Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The equivalent of tongue-tied

I guess that would be writer’s block, hmm?

Not much to say this morning. I try to throw up a daily post during the week, taking the weekends off. (Which is ridiculous, because I don’t have a 9-to-5 weekday job; I have seven-day weekends every week.) But sometimes there’s just nothing in my brain that needs to come out.

Lessee, I finished painting the end table bases yesterday and they look great. I recovered the lampshades and they look “homemade with love,” if you know what I mean. But they’ll do; I might be overly critical of my fabric-glue skills. My husband didn’t even notice! I guess if they were truly ugly he would have said something.

I’m knitting four little bunnies for Easter gifts for the four younger grandchildren. I think the 8- and 12-year-olds are beyond the stuffed bunny stage, and I’m sure they do, too. This is the simplest pattern in the world – knit a square, sew a few strategic stitches, stuff it and you’re done.

I found time over the weekend to walk on the treadmill both days, about 40 minutes each time. Today looks like a great day to walk outside. I have a haircut appointment at 1 p.m. and my volunteer gig at the prison tonight, so that means a morning walk and no time to work on any house projects today.

I’m anxious to start sanding and priming a curio cabinet that is currently a hideous gold color. I’m going to paint it dark red, to match our couch, and then apply a mahogany stain to it. Then I’m going to sand some of the edges to make it look all shabby-chic. I just hope it works.

Still maintaining that 8-pound loss. I’m pretty much convinced that in order to lose more I’ll have to go back to Phase 1 for more than two weeks. I’m not quite ready yet, but I’m getting there.

I wasn’t so tongue-tied after all, was I?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Unfinished business

I’m the kind of person who, as a rule, likes to finish a project in one session. There are obvious exceptions, of course – knitting comes immediately to mind. But I don’t really count knitting as a ‘project.’ Knitting is more of a process for me, something to keep my hands busy while I watch television sports.

It is for this reason that I’m not much of a seamstress. When I do sew, I’ll cut the pattern out one day and set the entire next day aside for the actual sewing part. Which is, most of the time, unrealistic.

And because I know this about myself, it’s pretty freaking amazing that anything ever got painted. Buying the supplies was one thing; actually moving the furniture, taping the windows/woodwork, putting the rest of my life on hold and opening the paint can was another. I can hide the supplies in a box behind the couch and pretend they’re not there. But, eventually, I have to bite the bullet and accept that my living space is going to be chaotic for a few days.

I’d love to report that the painting/redecorating project is done, done, done, but alas – it isn’t. The part of the space remaining to be painted is very tall and I’m … not. I need to borrow a tall ladder before I can continue. Do you know how much this is driving me crazy?

It’s kind of like a body remodeling project, isn’t it? We decide what we’re going to do, get rid of the junk, gather the proper supplies and get started, full of enthusiasm and energy. In the beginning we don’t think about how long it’s going to take or if we ever will, actually, finish. We tweak it as we go along, compromising on some things, adding something new once in a while, trying different workout regimens or recipes. All to keep things interesting and to give us the illusion that we’re making progress.

I ran out of paint for the end tables yesterday, which means a trip to Lowe’s to replenish supplies. And since Wal-Mart is right across the street from Lowe’s, I might as well replenish some food supplies while I’m at it.

I might even pick up some fabric for a little sewing project I have in mind.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Quote Day

The difference between what we do
and what we are capable of doing
would solve most of the world’s problems.

~ Gandhi

I’m perfectly willing to let my President solve the world’s problems. He seems to know what he’s doing.

I’m going to assume Gandhi’s advice works on a personal level, as well.

I lost a bunch of weight more than a dozen years ago. (Today is my older granddaughter’s 12th birthday, and I know I was thin when she was born. Not thin-ner – thin.) I lost that weight via a combination of Xtreme dieting and Xtreme exercising. Meaning, I was eating an almost-no-fat diet and I worked out two hours a day. Every day. In a gym. And I ran a mile to and from the gym. Every day.

I may not be capable of doing that any more, considering I’m a dozen years older. Age takes its toll on our stamina and abilities. But the truth is, I’m not even willing to try.

The no-fat diet was a mistake. Yes, I lost weight, but I also lost the ability to stay warm. My skin was dry, flaky and itchy; my hair was dull and lifeless. The only meal I enjoyed was breakfast, which was a hot, fresh-from-the-0ven bagel. No cream cheese. No butter. Just a plain bagel, which I ate at my desk when I got to work.

The workout plan probably wasn’t a mistake. Obviously I handled it, even looked forward to it. Could I do it again? Maybe. But I’d have to do a complete overhaul of my thinking in order to even come close. Working out in a gym – my gym – was very motivating. The trainers all knew my name and had seen me get smaller. I knew many of the members and enjoyed talking with them while we sweated it out on the stairmaster or treadmill. My home gym doesn’t have the same rah-rah atmosphere. The equipment is here, but I don’t have any cheerleaders.

I can certainly walk outside for two hours at a stretch, and have done it many times. There’s something about being outdoors that makes time kind of slip away. When I’m on the rower or treadmill, though, I’m watching the clock the whole time.

And time is the key, it seems, for me to burn enough calories to make a difference.

This past week I’ve been doing a different kind of workout, the all-day, work-your-ass-off, day-laborer kind of physical activity that stretches your body and makes your muscles sore, but doesn’t raise your heart rate or burn fat. So it’s been another week of seeing the same number on the scale.

What I’ve learned from all this house-work is that I’m capable of performing sustained activity, and that I enjoy it. Most of the time. It’s tiring, but I can see progress at the end of the day.

I just don’t get that satisfaction from exercise machines.

Not only is it time for change in D.C., it’s time for a change in my attitude.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Debbi's Believe It or Not

I miss running. No, I really do! Now that the weather has officially turned from winter to spring, I feel ready to run. I had hoped to lose more weight by the time I started stepping it up, but oh, well.

Next time I hit the road (which, due to having to apply more paint to the woodwork, and then putting the living room back together, won’t be today) I’ll be doing an alternating walk/run plan until I can continuously run three miles without stopping.

You runners know what that means … a training program is in my future. But it’s a distant future; I have no spring or summer races planned. Might do Richmond again in November. (But don’t tell my husband.)

Like Marla, I’m finding that all-day physical labor can accomplish great and unexpected things. (Marla, I tried to leave you a comment but it took too long. The problem is on my end. It’s called dial-up.) I’m waking up every morning a little sore from the previous day’s activity – something that just doesn’t happen doing an hour on the treadmill.

Painting is, apparently, a full-body exercise. You just can’t paint baseboards standing up; there is a lot of stretching and bending and kneeling, oh my!

Knowing that I miss running will help me find time for adding it to a full schedule. This painting project is just the beginning. In the near future I’ll be painting another section of the living room (the one where all the furniture is right now), putting a porcelain tile backsplash up in the kitchen, painting picture frames, two end table bases and our dining room table and chairs, spray-painting four bi-fold louvered doors (and more of those in the future), spray-painting all of the wrought-iron patio furniture and planting our “recession” garden.

Honestly, I love being this busy. I wistfully thought about all the time in the past I’ve spent sitting on my ass playing computer Solitaire, and I’ll take doing things any day.

Believe it or not.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Figuring things out

While I was taping around woodwork (and taping, and taping – three sliding glass doors and two doorways, ugh) yesterday, I realized that part of why I am so frustrated with this painting project is that the Clean House team cleans, paints, organizes and redecorates in two or three days! And that guy on 24-Hour Design works a multi-room miracle in a day.

And, of course, by the time I see the results, the whole process has been compressed into a 30- or 60-minute program. With commercials.

I need a reality check, not a reality show. Heh.

Two things have made the process palatable: Diet Coke with Lime and my iPod, which I’ve set to shuffle through the Rock genre while I work.

I’ve been meaning to mention the company that fixed my broken iPod screen. If you ever need anything done to your little magic music-maker, I can highly recommend Juice Your iPod. I was apprehensive about sending my device to an unknown company, so I called them first and they said they get calls like mine all the time. They gave me a time frame (and they returned mine well within that window), charged a fair price and even sent a little bonus gift in the return package.

The taping yesterday took between three and four hours, and then I painted one doorway and one of the sliders, which took 90 minutes. Two sliders and one doorway to go (and the connecting baseboards, which I can really zip through) and I’ll be ready for … the second coat.

This is no longer Debbi’s Redecorating Project. I’ve re-christened it Debbi’s Neverending Redecorating Project.

Note to Lori: I love going to Lowe’s. I am inspired anew every time I wander through the aisles. My husband, naturally, hates going with me, since all he sees are dollar signs and all he hears is ‘cha-ching!’

Monday, March 23, 2009

Derailed

I’ve been painting my living/dining/kitchen area since Wednesday. Wednesday! It’s still not finished. In fact, not much painting happened at all over the weekend. Who knew I would suddenly have so much other stuff to do that I couldn’t finish a job that needs to be finished.

I am sick of walking around furniture. I am sick of eating dinner at a table with paint cans for a centerpiece. I am sick of blue tape. I am sick of bare windows. I am sick of uncovered electrical outlets.

I haven’t had time to walk outside (although I’ve been getting plenty of exercise), and the weather has been just about perfect. I want to be raking dead leaves off the perennials and working on the flower beds. Instead I’ve been chained inside doing a lot of necessary tasks, some of which have been income-producing – their only saving grace.

Whine, whine, whine. Oh, and it’s 5 a.m., too. I’ve been up since 3. Insomnia has been a rare event in my lifetime, but lately? One or two nights a week I wake up between 1 and 3 and can’t get back to sleep.

Maybe I’ll get some painting time in today. After I deliver a graphic design job. And get the oil changed. And go to the bank. And, and, and …

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Quote Day

At first, dreams seem impossible,
then improbable,
and eventually inevitable.
~ Christopher Reeve

Who am I to argue with Superman?

When I calculate the amount of weight I have to lose to reach a normal BMI, it does indeed seem impossible, particularly when I think about how many months – or, actually, years – I’ve been trying to lose it. The lowest weight I’ve been recently was in early fall of 2006, when I squeaked in below 160 and fit into a size 12.

(As I’m sure you know, that dress was vanity-sized. I weighed 135 in high school and wore a size 12. That was when a 12 was a 12. And I felt like the fattest girl in 10th grade.)

I’ve gained 20 pounds since 2006, making my goal weight approximately 45 pounds away.

Sometimes I feel like it might as well be 450. I put a lot of effort into eating right and working out consistently for damned little reward.

And then, of course, I trip over a Milky Way and feel like everything I’ve done is a total waste.

There are days, though – sweet, unexpected days – when the scale plays around with a new, lower number, one I haven’t seen in a long time, and my impossible dream does feel like something I could actually reach.

Right now I’d have to say I’m in the “improbable” stage. I feel fairly certain I can lose some weight, but getting to my goal is a far-away, distant dream. I spend very little time regretting what I should have/could have done differently, though.

Everything I’ve done has gotten me to this point, and I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way. For me, bread, crackers and starchy carbs, along with sugar, are guaranteed to stall my weight loss. The first two weeks of South Beach Phase II were fun for me, but I didn’t lose any weight.

I didn’t gain any, either, meaning I’ve already experienced how much fun maintenance can be! So I’m trying to stick with lean protein and vegetables with fruit in limited quantities to see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll throw in a whole-wheat pasta meal once a week or so. I stayed the same weight again this week, but I blame that on the candy bar.

Each morning is an opportunity to renew my commitment. And follow my dream.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Many thanks …

for your comments yesterday. I managed to stay on course, and hope to do the same today. Buying that Milky Way was a deliberate act of defiance and didn’t solve anything. But wouldn’t it be great if a candy bar could fix stuff? We wouldn’t need plumbers any more!

The time-sucking activity du jour will be painting my living room. Well, most of it, anyway. I need another gallon of paint to do the center part of it, but I have enough to do all the walls and woodwork. That should keep me out of the pantry and refrigerator, doncha think? (Our living/dining/kitchen area is a hexagon. The center of the hexagon is one wall of the kitchen backed by some built-in bookshelves and a fireplace. That’s the part that will remain unpainted until I can get back to Lowe’s.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Off the wagon

I ate a Milky Way candy bar last night, a totally emotional response to a completely out-of-my-control event.

For some people faced with a stressful situation, the automatic response is a clenched stomach along with, “I’m just so ____________ I can’t eat a bite.” Me? Not so much. Food is the automatic go-to-source of comfort and calm when things get tense.

So today I’ll get back on the horse. I have a big day planned, full of activity that will take my mind off food. Dinner will be a simple salad of romaine and salad vegetables topped with goat cheese and grilled chicken.

Who knows … maybe by dinner time I’ll be so tired I won’t be able to eat a bite. Heh.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Proof positive

A day or two without bread or pasta and BAM! A pound gone.

I could cry. I was really enjoying the starchy carbs. Why is it that the things I love (except my husband, most of the time) end up hurting me? (I’m looking at you, alcohol and penne and whole-wheat crackers!)

A quick note for Denise: I looked into Hughesnet just this weekend, as a matter of fact, and it’s a little pricey for home use. Like almost $50 more per month than my dial-up connection, plus purchasing equipment. I’d rather spend the equipment money on an iPhone and the extra monthly money adding data service to my wireless phone plan.

But that ain’t happening for a while either.

Busy day today … I haven’t thanked you guys for stopping by here for a while, so thanks. Sometimes (and I know I’m not the only one) I feel like I’m writing into a void, and then I get a couple thoughtful and helpful and encouraging comments that make me realize there are people out there who care about what goes on here in the Middle of Nowhere. I’m grateful.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Quote Day

Don’t let the fear
of striking out
hold you back.
~ Babe Ruth


Okay, so here you are reading a blog that you know is about losing weight, no matter what the title suggests.

(I'm up to running continuously for a tenth of a mile now. Aren't you impressed? And the knitting? Two cotton fingertip towels for the remodeled bathroom are the most recent finished projects. Yawn.)

I will assume, since you're reading a weight-loss blog, that you're knowledgeable about why (and whether) you should lose weight, and some of the effective ways to go about doing so.

But most of you – like me – have tried everything, literally, and are still waiting for the magic to happen.

Could Babe Ruth's message hold the key?

I've read, many times, that fear of success can hold one back. If I get too thin, men will stalk me, my friends will be jealous, my mother will think I'm sick, yadda-yadda-yadda.

But what about fear of failure? I'm so accustomed to failing at losing weight that I assume, right from the get-go, that no "diet" or "eating plan" will work for me. I'm not afraid, I'm convinced! But then there's always a little part of my pea-sized brain that thinks, 'But no, this one will work, this is the one.'

I approached the South Beach plan with a different attitude. I just wanted to try it out as an experiment, to see how I felt. If I lost weight, all the better. What I've learned so far is:
  • I shouldn't eat sugar or refined white flour.
  • I need to limit whole-wheat items to once every couple of days.
  • Fruit doesn't seem to hold me back the way starchy carbs do.
I've stayed the same weight for the past couple of weeks, eating brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or a sweet potato every day. It's time to adjust the formula, relegating those items to "once-in-a-while" status.

Because this time, holding back isn't an option.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Digging deeper

Perhaps that last item on the left is why iTunes Genius won’t update itself. I have all the other stuff (except the 4th item, and I’m not going to buy a new computer in order to watch HD videos when I can watch them on my HD television.)

So I got on the internet (slowly) to see if Verizon has deigned to provide a broadband connection out here in the Middle of Nowhere yet, and of course they haven’t. I’m getting very frustrated with not having a high-speed connection – but you knew that, didn’t you?

I’m turning this iTunes problem into a part-time job. It’s keeping me awake at night. I woke up at 2 a.m. wondering if the connection had broken, but was too cold and tired to go check on it. (My computer is on the second floor of our detached garage.)

At 8 a.m., when I finally did make it over, it had – of course! – shut itself down. There’s a new, huge version of iTunes available. I’m downloading a program called Speed Download (it’s taken more than an hour so far) which will cut the iTunes update download time considerably.

You guys are probably bored as all get out with my little problems. I need a place to spout off about it, and maybe you’ll all have an opportunity to be grateful for little things like instant internet connections.

While all of this computer stuff is going on, I’m going to hop on the treadmill and watch decorating programs on HGTV and DIY. My husband would probably disable the television if he knew what to pull or push. I think he’s about done with my redecorating schemes. Not me, though – I get so inspired I forget to eat.

See how I brought this whole post around to losing weight? Clever, aren’t I?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why I need yet another blog

I have three blogs, two of which are active. One is for Project 365, which has lately devolved into Project 300-something. The inactive one is the late, lamented Shrinking Knitter; I stopped posting there for personal reasons. Then there’s this one, supposedly about knitting and running.

Lately it’s been about ranting. I could rename it Growl. Grumble. Repeat. and that wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

Many thanks to Wendy, who suggested giving Genius a reboot. If my internet connection would Just. Stay. Connected. it probably would work. I turned Genius off, restarted it (a process requiring my user name and password – neither of which I could remember without requesting help from Apple grrr, grrr, grrr) and it began whirring and churning. The gathering information process didn’t take long, but it was still sending information to Apple FIVE HOURS LATER when I got back from my volunteer gig at the prison.

Of course I left it on overnight, and of course the connection closed during the process. So I’m starting over again this morning. We shall see what we shall see.

Another grumble: The rowing machine. Apparently I still (are you getting tired of italics yet?) haven’t installed the damned cable correctly. After only five pulls yesterday morning the outer plastic coating split. Not to worry, though, a new cable is on the way. Should you need a cable installed on your Tunturi Rower, give me a holler. Repairing rowing machines is my new hobby.

To counteract all this negative thinking, I have to remember there is much (that deserves italics) for which to be grateful. My father continues to improve. While he still has many health problems, his attitude is good. He has leg problems and is seeing a new doctor today to try to get that resolved. He’s lost more than a hundred pounds since last June, and is still working on losing another 20 or 25. For someone approaching 79 (next month), the fact that he hasn’t given up is remarkable.

My husband got some good news yesterday about a situation that has been causing him a great deal of anxiety. Whenever he feels anxious, everyone around him does, as well. So the dogs and I were most happy for him. (I just can’t quit with the italics, can I?)

I’ve had some freelance graphic design work come my way, which has been fun and profitable. It’s always good when you can earn some money sitting on your ass doing something interesting.

My neighbor made the first pass over the garden area with his tractor yesterday. He said the ground was still a little too wet, and thought I might want to make the space bigger. He said he’d be back to finish it up when he felt it was the right time, and since his garden is always lush and full of produce, I trust him to know when that time is. I’m delighted to have that little patch tilled up; it seems so full of promise!

So the good stuff outweighs the bad two to one – my thinking is going in the right direction. Let’s just hope Genius is, too. It’s been more than an hour since it started over this morning, and this is the message I get:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It likes me! It really likes me!

For the moment, anyway, the internet is my BFF. This morning, when I really had time to blog? Not so much.

It’s not the internet that is the problem – it is what it is. It’s my stupid dial-up connection. We have two phone lines, and the one I use for the computer just isn’t very stable. Lately. It’s the newer one, too, proving once again that older is better.

More proof that older is better: iTunes Genius. When Genius was first introduced, it worked great, and I used it a lot. I’m not sure when it stopped working – could be when I upgraded the browser from Tiger to Leopard. (You Mac guys will know what I’m talking about.) Suddenly Genius won’t create a playlist out of any song, even songs it’s successfully used in the past.

It tells me it needs to gather data from my music collection and send it to Apple. So the gathering process, which used to take quite a long time, now takes mere seconds, while the data-sending portion of the task takes – well, it’s neverending. A few days ago I left the internet connected all night and wonder of wonders:
  • the computer didn’t hang itself up, and
  • Genius didn’t complete sending infromation.
Not that I thought it would. I’ve searched the Apple Support pages and the Apple Discussion Boards. I’ve provided feedback to Apple via iTunes. I’ve asked a new question on the Discussion Board (with no replies after more than 24 hours – that’s freakin’ crazy!) and I’ve asked an equally unresponded-to question on a Mac Yahoo group to which I subscribe.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Believe me, I was in a much better mood this morning.

One cool thing (with, of course, a downside) happened while I was driving to town a couple hours ago. We have, in our county, an eagle. Yep, a real, live, bald eagle, symbol of this great land. I’ve never seen it, until this morning. The downside? I was in my car. My camera, of course, was in my office.

Grrr.

Seriously, if anyone out there knows or can find out what the hell is wrong with iTunes Genius, I would really appreciate it. And you? You would be a genius!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Very productive weekend

And right on target healthwise, as well.

The weekend started Friday with me going shopping. All. Day. Long. By myself. I left at 10 a.m. and got home around 5 p.m. It’s not that I love shopping so much, but when I go, I like to take my time and hit as many places as necessary to get the job done. Keeping in mind that I live in the Middle of Nowhere, my stops included Lowe’s (big-box hardware store), Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Sam’s Club.

When my husband goes with me, I feel the need for speed. If it’s a solo trip, not so much. The nice thing about this trip is that I won’t have to do such a massive one again until the end of June, when we get ready for our annual 4th of July family reunion.

Took a long (10K) walk with my husband Saturday and began hand-digging the garden yesterday. After 30 minutes I realized I was temporarily insane – I have neighbors! Who have tractors! – and switched exercise gears. The rowing machine has been out of commission for a long, long time. I’ve had the part to repair it, but haven’t had the will to get started.

You see, I consider myself somewhat handy, but this job involved way more tools than I’ve ever used for one project before. And also grease. I scrubbed my fingernails with a nail brush three times before the job was finished!

It took three hours and a couple of deleted expletives, but the rowing machine works again, and I know I’ll enjoy using it. It’s good to mix things up; the only inclement-weather exercise machines we have are the treadmill and the rower.

My weight has stayed the same for a week, indicating that I’m enjoying too many whole-wheat crackers or Florida oranges. Or something. I’ll have to up the vegetables and limit starches and fruits to just one or two a day for a while. Combined with walking, running and rowing, I expect to see progress again soon.

Hope your weekend was worth writing about!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Quote Day

“The greatest discovery
of my generation
is that a human being
can alter his life
by altering his attitude.”
~ William James

I only hope and pray that I’ve altered my attitude toward refined sugar and flour enough that I can alter my life for the better by steering clear of it. Them. Whatever.

I found myself craving crackers yesterday, and Triscuits weren’t exactly what I wanted. What I’d really love to do is sit down with a sleeve of saltines and a stick of butter. But I have altered my attitude about that little indulgence.

So I tried a recipe for whole-grain crackers.

They are, like a very dry martini, an acquired taste. My husband assured me he wouldn’t be sneaking any of them out of the pantry. Why should he? He gets to eat saltines and butter!

Uh oh, there goes that attitude again.

Altering one’s attitude isn’t something you do once and then fuhgeddaboutit. Like exercise and applying antiperspirant, attitude adjustment is a daily thing. It’s been helpful to me – especially at restaurants – to remind myself that Dish XYZ will more than likely be there next time I eat out. Really, there isn’t any food I might eat today that won’t be around next week, or next month, or – please, God, don’t let this weight-loss project take this long – next year.

But if it does take a year, well, then I’ll have learned good and well that I can live without, um, saltines and butter.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to burn 1,000 calories …

in four hours. And break your back while you’re doing it.

Four hours for 1,000 calories isn’t really very impressive, is it? But you should see my floors!

My husband is, as I may have mentioned previously, somewhat domestically challenged. He figured out how to make tuna salad this time. (Last trip he learned how to make toast. I’m serious!)

What he hasn’t figured out how to do is mop a floor. Or, frankly, even notice when the floor needs to be mopped. He invariably spills a bit of coffee as he walks across a room, or some juice when he pours it from the pitcher. It’s just not on his radar to see if anything ends up on the floor.

Ten days of no Debbi and, well, the floors were a mess. Not any more! (Did you just hear Niecy Nash in the background saying, “Take off your blindfolds, and see what we’ve done!” If so, you may be watching too many episodes of Clean House on the Style network.)

For half of this job I got down on my hands and knees and really cleaned those floors – the hallways, bathrooms and kitchen got the royal treatment. The living room/dining area is very large, the table is on a large area rug and I made the executive decision to clean that space with a mop. Mostly because I didn’t want to further damage any vertebrae.

Murphy’s Law being what it is, our older dog chose yesterday afternoon to get sick. She vomited on my nice clean floor three times, once on a freshly washed throw rug and once on the just-vacuumed area rug. (She’s not ill; she got into the trash and ate some – oh, you don’t want to know.)

Anyway, that was my workout yesterday.

I’ve been catching myself listening to music lately with more of an ear for the beat, asking myself, ‘Would that work for a 10-minute mile pace?’ Not that I’ve ever been able to maintain a 10-minute mile pace or anything, but do you see where this is going? I may be getting ready to run again!

No promises … I don’t want to sabotage myself. But I definitely feel like maybe driving to one of those flat roads wouldn’t be too much of an effort.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What I miss about Florida

It probably goes without saying (although I’ll say it anyway) that I miss my Dad. When I left last Saturday, I had the eery feeling that I might not see him again. That’s probably unrealistic; he’s doing better with the current drug regimen and pacemaker than he has in nearly a year. Nevertheless, that was the overriding thought as I drove away.

Other things I miss about the Sunshine State:
  • Flat land: It was so-so-so easy to just lace up and hit the road. One day I took three walks, just because I could. West Virginia is not flat. Oh, there are a couple of semi-flat roads nearby, tracing a river, but I have to drive four or five miles to get to them. When I left the front door at Dad’s, I was walking. When I leave my front door, I’m trudging up a hill.

  • Warm temperatures: Need I say more? Well, I will anyway. It has been bitterly cold here ever since I got home. I would be risking frostbite if I walked outside. Thank goodness for HGTV and the DIY network, and a treadmill that faces the television.

  • Fresh fruit: The fruit in Florida is unsurpassed, and since I’m on Phase II of South Beach, I enjoyed red grapefruit, the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever eaten and wonderful oranges. The strawberries in our Tiny Kroger may say they came from Plant City, Florida, but it’s been a few days.

  • Not watching cable news 24/7: Since my dad is not invested in the stock market, he doesn’t sit around obsessing about his retirement account, as my husband does. My husband retired a year ago – the worst possible timing, as it turns out – and he’s a compulsive Dow number watcher. All it does is depress him. Dad and I watched old movies or The Andy Griffith Show, and only turned the news on once a day. If that.
There’s more that I miss, but those are at the top of my list. There were things I missed from home when I was there – my husband, my dogs, my yarn stash – but we could move those south if we wanted to. You can’t make molehills out of mountains. Heh.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Didja miss me?

Oh, it was so, so, so hard to come home from Florida. I wore shorts there! Two days in a row! And sandals!

Okay, enough with the exclamation points. I really didn’t want to leave my dad, as much as I wanted to be home with my husband. And the snow. Did I mention it snowed in West Virginia?

Dad seems to be doing well, all in all, except for a seriously bad case of cellulitis on his lower left leg. Diabetes is a bitch, folks. He recommends you do everything you can while you’re young so you don’t develop it as you age.

But even though he’s doing well, it just kind of broke my heart to leave.

I was able to walk outdoors probably every other day on the whole trip, anywhere from four to six miles each time. I did well with the eating plan early on, but Dad and his wife – despite dietary recommendations – really eat pretty much what they want. I decided to take matters into my own hands one night and fixed my favorite chicken pesto pasta dish.

Dad made a pina colada cake one night – hello, sugar anyone? – and I ate some of it. He was so proud of himself and joked that he didn’t put any sugar in when he was making it. Um, it started with a yellow cake mix.

In spite of less-than-perfect eating and less-than-perfect exercising, I lost 2.5 pounds on the trip. Making a grand total of EIGHT POUNDS GONE the first month on South Beach.

Woo hoo for me!