothing that makes me feel like I failed this past year, or makes me feel like I will have failed if I don't hit a certain number by a certain date. Instead, I will find a way to motivate myself to meet my goals through positive reinforcement.
The words NO and LOSE will not be part of my New Year's vocabulary!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Thanksgiving at my house is usually pretty tricky. My parents and brother are solid meat-and-potatoes people. They don't want to give up Hawaiian bread beef dip (with chipped beef, mayonaise, and sour cream), turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, or fluffy white dinner rolls.
I'm a vegetarian, trying to transition to a healthy vegan diet, who has a sensitivity to gluten. We're very different, to say the least. So usually, my parents make the standard Thanksgiving fare and I bring my own.
This year, I tried a couple of new recipes, and one old standard:
This was a brand-new recipe for me, and it turned out really well! My family is NOT used to seitan - but even though they were not used to the texture, they loved the flavor. I'm hoping this one will grow on them, because I loved it and it was very festive!
Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash
I roasted the squash whole, and used the rinds as bowls for the rice. This one was pretty good - but I think I'll be changing it next time. As much as I love acorn squash, the orange zest would be so much better with cranberries instead.
Raw Walnut and Mushroom Stuffing
I originally posted the pictures of how to make it here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
The funniest part of the night was watching the dogs watching the rest of the turkey being put away. They got a few bites each, but they were so focused and intent!
Monday, November 25, 2013
I've been thinking a lot about some of my healthier habits from when I was at my lowest weight...and how those healthy habits have really fallen off my radar in the last several years.
My lowest weight was 142-145, about 4-5 years ago. I had quit smoking the previous November, and I was at my highest weight ever at New Year's - about 215-ish. I was depressed, self-conscious, and I wanted to change.
It was July of the NEXT year when I hit that goal weight. I know that a lot of people who want to lose weight will think that taking a year and a half to lose 75 pounds is too slow, but it was right for me.
Of course, it wasn't consistent. I would be really "good" for several weeks, and then the scale would stop moving. Or I would slip once, and use it as an excuse to backslide. Anyhow, my weight loss was more of a staircase, with the occasional regains.
I didn't do everything right that first time. It was before I had created this account. I put too much emphasis on cardio, and not enough on diet. And my diet (and by diet, here, I mean eating habits) was far from healthy...way too much salt and packaged foods, not enough whole foods or homemade foods.
Hence the reason I regained.
But there were three habits I had back then, that I am thinking I need to focus on reintroducing. Especially since I've started getting involved with the organized bike rides...and realized that I have trouble biking far, uphill, or for longer than half an hour or so!
Healthy Habit #1: Biking, biking everywhere!
More than anything, this was due to unreliable transportation. I lived about 5.5 miles from the office...and almost the entire way home was uphill. So making that ride, even just a couple of days a week, made a huge difference in my total activity level.
Healthy Habit #2: The Hermit
This one wasn't so healthy in some ways...I almost never left my house. I'm a lot more active now, I volunteer and go out with friends. But that means a lot of temptation. From french fries with my veggie burger to a local microbrew or glass of wine, I am tempted to add on an extra hundred calories here or there. This doesn't mean I go over my goals...but it's empty calories, excess sugar and sodium, and less home cooking.
Healthy Habit #3: The Morning Torture
Another big reason I regained: I HATED exercise. Yoga wasn't too bad, but everything else was the elliptical and really hard workouts that, until they started getting easier, literally felt like torture. Yet somehow I stuck with it long enough to hit my goal weight. The worst one, and the one I made sure I forced myself to do at least twice a week? The Biggest Loser Cardio Max, first thing in the morning.
After the last two bike rides, I've come to realize that my biking muscles have atrophied. I'm always at the end of the line of bikes, and breathing hard trying to keep up.
When I was riding several times a week? I actually passed cars. Yes, it only happened going downhill in residential areas...but I DID pass cars. I would also run all my errands, and think nothing of riding for an hour or more at a time!
I just pulled the Biggest Loser DVD out of the stand. I've been doing the Denise Austin Quick Burn, and it's been getting easier. So I assumed I could do the whole Biggest Loser DVD.
I had forgotten how hard it was!
I had to take several breaks, and ultimately didn't get to the end despite my best efforts to push myself further!
A calorie does not equal a calorie, and a minute does not equal a minute. I've been burning lots of calories, and wracking up lots of minutes, with longer and lower intensity workouts. But I've missed the harder workouts that actually challenged my body! And I've been missing out on the active lifestyle part - it's not the same to do an hour long workout as it is to stay active and bike and walk over the course of the day.
I'm bringing these healthy habits back!
And adding in my own goals. I certainly wasn't running before, and now I'm up to 7-7.5 miles on Saturdays!! And I definitely won't give up Zumba class once a week, it's my favorite workout!
But I need to add back in the other stuff. Being active in the morning and throughout the day. Making sure I'm watching my calories, and avoiding eating out.
The first time around, it was about weight and inches. And don't get me wrong, that matters too.
But I also want to be at the front of the pack on organized bike rides! When we get to our destination, I want to jump off and go on with my day, instead of needing to catch my breath!
At my lowest weight, I also had my strongest body. I had the most endurance, the most stamina, for the activities I did then. And it's the strength and stamina I miss most, and want to get back. My weight will fall where it's meant to if I live the healthiest and most balanced life I can - so I'll just focus on a few goals!
1) Pack my lunch, 5 days a week.
2) Eat dinner at home, 6 days a week.
3) Limit alcohol to 3 drinks a week.
4) Run 15 miles/week.
5) Bike 15 miles/week.
Here is my target exercise breakdown:
Monday: Bootcamp, ST-arms/core, 15 minutes stretching
Tuesday: Run and/or bike, 15 minutes stretching
Wednesday: Zumba, ST-legs, 15 minutes stretching
Thursday: Run and/or bike, 15 minutes stretching
Friday: Bootcamp, total body ST, 15 minutes yoga stretching
Saturday: Run and/or bike, maybe dance! Have fun with this day!
Sunday: Rest. Gentle yoga/walking at the most.
What do you think? I don't want to suffer from "exercise ADD," but I also want to make sure I'm having fun and not getting bored with my workouts! Would I be stretching myself too thin with this routine?
Saturday, November 09, 2013
If you don't know what Cranksgiving is - that's okay! A year ago, it was brand new to me too!!
Today was the annual Bicycle Lafayette Food Finders donation drive. We pick up donations, lead a quick workshop on all of the ways to carry groceries by bike, and then bike it all to Food Finders!
This year, we hauled a little over 300 pounds...and I was late to the event, so I didn't have much to carry. But altogether, I biked about 16 miles today...getting to the start point, then to Food Finders, then to Arni's for lunch (they donated 15% of all proceeds to Food Finders today only!) and then home.
I won't lie, I didn't think I could do it. And I was sweating bullets at a few points, we had to go up a pretty big, long hill and the wind was against us for most of the trip!
I woke up and seriously wanted to snuggle back into bed and skip it...but I'm really glad now that I did it!
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