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It's all relative

Friday, June 26, 2009

The weather around here hasn't been the greatest lately. Rain, rain, and some more rain. Mostly cool temps. I think I heard that we got rain 18 out of the last 23 days or some such.

However, having suffered through 17 summers of real heat and humidity -- not to mention mosquitoes whose sole purpose seems to be to suck me totally dry of blood -- the weather hasn't been bothering me much. I'm enjoying the cooler temps, and especially the lack of mosquitoes. I'm sure we'll get some eventually, but by this point in Austin, I'd probably have literally hundreds of mosquito bites.

I do understand that the locals did suffer thru a horrendous winter, and that the nice summers up here are the reward for getting thru the winter (kind of like the Austin nice winters are the reward for making it thru the summer).

Next year maybe I'll be complaining right along with them. But for now, I can appreciate what I've got. Being somewhere different for so long changes your perspective.

It's the same with weight loss. We get so stuck in a rut, and we truly come to believe (I know I did) that we just can't lose the weight: it's our metabolism, our age, our illnesses, you fill in the blank. We just believe it.

But if we're just willing to suspend that belief, and take our baby steps, and keep slogging away at it, our perspective WILL change. Eventually we realize that all those things we thought were keeping us back really aren't. That change begins in the mind. If you believe you can do it, you will. Oh, maybe not on the timeline you thought, maybe not as fast as the next person, but if you believe it, it will happen.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 6/27/2009 10:18AM

    Oh I believe. I believe it is all up to me and my attitude. I believe that if I get up and move and stay away from the fridge I will lose weight and get healthier a whole lot faster than otherwise. And I believe that friends are the best way to help me do that. Friends like you who are wise and kind. Thank you!

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MTER67 6/27/2009 9:28AM

    Maybe that is a good thing about being in the military: just about the time you get sick of the weather in one place, it is time to pack up and move some place new! Glad your summer is off to a good (itch and bite free) start.

It is hard sometimes to exercise the patience necessary to see things through, especially when progress is so slow. But you are right, charnge starts in the head...once you make the changes up there, anything is possible.

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TRECECOOKS 6/26/2009 8:09PM

    Your last paragraph is so encouraging! Thanks so much, and I hope the rain will break soon!

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FITKAT2010 6/26/2009 8:55AM

    Mosquitos and weight loss....hmmm...never thought of that analogy. LOL

Good blog

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DDHEART 6/26/2009 8:46AM


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You can have your cake & eat it too . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

. . . sometimes.

I know that last week I wasn't as mindful of BLTs (bites, licks, & tastes) as I should have been. Nothing terrible, but I know I can do better -- and I know they really have a tendency to bite me in the a$$ (pun intended), so I buckled down this week & did much better.

Of course, I still had my veggie & fruitless day on Monday. And last night I had the opportunity to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant with my husband & some of his coworkers -- without knowing about it until a few hours beforehand.

The restaurant had an online menu, but no nutritional info -- hardly surprising, since it's a french/continental restaurant. And did I mention my WI is today?

Anyway, while I had some thoughts on what I would eat, I actually took a while to decide when we got there. But one thing I knew I would have: dessert. They had a molten lava cake with dulce de leche ice cream on the menu, and I wanted it.

I chose an asian slaw & sear ahi tuna appetizer. I shared it with my husband -- I was a bit disappointed in it. The tuna just didn't seem sushi-fresh. It wasn't bad, but it just could have been better. That was a totally healthy choice.

Then I had the duck for my entree. Now, you probably think duck is fattening, but it's actually a lot healthier than you think -- especially when it's not fried. It was very good, and I left several bites on the plate.

Then I shared my molten lava cake with my husband, and it was worth every single, sinful bite. I don't get dessert as a matter of course, but when I'm at a nice restaurant and I think the desserts will be good, I go for it -- in moderation. I also try to balance out my meal. I skipped the bread basket altogether, for instance.

Cake doesn't have to be off your list of indulgences -- not when it's a once in a while indulgence. It also helps to decide what you really want, and I knew I wanted dessert last night. The only reason it took me so long to decide on my entree was because I was waffling back & forth between the duck & the salmon. The salmon probably would have been the healthier choice, but I eat salmon all the time. I rarely get the chance to eat duck.

My parents & my brother & nephew will be here for a day next week. I'm making a nice, rich dessert -- a vegan banana chocolate coconut cake (leftovers will go to my husband's work potluck a few days later). I struggled with what to make for dinner -- I have a killer recipe for garlic pasta, but it's very rich. I finally settled on lasagna, which may sound fattening, but this one has pureed cauliflower & zucchini & tofu in it, and even my husband likes it (even if he does miss the meat).

I didn't lose much weight this week -- no big surprise there -- but I did lose. And I am totally satisfied with yesterday's dinner. I didn't feel sick or full or bloated -- I felt satisfied. That feeling will help me make healthier choices.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 6/26/2009 12:03AM

    Wow the dessert and lasagna dish you are going to make sound really good! I think all the cookbooks that you have collected have paid off--you always have such yummy meals! Your husband may miss the meat, but really, he doesn't know how good he's got it!

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DDHEART 6/25/2009 2:42PM

    Good for you!!! Since this is something we need and want to live with forever it's important to give ourselves the gift of being able to enjoy some of the wonderful foods we would otherwise crave if we denied ourselves. And you used some moderation, careful thought and then truly enjoyed your dessert. Too bad the seared Ahi tuna wasn't as good as you would have liked. That's one of my favorite things....oh and your duck...now that is also one of my favs...and the cake well....hey can I come out with you the next time? I think we have similar taste and could do sharesies!

You did great. Enjoy your visit with family and keep up the good work!

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Goals are like pricing

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My husband is very fond of watching all those flip my house type of shows. We were watching one this weekend, and despite 2 open houses & months on the market, not only had the house not sold, they hadn't even had an offer!

Now, I hope that I'm not jinxing us, but it does look like this time our house will sell. No open houses, and in less than 2 weeks on the market (but there was almost 2 months of work before it even got on the market).

We might have been able to get more money for it if we'd been willing to hang onto 2 houses longer, but we priced it aggressively to sell.

Goals are like that, too. Set them too high, and you're likely to burn out with frustration and give up. Set them too low, and you're just spinning your wheels, never getting anywhere. And you've got to do the work.

There was another house for sale down the road, which was actually priced a bit lower than ours. I went to see it one day with the realtor before we moved. It was a nice house -- it didn't have the gas pipeline running thru its backyard like our house did, so their yard appeared larger. They'd put in new vinyl, but it didn't looked like they'd painted & they certainly hadn't put in new carpet. They didn't do the work -- and despite pricing it reasonably, it took much longer to sell than our house did.

I think the biggest trick when it comes to goals is to set something reasonable. Weight goals aren't generally reasonable for me. Weight comes off when it wants to come off, and my body has always been that way. I can eat perfectly and exercise reasonably and still gain weight sometimes. So while it's not a bad idea to have a numbers goal to work towards (for me), it works better if I'm not disappointed when I don't reach it.

If I'd set a goal the same as the first time I lost weight with WW, I'd be too thin and it probably would have been too hard, too. My husband said the other day that I'm probably at the weight my body wants to be -- only I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet, because it's still not a healthy weight for me. And it's about being healthy. Or at the very least being strong so that if something does happen to effect my health, I'm ready to meet the challenge.

Goals I can control? What I put in my mouth. How much I move. Going to weekly meetings. These goals will see me through to the ultimate goal -- and beyond.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 6/24/2009 11:12PM

    Great blog. Control what we can. Let go of the stuff we can't. Do the work that's required and stop whining about having to do it. Be patient and we will eventually be successful. Those are words we can all live by. Yay!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 6/24/2009 8:51PM

    I agree, manageable mini-goals will get us there every time! For me, it's about living a healthy life-style; with the weight loss a benefit (a much loved benefit). Such wisdom you have - thanks for sharing!

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DDHEART 6/24/2009 2:43PM

    I loved this! We all tend to want the number on the scale to be whatever we think that magic number is and our bodies have a way of taking time or more likely trying to tell us something....like in my case at 57 the number may be unrealistic. But, the goals of controling what you can control and work toward being healthier as you said to be stronger when faced with a physical illness or challenge....these are the goals to go after. It's part of my idea of not calling this a diet....it's really not about the weight...yes I'm happy that I'm wearing a smaller size but the real reason for that happiness is that I feel better, have more energy and less aches and pains. So, maybe your husband has a point about the weight but don't throw the towel in....continue to do it for your health. emoticon

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TRECECOOKS 6/24/2009 11:34AM

    You speak great wisdom, Grasshopper!

That's why I am better off rewarding behaviors I can control (what I eat, whether I work out, etc.), than rewarding weight-loss.

Hey, do you know anything about the new WW Momentum plan? I'm curious.

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FITKAT2010 6/24/2009 7:05AM

    Living a healthy LIFESTYLE like you are doing will result in health/fitness and perfect weight.

Those are great life-long goals.

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Running the Sahara

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

That's a documentary I watched while I was sick & laying on the couch all day (sort of ironic, eh?). I was sucked into it because it said Matt Damon was in it (he's the narrator) & it's about Africa, which fascinates me.

It was all about 3 elite runners who decide to run across the Sahara. I guess because it's there & no one had done it before. They plan for 80 days at the most, but it takes them 110 days.

I have to admit, personally, what is the point? To see how much punishment a human body can take? The doctor that goes along with them says he wouldn't do it again -- he doesn't run it, he's in a van with them, but basically he was saying when all is said and done, it wasn't such a great idea.

I really struggle with the whole pushing yourself thing vs not overtraining. I wish someone could tell me what the exact right amount of exercise is. Take yesterday, for instance. I hadn't really planned to do all that much -- walk the dogs in the morning & do a treadmill walk/run workout in the afternoon.

And that is what I did, plus the usual housework & DH & I decided to go out last evening to walk around Home Depot & Lowes to get some ideas about remodeling our kitchen.

I racked up over 16,000 steps, which is almost my record. I didn't plan to. I'd actually racked up a fair amount of steps the previous day, too.

I didn't eat very well yesterday, though. Not a single veggie passed these lips, nor a fruit -- unless you count my cranberry juice in the morning, which I suppose counts since it's all juice, no added sugar. Very unusual for me. I made myself some of my favorite shells & mock cottage cheese for lunch, and ate a big ole bowl -- and wasn't real hungry for hours (at least they were whole wheat shells). Then had pizza for dinner -- only no veggies there, because I chose a white pizza (which was so good -- like having cheese bread for dinner).

My plan today is to get back to healthier eating, and probably to take a "rest" day from exercise, except for walking the dogs, of course. I'm experimenting a little. Because I walk the dogs every day, I never really take a rest day. But I'm going to try easing up a bit on the amount of exercise I get; I'll still walk the dogs every day, but I'll try to make sure that at least 2 days a week, that's all I do. We'll see what happens.

One other interesting thing from the documentary: one of the runners says he only got into running in his 40s. He was sedentary before that. He's done well, not because he's a talented runner, but because he works at it. He just does it.

I also think about those elite women runners you see -- you know, the ones running in their bikinis (really, how uncomfortable that must be!). I don't want to look like that. Yes, in the abstract, I admire their bodies. But I don't want to lose my curves; that's not my goal. I like my curves; I couldn't always say that, but I do. Running 2-3 times a week will be enough for me.

I did, also, ease up on my pace with my treadmill intervals yesterday. 5 mph for 5 minutes I can do -- but it's still just a little too hard for me. So I dropped down to 4 mph for the 5 minute interval yesterday; probably a little too easy for me, so I'll go a little faster next time. The C25K training guide does suggest going 1/2 mile in 5 minutes, but it does also say to do what you can.

I don't think I'll ever truly love running. I don't find it the escape so many seem to. What I like, tho, it was it does for me. In the long run (ha, ha), I get more endurance and more energy, not to mention a little fat burning boost, from my "running". I'll keep at it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAKMAN 6/23/2009 8:40PM

    I would love to be able to run the Sahara. Not sure I actually WANT to run it - jsut want to be able to do it. What I love about SP is finding all the ways we each go about getting healthy. Some run. Some walk. Some swim. Some bike. Some lift weights. Some are of the "E - all of the above" variety.

I like to run. You know that. But it doesn't matter what I like. What matters is what each one of us likes. Oh, and that we then get out there and do it.

But I would like to be able to run across the Sahara. Now that I can run around my block!

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EOSTAR_45 6/23/2009 1:35PM

    When I saw your blog title, I thought that maybe you had decided to run the sahara!! So I immediately hopped over because I cannot imagine anyone wanting to run in sand. I saw a different documentary that mentioned that the sand in the sahara desert was the finest in the entire world!. So running the sahara means running in really fine sand and high temperatures during the day, cold temps at night, sand storms... Wow! That's amazing. I guess some people just go for those type of extreme adventures. I say, no thank you.

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MTER67 6/23/2009 8:54AM

    I haven't seen the documentary, "Running the Sahara", but I did read an article about the man in the film. He is a recovering heroin addict, isn't he? I believe that people with addictive personalities are drawn to running. There is something about the sport that appeals to people who "latch" onto things and don't let go. I don't think I would ever want to attempt something like that, but I understand the kind of passion that would lead someone to want to do it.

What you are doing in your life is not really so different, is it? You are doing more today than you could have done just last year--and I think that is key--always pushing yourself to do more, bit by little bit. You will eventually run your 5K; then you will run one faster; then you might try a 10K and a HM or even a full marathon.

Maybe running will never be your "thing," but heck, maybe it will! At least you are giving yourself the chance to find out what you can do--and that's kind of like challenging yourself to run across the Sahara!

Great blog, thanks.

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FITKAT2010 6/23/2009 7:19AM

    Only you can tell if you are doing too much exercise. I do 25,000 steps and work full time as a housecleaner. That's good for me.

However, the eating program has to be adhered to. This is actually what you need to get in check.

The body needs fuel-good, healthy, nutritious fuel, to feed the vital organs including the brain. Your energy level will be adequate for you to exercise and you will be happier if you do both at the same time.

I would really recommend getting determined and commited to your HEALTHY eating program.

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Change is possible

Monday, June 22, 2009

People can surprise you. Even after decades, sometimes.

Getting my husband to walk the dogs has always been something of a battle. He does it, but grudgingly. The sad part is that it's more for him than it is for the dogs -- I give them a good walk in the morning, and while another walk at night is nice, it may or may not be necessary.

And getting him to walk with me on the weekends, when he doesn't have to rush off to work? Forgettaboutit. Until now.

I don't know why, but suddenly he's started to go with us on our morning walks on the weekends. Without too much grumbling. Maybe it's because I've started to go with him on the evening walks, having gotten used to walking the dogs twice a day while living by myself anyway -- and often needing that extra boost to my steps, anyway.

Or maybe it has to do with the cooler weather. The summers in Austin are so hot that I had to walk the dogs immediately after feeding them in the mornings; otherwise it was too hot. My husband is decidedly not a morning person. It's cooler here, so we walk later in the morning. OTOH, it's not hot in Austin all year round.

Yesterday really took the cake, tho. Altho he started out on our morning walk with us, he soon turned back because his stomach was bothering him. Usually I skip the evening walk on Sundays, since there's no mail to get & it's nice to have a break every once in a while. Only last night DH actually suggested we walk. Despite the fact that my tea would get cold, who was I to argue with a husband actually wanting to walk?

Normally our evening walks are just to the end of the block & back. I've bitten my tongue, wanting to get in longer walks occasionally -- once again, mostly for DH. But last night when we got to the end of the block, despite the fact that I was having a coughing fit, DH wanted to go on. We ended up doing a fairly decent walk. I don't know what got into him, but I was pleased.

I don't expect this behavior to keep up thru the winter. It will probably once again to be a battle to get him outside when the weather is really cold. Heck, some days it's still a battle. But there's been a major change here.

If my DH can change, you can bet that any of us can!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 6/22/2009 11:23PM

    Yay! I know this is something that you have hoped for for a long time, but never thought you'd see! Maybe it's got nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with him enjoying getting out of the house and spending time with you--which neither one of you was able to do when you lived apart. Very happy to hear that he's been joining you!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 6/22/2009 8:35PM

    Ah, that's nice! Way to go DH! Keep up the good work, both of you!

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RASCALSMOMMA 6/22/2009 4:00PM

    Girl, do not THINK of the W word. it is SUMMER; get him into the habit and maybe he'll surprise you. Have a nice stroll tonight! Laurie

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TRECECOOKS 6/22/2009 3:52PM

    I am so happy for you! Sometimes I think it's just all about the companionship. . .

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EOSTAR_45 6/22/2009 3:47PM

    Wow, amazing isn't it? We can all change for the better. I like that thought.

Comment edited on: 6/22/2009 3:47:47 PM

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FITKAT2010 6/22/2009 6:09AM

    I'm glad he shook up your expectations. Way to go DH!

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