Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Funny Summer

Weatherwise anyway. Still cloudy and cool days. Even cooler nights. We're pleased as punch not to have to have the air conditioner on, but here we are on the downslide of July, getting close to having to return to school, and the weather has not allowed us to get to the pool on a regular basis. This morning, I decided I'm tired of being cold. I want to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts, but the breeze is too cool for even this. Right now I'm in sweats to try and stay warm. Hopefully August will bring warmer days. The cool nights can stay as they are great sleeping weather.

The cool weather is great for working out. Being in the garage can be unbearable at times because of no air circulation. With the cool weather, I can walk/jog on the treadmill for a long time without getting overheated. I'm logging some serious miles, helping my little ladybug along her journey to 500 miles. I should have over 100 miles for the month, which is a good start for me. I do need to pick it up a bit and try to increase my speed. If I'm going to run a 5K, I need to work to up the speed. I don't want to cross the finish line in 30+ minutes. My goal is to stay under 30. My daughter is running again, getting ready to start cross country, and she said she'd run with me, so maybe with her I can come in under 30 minutes.

I've found my dream house. It's absolutely wonderful. It's an old, huge brick house on five acres. We went and walked around it the other evening. No one is living in it right now, and from what we've found out with some help from the internet is that a senior citizen was living there until October 2008. We're guessing this person either died or is now living with a relative or in a nursing home, and the family is wanting to sell the house. Words cannot describe this house. I stood in awe outside it the other evening, just mesmerized by its grandeur. I'm going to be in that house one day. My kids are going to be running around the five acres, enjoying the freedom that comes with country living. My husband is going to be mowing the lawn on his riding mower, loving being able to mow with a fun machine. We will be there. I just know it with all my heart.

One other activity I've started is meditation. I'm taking 15 minutes each morning to sit quietly, relaxing, listening, and being grateful. Since I started this, I feel like I'm walking around with a constant smile on my face. My husband noticed this the other day and asked what I'm so happy about. I just shrugged and said, "Everything." I like feeling this way. I'm now finding I want to learn about meditation, its benefits. There's so much out there on the subject it's difficult to sort through it all, but I did find a book on the bargain cart yesterday that I picked up because I'm familiar with the author, John Assaraf, and he is very knowledgeable about meditation, affirmations, and visualization. I'm on chapter 3 and am really enjoying what I'm reading. The concepts aren't difficult, but putting them into practice on a daily basis is. That's where I am: working to make these positive practices a part of my life without even thinking about it.

So, my parting for the day is a line from the book. This is what has spoken most loudly to me so far: "Most people focus on exactly what they don't want and wonder why it always shows up: They tune in to WIDW ("What I Don't Want") and are suprised that's the station they hear." I've already changed my station.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crummy Weather and Worries

This summer doesn't seem much like summer. Lots of clouds, lots of rain, lots of dreary days. The sun hasn't crushed us like in past summers, and I'm kind of happy about not using the air conditioner nearly as much, but it would be really nice to see the sun, be able to go to the pool with the kids, and just snooze on the lounge chair while basking in the warmth. This morning the sky is clear. I'm wondering how long it'll be before the clouds roll in.

Plus, we didn't take our annual summer vacation. Job worries. The hubby doesn't know yet if his job will continue. He's tense. I'm tense. Things will certainly change around here if he finds himself laid off. We've played a lot the last couple of year, which has been really fun, but we'll have to pull on the reins quite a bit if we find out the job is eliminated. We can make it on my salary, but we'll not be able to play like we used to. I'm okay with that. I've been saying all along we need to be more financially responsible. There'll be no way around it if hubby finds out he's out of a job.

For right now, we're just trudging along, hoping for the best. What else can we do? Maybe today, with the sun shining, the clear, cool air, this is a sign of better things to come.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Used to Hate Running

But now I don't. I started running in June to try and move some of these extra pounds that are refusing to budge. I'm up to two measly miles, but that's two more than I used to do, so I figure two's not so bad. I'm contemplating running a 5K which means I'll have to be able to run at least 3 miles nonstop. Thankfully, I found a great website called Couch to 5K that offers weekly workouts to help one get off the couch and into 5K shape. While I just found the site this week, thanks to the wonderful site called My Fitness Pal, I'm around Week 4 in training, so that's what I'll be working on this week.

Last night I walked/jogged a total of 6 miles, finishing all sweaty and tired. I love being sweaty and tired, though. Makes me feel like I've accomplished something. Six miles is the farthest I've ever gone in one workout. Now I'm thinking maybe a longer walk/jog on the weekend, maybe eight or nine miles. I can map out my route before I go, using another neat website, so I know exactly where I'm going the whole time. So many cool websites out there to help those of us trying to get in shape, make a lifestyle change, get away from the yummy but unhealthy foods surrounding us all the time. The internet truly is a wonder thing.

Now I'm considering getting a heart rate monitor. I'd like to know if I really am hitting my target heart rate and how many calories I'm burning each time I workout. When I put in my walk/jog times each evening and see how many extra calories I earned for the day, I feel motivated to keep it up, and I think a HRM would be a bit more accurate overall. My miles ticker is fun, too. It's cool to see the ladybug move further across the books after I input my miles for the day. Again, from another website that helps one get psyched for working out.

So, I'm off. Time to change and get my arse in gear.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


A week ago I stumbled upon a website called MyFitnessPal. I've been wanting to record everything I eat each day to see just how many calories I'm consuming, and I thought there should be something available online to help me out. Lo and behold, I found MFP. Love it. Absolutely love it. After the first week of keeping track of what I eat as well as the exercise I'm putting in each day, I lost 1.6 pounds. I'm now in week two, and my husband can tell I'm still losing even though I won't get on the scale until Friday. I can tell, too. My clothes fit better than ever, and I'm not afraid to look at myself in the mirror anymore. I had gotten to the point where I wouldn't look at myself naked in the mirror; I just hated how I looked. Now I stand there and examine myself from different angles, liking what I see.

I started this weight loss venture in December, right after Christmas, right after seeing a picture of me where it was sooooooo obvious that I'd gained quite a bit of weight over the last two years. I already knew it. I could see it in how my clothes didn't fit comfortably--I was in complete denial about this and continued to wear the clothes I had though I knew the seams were screaming for relief. Not wanting to see myself naked was a huge clue, too, which was about this same time. So I bought P90X and began the program. I stuck with it for the 90 days and lost 12 pounds. I did the before pics and after pics, the after pics showing some improvement from top to bottom. Upon finishing the 90 days, I switched over to walking. From April to the end of May, I walked everyday, but I wasn't really working out. I wasn't really watching what I was eating either. I was juicing, doing the veggies, the fruits, and yoyo-ing with the same four pounds, mosting staying at 151 and becoming very frustrated. That's when I decided to track everything I'm eating. That's when I found MFP.

At MFP I can record every little thing I eat, and I've been faithful about doing so. Knowing I can only have 1200 calories if I don't exercise helps me really think about what I'm putting into my body. The other day, I had a package of M & M's and found out there's 240 calories and 90 grams of fat. That put me over in calories and fat allotted for the day, so I had to adjust my exercise. I ended up walking/jogging for over an hour that day to compensate. I probably won't have M & M's for quite some time now since it's ingrained in me now how empty those calories were and how much fat one little package contains. It's not worth it.

And the exercising is going along swimmingly, as well. I'm now able to jog/run two miles without stopping. Yesterday, I walked/jogged over 5 miles. With MFP, I can track my exercise, getting a calories burned result that directly affects how many calories I'm allowed for the day. I start each day with 1200, but if I exercise like I did yesterday, I get an additional 400+ calories. I can either use them or not. Sometimes I use all of them, but like yesterday and a couple of days last week, I only use part of them. In general, I eat around 1400 calories a day. I'm not starving. I'm not feeling deprived. Rather, I'm feeling empowered because I know I'm in complete control of what I decide to eat, how long I decide to exercise.

I finally feel like I've found the key to getting these last 15 pounds off. Finally.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Monday, July 6, 2009

On Being a PBB

Yesterday, I was a PBB, a Parent Behaving Badly. I'm not proud of it, and having behaved so poorly haunted me all day, tormented me as I tried to fall asleep last night. I finally just had to tell myself I was never, ever going to behave like that again, no matter how frustrated I became. This is what being a parent of a basketball player has come to, and if it means I can't attend the games, I guess I'll just have to stay home and get the low-down from the kids afterwards.

I played basketball from fourth grade through high school. I was pretty good. For the last few years, I've coached a 4th/5th grade boys team. I know the game fairly well. When I see really bad reffing, I get so frustrated and sometimes say things I shouldn't say. That's what happened yesterday. At one point, while the offending ref was looking right at me, I mouthed, "You suck." He knew exactly what I said and smiled. Not too long after that, another parent sitting in another part of the bleachers yelled the same thing to the same ref. This ref turned and told the parent to get out of the gym, and at that point, personnel from the event showed up to escort the father out. I so wanted to jump up and yell at the ref the father was right, and if I'd had any guts I would have.

While I understand reffing isn't easy, it really doesn't seem all that difficult to make decent calls. Maybe I should take the test and get my reffing patch. Then I can ref and see just what it's like from the other side. Having that perspective might be just what I need to be able to sit in the bleachers and not go ballistic on the refs.