Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2013

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Halfway there.

If you made a New Year's resolution to get fit, improve your health, lose weight, save money, fall in love or get divorced in 2013, well … how are you doing?

My day-after-Christmas commitment was to lose 50 pounds and walk 1,000 miles in 2013. In order to do that, I planned to count calories, log my food every day and average walking three miles each day.

So, how have I done?

There are 41 empty days on my exercise log, and just two on my food log. As of last Monday I'd lost 34.5 pounds, but I think tomorrow's weigh-in is going to be up a bit. I weigh myself daily and this week's scale readings have been all over the place.

My calorie-counting days aren't over, but I'm counting protein, vegetables and fruit, having eliminated legumes, dairy, grains and sugar when I started the Whole 30 plan on April 6. It's now the Whole 84. On Day Whole 90, I'm planning to have cake to celebrate my granddaughter's sixth birthday.

I hope it's worth…

June 30 - Handwriting

Photo op fail

For someone who is, as my husband lovingly likes to say, glued to her smartphone, I found myself unglued late yesterday morning, leaving the blog much poorer in photos today.

I set out to take a long walk early, phone in hand, and decided – on a whim – to do Day 1, Week 1 of a Couch to 5K app I'd downloaded a while ago. (Because I'm whimsical like that. Also, thanks for the inspiration, Gingerzingi!) Due to operator error, I ended up doing 20-ish minutes instead of the full 30, so I started over when I got to the turnaround of my out-and-back loop.

I'm going to find a new app and start over AGAIN, though, because the one I picked (because it was highly rated and free) doesn't give me all the cool stats Gingerzingi's does. (Or at least I can't figure out how to find them. I tried.) I am so inspired by her progress and would love to watch my speeds improve as the training advances.

Naturally I had a GPS application going, too, to track my total miles/speed, which…

June 29 - In my bag

June 28 - Red

It's the heat. And the humidity.

Mostly the humidity, lately, as I don't think we've even hit 90 yet.

I work Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Generally that means "the cool of the day." I try to walk around 7 a.m. on those days, to avoid having to get it done later in the afternoon, when the heat has built up and my energy is at its lowest.

[Aging sucks, y'all. I shouldn't be complaining, since I'm still upright and breathing, but my stamina and endurance just aren't what they used to be.]

Maybe as I continue to lose weight (how's that for confidence?), my comfort level will increase. For this summer, though, I'm going to have to manage my walking time carefully. Earlier is better.

Early happened yesterday, but even though I said I wouldn't melt in the rain I apparently thought I might, as I turned around at the three-quarter mile point, logging 1.5 miles yesterday morning. It rained nearly the entire time I worked, so I paced back-and-forth inside the sales…

June 27 - Into the sun

So far this has been a less-than-stellar week

At least we're over the hump!

I'm not going to call it a bad week because I missed two workouts. Monday was a planned rest day. Yesterday was an active day, just not an intentionally active one. Dragging the hose around the garden center for a couple of hours is active, and I didn't sit down all morning.

But I can't count it as MILES. A bit obsessive I am, yes? Heh.

A big blue-and-green blob of rain and thunderstorms is directly west of us and moving east on the weather radar map. I have plenty of time to walk this morning before work if I can wake up enough to Just Do It.

Need. More. Coffee.

Actually, what I need is to think about Texas Senator Wendy Davis's epic filibuster – nearly 13 hours on her feet without a bathroom break or food or even a drink of water. What an inspiration. After the Supreme Court scuttled the Voting Rights Act, she may not even get to keep her state Senate seat.

But she'd make a fine governor.

On that note, I'm heading out for a f…

June 26 - Empty


It's very unusual for me to sleep late. Once the light of day starts creeping over the eastern mountains, I'm up and awake and raring to go.

Except this morning.

The plan was to walk three miles before work. Didn't happen. Looks like it's going to be an elliptical workout this afternoon in the air-conditioned comfort of the second floor of the garage. The afternoon temperature will hit the mid-80s and there's a good chance of rain today.

I must say … it felt good to sleep a little longer.

A Facebook friend posted this yesterday:
Short spurts of exercise might benefit some, but others can’t get enough of it. Whether they are running ultra marathons in the desert, obsessed with their gym schedules or replacing drug addictions with intense fitness regimens, many Americans find lengthy, frequent workouts to be as necessary as sleeping and eating. QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
Is all this emphasis on exercise healthy, or dangerously compulsive? Can exercise like running be addict…

June 25 - Sharp

It is so cool …

to reach into my closet or dresser and pull out a nice-looking shirt and a pair of shorts or capris that look good together and I KNOW THEY WILL FIT.

I'm wearing a shirt today that I last wore six years ago. (I have a photo of myself wearing it while holding my newborn granddaughter. The one who will be six in two weeks.)

So. Frickin'. Cool.

A first

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. I was hungry All. Day. Long.

That hasn't happened since I began the paleo plan. In fact, I would say I'm rarely hungry, and when I am the hunger is appropriate: I haven't eaten in several hours.

Meals over the weekend were fine, but I ate fewer eggs than I usually do. Eggs fill me UP, and I need to put them back on the breakfast menu. I ended up skipping breakfast both Sunday and yesterday, and while I don't necessarily subscribe to the breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal philosophy, I have learned that I'm less hungry and more energetic when I eat it.

My husband and I drove to a nearby town to meet with an insurance agent and buy a short-term health plan for me. Aetna, which had been providing my coverage, is pulling out of the individual policy market here in WV (and in several other states, as well). I'd thought the last day was September 30, but it turns out it's Sunday. This coming Sunday. So we had to scramble a b…

June 24 - Negative space

Soooo close

Lost another 1.5 pounds this week, for a total of 34.5 since Christmas and 27.5 since beginning a paleo plan on April 6. Another 1.5-pound loss will put me in the overweight range (rather than the obese one) on a standard BMI calculator. LoseIt says my BMI is 30.27.

Never thought I'd be thrilled to be overweight. Heh.

I had to do a three-step on the scale this week; the first number seemed too low, and it was. The second and third tries matched, so that's what I'm going with.

I still seem to have a distrust of the process. My concern is that if I have a big loss, as I did last week, it will be unsustainable and I'll make up for it with a gain the following week. Since April 6 I've had one small gain, and it wasn't unexpected.

All these weeks of consistent losses haven't been expected either, to tell you the truth!

If I get to the goal I set for myself at Christmas, I'll still be overweight. I'm rethinking the goal, obviously. Not because I think BMI…

June 23 - Last (light)

June 22 - Enjoying life

Date night!

West Virginia became a state 150 years ago on June 20, and the party is ON! My husband and I took the night off from normal activities – dinner, Jeopardy, yawn – and joined one of the local-ish celebrations.

First, we went to Ruby Tuesday's in Lewsiburg for dinner. For me, it was a repeat of the meal I had in May: grilled salmon, roasted spaghetti squash and grilled zucchini. It didn't disappoint. In fact when I edited the photo my stomach started growling! Yum!

After dinner we headed to Fairlea to the State Fairgrounds (I've lived 30 miles from there for 16 years and have yet to go to the state fair) for a free concert performed by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, followed by a terrific fireworks show. What a lovely night!

We don't go out much, mostly because there's not much to do that's in close proximity. This IS the Middle of Nowhere, after all. I'm glad we made the effort last night. With the nearly full moon rising behind the stage, a gentle bree…

June 21 - Lunchtime

Soon, very soon …

my life will return to normal. Whatever that is.

With all the weekend travel lately, I feel like I've barely been keeping my head above water. My garden is a Mess-with-a-capital-M. The landscape bed badly needs weeding. There are spots all over our yard that need attention with the weedeater.

I've managed to keep the grass cut without having to use a hay baler, but even that has been a close call a couple of times. Our clothing has been cleaned on a regular basis, but I can't say as much for our house. I'm still showing up for work two mornings a week.

And we haven't missed a single meal. Heh.

We're having company this weekend and again on July 6, and then that's it. No more travel plans, no more guests coming, no more Big Events unless we throw something in spontaneously. (I think the triplets and their little sister and their parents might be visiting sometime this summer, but we haven't set anything up yet.) We've already had a crazy summer and t…

June 20 - Cute

June 19 - Currently reading

This morning's walk has been postponed due to …

I'm sooo not a fan of swimming in air, which is how I feel when I walk in dense fog. Oh, I've done it, when the day is scheduled to the hilt and I've no other options. But today? I have options. Heh.

I'm working from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., picking up a couple things I forgot at the market when I was in town yesterday and will then be able to get a few miles in. You know, when it's sunny and 80 degrees. I wish sunny and 60 happened more frequently, but OH, WELL. Skipping the morning walk allows me more time to spend with YOU! Aren't you lucky?

Thanks for your comments about the progress photo. That black v-neck tee is about as form-fitting as I'm allowing myself right now. It looks better on me than the photo suggests, but again: OH, WELL. I sure wasn't wearing it last summer. Or those capris, either.

The last time I saw most of the women I had lunch with yesterday was in February, and I was able to smile and thank them for their many compliments without bei…

June 18 - Street

Progress photo

Only because you asked for it.

That'll teach you. Heh.

It's a jungle out there

The weeds in both my flower beds and vegetable garden are getting the best of me. I try, I really do try, but this spring has been such a fabulous growing season it's hard to keep up. The pattern of a few days of warmth and sun followed by a day or so of rain has been the norm, and that's good for whatever's growing, be it food or weeds.

My Honeycrisp apple tree is dead. It didn't flower last spring or this, but it leafed out beautifully and I wasn't worried about it. I noticed its withered brown leaves while I was mowing yesterday. (The Granny Smith and Yellow Transparent are both doing well.) I'm so sad, but I've heard Honeycrisps are difficult to grow so I'm not really surprised to have lost it. I'm pretty sure I've also lost the ornamental Summer Chocolate mimosa I planted late last summer. It leafed out this spring, but one day all the little fronds just fell off. I'm going to keep it in the ground until next spring, to see it it's

I'm running out of adjectives

Astounded: astonished, blown away, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, surprised, shocked, gobsmacked (my personal favorite)

It's Monday, I ate catered food all weekend at a convention and I expected a tiny loss, if anything, for this week's weigh-in. I ate lightly Friday and didn't work out, ate very little Saturday (because there was very little available to eat that fit the plan) and did work out, and was pretty close to normal yesterday – slightly under the calorie target with a five-mile walk when I got home. Still, I didn't prepare the food, which was definitely oversalted (everyone remarked on it) and I just didn't feel as though I was

4.5 pounds lighter than last Monday.

I didn't believe the scale the first time I stepped on it, so I did my two-out-of-three thing, and it recorded the same number the second try.

That's a total of 33 pounds since December 26. Twenty-six of those pounds have been since I began the paleo plan on April 6. I'm losing nearly ha…

More …

Okay, so that meeting's over and we're free from now until 6. And I just couldn't wait to get back to you, and you, and you.

Also my room is being cleaned, so I'd rather be out here in the lobby soaking up the free wi-fi than in the room (where the wi-fi costs $12.95/day) dodging the maid.

Food has been … problematic. Yesterday wasn't too bad. I asked for a gluten-free entree for lunch, and the grilled chicken and sautéed summer vegetables were fine. I passed up the potatoes.

Dinner was substantial hors d'ouevres. I ate very little, but appreciated the presentation of potato chips in martini glasses.

Breakfast today was fruit for me, fruit and Danish for the other attendees. No protein. The cashews I brought with me came in handy mid-morning. I should have taken a picture of the lunch buffet: three kinds of sandwiches. I'm not sure what my luncheon companions thought about me taking one of each and then ditching the bread!

I couldn't take a picture of t…

Hi, y'all!

Charleston, West Virginia, is alive and well and ROCKIN' with true-blue Democratic women this weekend. Our luncheon speaker was Christine Pelosi, who, in addition to being Nancy's kid, is the Platform Chair of the California Democratic Party. She spoke about the Dream Act. And the filibuster. And electing women. And the Fair Pay Act.

Tonight we're hearing from the President of the AFL-CIO. It just doesn't get much more Democrat than that.

The weather has been lovely, but we've been in meeting after meeting after meeting and I haven't even poked my nose out the front door of the hotel. I did, however, hit the treadmill at 6 this morning. Half an hour at 4.5 mph, which was blazing speed for me.

Uh-oh. Now that I look at the time, I'm supposed to be in a meeting RIGHT NOW. Adios!

To be continued …

June 13 - Kitchen

Just in case you don't get The Weather Channel …

Wow. We've been under a severe thunderstorm warning since 11-ish this morning. The warning expires in 15 minutes (as I type), but we remain under a watch until 7 this evening. The power has blipped off and on a couple of times, but so far, so good. And, of course, it's not all about me. The midwest has been hit by storm after storm … if you're there, I hope you're safe!

I took my own advice and stashed some gallon jugs filled with water in the freezer. Two large iced-tea jugs are filled with drinking water.

Not having water during a power outage is the worst.

The internet is down, but I'm able to work through the magic of turning my phone into a mobile hot spot. Technology is THE BOMB!

Got a short walk in this morning before work – about 2.5 miles, the last full mile of which I ran jogged. That last mile is all downhill, and therefore both easy and fun to run. My pace for the entire distance was slightly faster than 16 minutes per mile. Considering that the route …

June 12 - 11:00

The halfway point

This morning's 3.26 mile-walk (the third mile of which was at the blistering pace of 15:03!), I'm officially halfway to my 1000-mile walking goal for 2013.
Not quite halfway into the year, finding myself more than halfway to my weight-loss goal and 500 miles into the walking goal has me feeling Pretty. Darned. Good.

Today is a work day, as is tomorrow, and then I'm off for the third consecutive weekend trip, this time to the National Federation of Democratic Women convention. It's local-ish (in Charleston, WV), so not a long, boring drive, but I'm leaving super-early Friday morning in order to be at the First-Timers Breakfast.

Which I probably won't eat. Heh.

The weather forecast for later today and through tomorrow does not look good at all for much of the midwest and mid-Atlantic. The prognosticators are even throwing out the word "derecho," which strikes terror into the hearts of the hundreds of thousands of us who experienced one last summer.

If y…

June 11 - Something funny

Remember that scene in Bull Durham?

The one where Nuke is walking through the center of the team bus on the arm rests? And yelling?

WHAT?!? You don't? WHAT?!? You've never seen Bull Durham?!?

Here's the clip (NSFW) to which I'm referring:

Just why am I thinking about that specific bit of movie history this morning? Because …
I do, man. It's like … BETTER than GAINING!
I went for Mammogram, The Sequel, yesterday, calling before I went to town to make sure the machine was in good working order. It was. I wore that Dylan shirt and a pair of denim capris, because who needs to dress up for radiology? The first pair of capris I put on were too big. But because my closet resembles the misses' department of a department store, I had the next smaller size in stock.
The second pair have a side zipper which can be difficult to zip all the way to the top while they're on me. So I zipped them all the way up on the hanger and then put them on. Due to the way they're cut, th…

June 10 - You!

History doesn't repeat itself!

At least not this week.

I was a little better prepared foodwise for this trip than I'd been for the previous one. I took some raw cashews, a banana and leftovers from Thursday's dinner for Friday's travel food. We were so busy all weekend there really wasn't much time to think about meals.


Friday evening was my granddaughter's dress rehearsal, which began at 5 and lasted until 8:30. I think. My son brought fast food for us – fresh fruit cups for all of us, chicken nuggets for them and a cut-up piece of grilled chicken for me, which he must have asked them to do because it wasn't on the online menu. It was just what I needed, just when I needed it.

Saturday morning – eggs. Followed by a Li'l Chef birthday party, where the children cooked their own lunch and the adults were offered … cupcakes. No, thank you. My daughter-in-law and I walked around outside (I wouldn't call it exercise, but we'd already walked two miles earlier) while the part…

June 8 - An animal

June 7 - Bright

Aaaaand we're off. Again.

Recital #2 is tomorrow near Raleigh, North Carolina. I'd originally thought I might just drive down in the morning and return Sunday, but that would leave me little-to-no time to spend with the family, so I called a couple days ago to alter the plans.
Me: Would it upset your weekend plans if I came down Friday and spent an extra night?
Daughter-in-Law: Oh, my, no! It never upsets our plans when you come for a visit! Now that's a daughter-in-law! So gracious, and she seemed genuinely pleased that I was coming for an extra day. We'll go to the technical rehearsal together tonight, have plenty of family time tomorrow and attend the performance tomorrow night. I'll be back sometime Sunday.

I'd planned to walk this morning but it is precipitating at the moment and looks to continue for hours. I knocked out three miles yesterday morning, two of them in the rain, but it was dry when I started out. If I were training for a marathon and this was my only chance to get out ther…

June 6 - Transport

A good day

Yesterday was National Running Day.

AND I RAN! Well, jogged. Running is still out of reach, but I managed to run about a third of my 4.5 miles. Running feels so good to me, especially now that some of the weight is coming off.

One of my paleo mentors asked me if gardening was easier now that I was carrying around fewer pounds. The answer is a definite and emphatic "yes." I can bend over so much easier than I used to; that alone is something to note and appreciate. And while I still get tired – gardening can be very physically taxing – the routine chores I take care of at the garden center don't leave me breathless, as they did in April.

Meaning, if yesterday had been National Ice Cream Day, I wouldn't have been tempted for even a second. That old saying, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin[ner] feels," is completely appropriate here.

Got three miles in earlier this morning, most of it in the rain, and now it's time to head for the most beautiful offic…

June 5 - Environment

June 4 - After dark

As of this minute …

I have about six and a half hours before I need to be at work. We switched things up today, and I'm taking the afternoon shift. One of my co-workers was badly burned over the weekend and is still hospitalized, which means we're all pitching in a little more in different ways. I'll find out the extent of his injuries today.

Yesterday went well, until mid-afternoon, when my energy just completely ran out. I walked a little more than four miles with my husband early in the morning, then came back and tackled the garden from 9:30 until 2 p.m.

Of course not everything got done. My husband hauled mulch from the big pile on the other side of the yard, while I laid down cardboard around the rows and plants. I then piled the mulch on the cardboard in a (probably) futile attempt to keep the weeds at bay.

But by 2 o'clock I was, literally, spent. I collapsed in the grass next to the garden and ordered him to get me some WATER. Hungry, tired, dehydrated: I thought I was going to p…

Fortunately …

it will be a while before I need to pack food for a road trip. Thanks for the suggestions, though! My next trip (this weekend) is just a four-hour drive, and the following weekend it's only a two-hour drive. I will be at the mercy of Other People's Cooking and I will deal with it the best way I can.

Losing weight is important to me, of course, but looking like a fanatic is something I want to avoid. I didn't have to avoid it at my daughter's, because no one was watching. My grandson wanted to make crepes for breakfast, but I just told him milk and flour kind of upset my stomach. He didn't question me at all and, in fact, jumped right into making almond milk and almond butter, which we later used for smoothies.

I would have done much better driving home on Sunday to stop at a restaurant and order something appropriate, as I did a couple of times in May. I didn't want to take the time. Lesson learned and problem solved. If this weekend's trip finds me at a no…

June 3 - On my table

1 Tbsp. bacon grease or coconut oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 to 4 Tbsp. curry powder (I mix sweet and hot and use 4 Tbsp.)
1 large onion, cut in large chunks
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
6 small or 1 large sweet pepper
1 can mushroom stems and pieces
1 can lite coconut milk

Melt the bacon grease or coconut oil in a Dutch oven. Brown chicken thigh pieces over medium-high heat in fat until no longer pink. Add the curry powder and let cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Add the vegetables, allowing each to cook for a minute or two before adding the next one. Dump a can of coconut milk over the mixture and stir well to combine ingredients.

Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for an hour. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium and cook so the juices thicken and reduce slightly.

Serves 4. Or two, generously.

Yum. Tastes just as good with pork instead of…

It was bound to happen

After a long weekend away from my kitchen, and one in which I relied on too many Larabars and ate too few vegetables, I have – after eight weeks – gone backwards in the weight-loss mission.

Up half a pound. Half a pound! That's like nothing for someone like me, whose weight fluctuates wildly from morning to night and day to day. I'm not upset or discouraged or dismayed or worried or wondering if I'll ever lose another pound again ever, ever, ever.

I am, in fact, dancing with the one who brought me. The paleo plan has been working remarkably well, and I'm certainly not planning to change partners. Love the one you're with, and all that.

We were super-busy this weekend. Both grandchildren were performing Friday and Saturday nights, and Thursday was dress rehearsal. The performances went off without a hitch and I'm glad I was there to be a part of the excitement.

Meals, however, were catch as catch can, and finding decent paleo fast food is impossible. I'm sur…

June 2 - A moment

June 1 - B is for …