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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Last Day of May - How Time Flies By!

The last day of May started very nicely with a walk with my friend, Gail. We went out to Restoration Park to walk the loop and got quite a workout. I can't tell you how much it reminded me of Upper Tampa Bay Park or Lettuce Lake Park back in Tampa. It was very buggy and had the same scrubby look. I think the only thing it didn't have was palmetto bushes. The bugs weren't great, but the shade and the company were perfect!

I can't say much for the rest of my day - laundry, facebook, little clean ups here and there. I did talk to my mom, my mother-in-law, and all three of my kids on the phone. I called two and the rest called me...a nice balance!

We've finalized plans for our vacation/Becca's graduation, which is a good thing considering we leave day after tomorrow. We're looking forward to the 14 hour trip down because Becca's friend, Marisa, will be along for the ride. She's our adopted daughter and has traveled with us before. She's an easy one and makes us laugh. We'll need some laughs to see us through the long, dry miles between West Monroe and Tampa.
I-10 is so boring! Ugh.

Tomorrow is for packing and wrapping up lose ends around here, and then we're off by 6 a.m. on Thursday morning. Rebecca graduates from high school on Friday, and then we're offically done with Hillsborough County Schools as far as the kids go. I've taken a deferred retirement with them so I'll always be connected. It's hard to believe the last of 3 is finishing school and headed to college. We remember our own high school days like they were yesterday, but the kids are proof that the years have gone flying past. Randy and I face our 49th birthdays next week. At least we hit it together.

And, hey! I'll be hitting it a tiny bit lighter. Just think...by next year when I turn 50, I could be 1/4 less the person that I am today. lol! I hope I lose the stubborn, snippy, selfish parts of me and keep the sweeter parts - that would be nice!

Restoration ParkRestoration Park walkway  Restoration Park, West Monroe, LA

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday 5/30/11

Okie dokie. I'm just going to put this out there - I stuffed my face today! We started out the day with a 2 mile walk when all I really wanted to do was sit down with a cup of coffee and work on my book in silence. As with many plans, mine were foiled first thing. Randy got up before the coffee even got put on to brew and started the walk talk. I tamped down my resistance and reworked my thoughts toward the positive benefits of exercise, figuring I could put the coffee on to brew and have some after a post-walk pool cool-down. As I dressed and put on walking shoes, Randy went ahead and sat down with a cup o' joe as he checked his email and watched some inane hunting show. I jealously sniped at him about diving into the coffee without me. He suggested I have some, but hot coffee before walking sounded like heartburn waiting to happen. I downed my morning meds with some plain ol' water and grumbled about male selfishness as we headed out the door. To make matters worse, Randy can walk forever and never feel a twinge of pain. I, on the other hand, was in pain in both legs/ankles the entire way. I think my attitude probably made things worse than they would have been. At any rate, we finished the walk and I headed straight for the pool to cool off. Finally, we headed inside and I sat down with a lovely cup of hazelnut coffee while Randy made breakfast.

This is where the face stuffing began. I was a bit resentful about having to take a painful walk at 7 a.m. and missing my alone time to write, so I decided to get a second cup of coffee and check in on breakfast. Randy's homemade pork butt bacon (buckboard bacon) smelled especially delicious and my stomach suddenly demanded food. I obliged with 3 small pieces of  bacon and discovered I loved the smokehouse flavor and the small slivers of crispy fat clinging to the sides. (See photo below) That was all she wrote. I devoured every piece of bacon on the paper plate and told him to fry up some more. He added hashbrowns and egg casserole to the plate and we had a feast. By that time, all thoughts of writing had flown out the window, but my attitude toward life in general, and Randy, was much improved. He has the Midas touch with everything he does. He's one of those people that is capable of doing pretty much anything he sets his mind to. Happily, I benefit from his abilities...breakfast chef, gardener, hunter, sauerkraut maker, pickle maker, bacon maker, sausage maker, jambalaya maker, griller, well...you get the picture. I think I know where these last 30 unwanted pounds came from. If he'd quit making such good stuff, I'd probably lose more and faster, too!

After the gigantic breakfast, I figured I'd redeem myself by skipping lunch. After doing laundry and making up two queen sized beds, however, I found myself hungry again. Out came the leftover pizza dip with french bread and Cabot sharp cheddar and crackers. We took it poolside and ate and swam the afternoon away. Of course, by "swam" I mean we lazed about on our spring floats until we were sun-ripened like plump raisins. No worries - I spritzed on Bullfrog a few times so I wouldn't be sunburned before we get to Indian Rocks on Thursday.

Finally, dinner rolled around and I found myself hungry again. It's Memorial Day so grilling came to mind, but Randy already had homemade pepperoni (see what I mean?) and beef jerky in the smoker. Rather than make him heat up another outdoor appliance on a 94 degree day, I opted to bake hotdogs in secret sauce in the oven. I made a pack of 7 - yes, 7 - hotdogs in the oven and put some fresh picked green beans and squash on the stove. I filled my plate with green beans and squash to try to counterbalance the pepperoni, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon I'd earlier consumed. Then, I put one modest hotdog on my plate. It seemed like a great plan at the time, but those hotdogs were so darned good! And you know how swimming makes you ravenous. Back I went for another dog, minus the bun...and then another. Yes, I ate 3 hotdogs. Oh my.

Blame it on my attitude. Blame it on my appetite. Blame it on the alignment of the planets, the time of the month, or anything else you can come up with. I couldn't have stopped myself from today's pig out if Jenny Craig herself had appeared at my door. Did I forfeit weight loss today? Did I perhaps gain a pound back? Maybe. But I have to keep in sight my overall goal...lose 50 lbs in 56+ weeks PAINLESSLY. Yes, I said PAINLESSLY.

So now that my attitude has been adjusted, my stomach has been so pleasingly filled, and the antacids have been downed, I'll forgive myself a day of overindulgence and forget about the scale for a moment. Once again, I'll adopt Miss Scarlett's attitude and worry about it tomorrow.

Randy's Homemade Buckboard Bacon

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My life and loves.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Stats Day 5/29

So I weighed in today and another pound is gone. That's 3. I'm enjoying myself. It's fun looking for new recipes and new ways to burn some calories without feeling like I am. We swam today and cleaned out the garage, went to Lowe's twice, grocery shopped, and swam some more. The garage cleaning is my exercise for the day. I did plenty of sweeping and sweating!

As we head into Memorial Day, we're looking forward to another day of gardening (must pick the pole beans), swimming, walking, and errand running. We're also going to start packing for our beach vacation which begins on the 2nd. Since we're staying in a condo, we'll cook most of our meals which means I'll be in control of the menu. Walking the beach each morning is one of our favorite things to do when we're down there and there's a beautiful pool plus the Gulf in which to swim. I'm not worried about vacation pounds this year, even if we do have an Outback night planned and some birthday desserts on the horizon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Deep South Shrimp and Sausage

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup refrigerated prechopped tricolor bell pepper
  • 1 (6.5-ounce) link smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp, seasoning, and black pepper, tossing to coat. Cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  • 2. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add reserved shrimp mixture and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/4 cup water; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; let stand 2 minutes.

Day 13 - Saturday, May 28th

Today was an incredible day. I was up at 6:30 a.m. just because I didn't have to be. I tried a bowl of  oatmeal that I hadn't tried before and really enjoyed it. I believe it's called Better Oats, but I'll double check that. I'm trying to get heart healthy foods into my life and oatmeal is top on the list for my high cholesterol. Heart disease runs in our family, and I have high blood pressure and am overweight, too. Put it all together and that means I'm at increased risk for having a heart attack. It's a real motivator to get in control of my health and lower those numbers.

Anyway, I worked on my ABC book, The Big Z Circus, for a bit until Randy got up. Then I picked blueberries from our bushes and made blueberry pancakes and some of Randy's homemade maple bacon. So good! After cleaning house and tackling laundry, we headed outside for they day. Randy brought home a truckload of firewood for next winter, so we unloaded and stacked that and then we hit the pool. Swimming is great exercise for fibromyalgia. I worked on strengthening the extensor foot/lower leg muscles so I won't have so much pain walking uphill. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll see improvement over time. I also got the chance to work on strengthening my left shoulder. Then I worked on napping on my raft. Later on, we made Cooking Light Shrimp and Sausage Grits and collards with an onion from our garden and Randy's salt pork. Great food today! I wonder what the scale will say at tomorrow's weigh in.

Between housework, laundry, unloading and stacking wood, and swimming, I think I got a good amount of exercise today. I'm wonderfully relaxed and very content with life.

Good stuff! 160 calories in a pouch. Didn't taste instant!

Friday, May 27, 2011

MiO Drink Flavor Enhancer

MiO Liquid Water Enhancer

MiO is a water flavor enhancer. It comes in Berry Pomegranate, Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Mango Peach, Sweet Tea and Peach Tea. There are 24 servings in each little bottle with zero calories. They are naturally flavored. Add as little or as much as you like. I'll never buy Vitamin Water or Sobe again. Peach Tea and Mango Peach are my favorites, but I gather that most people like Strawberry Watermelon because that's the one that's always off the shelf!

Newton Fruit Things

These are packed with delicious flavor and crispiness! About 140 calories per 5 cookies.

Odds and Ends

Okay, the only chatter on this blog is between Kelsey and me. I'm so happy she's teaching me how to blog and keeping up with me and cheering me on, but I was hoping some of my friends would join me at least once a week. So I was wondering if there are no comments on the blog because you have to sign in using google or one of the other sites. If that's the problem, it's very easy to create a google account. It will walk you through the process and then you can respond directly to the blog.

I'm going to be putting up new products as I try them and new lower calorie/healthier recipes, too. So check in every once in awhile. I'll post pictures to go along with them as often as I can. If you're like me, you like to see what it looks like.

I got on the scale this morning and another pound is gone. It's amazing how much 30 minutes of exercise a day can do!

Slow Cooker Beer Braised Beef

Beer-Braised Beef Recipe 
Oxmoor House

  • YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
  • COURSE: Main Dishes
  • 1 cup refrigerated prechopped onion
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound boneless top round steak, trimmed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
  • 1/2 cup light beer
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1. Place onion in a 3- to 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
  • 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place steak over onion in cooker; pour tomatoes and beer over steak. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until steak is very tender.
  • 3. Shred steak with 2 forks in slow cooker; stir in molasses and salt. Let steak stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Info
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 265
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 25.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 20.4g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg
  • Iron: 3.7mg
  • Sodium: 514mg
  • Calcium: 64mg

Thursday, May 26, 2011

At Last...Summer!

My classroom is packed up for summer, our end-of-the-year banquet was today, and my paperwork is complete so it's officially SUMMER!!! I came home at 2:30 and took a well deserved nap to celebrate...keep in mind my 49th birthday is just 16 days away so napping beats going out for drinks these days. I am, however, enjoying a lovely bottle of pinot grigio and sitting by the pool at the moment. :o)

So, what does a teacher do during the summer months? I'll bet the majority of America thinks we sit around with our feet up watching movies and eating chocolate. Seriously? Summer is when we schedule all of the maintenance for our houses, our families, and ourselves. Here's a list of my summer plans:

1. Get glasses fixed (they broke about 8 weeks ago)
2. Get windshield replaced (it broke about 5 months ago), oil changed (a month overdue), and inspection sticker (6 months overdue)
3. Go to Tampa to daughter's graduation and haul two-and-a-half years of her life, along with her car, back up to West Monroe.
4. Fly daughter and her boyfriend up and entertain them for a week.
5. Take daughter to LSU for freshman family orientation.
6. Spend a week at school writing math tests for next year.
7. Go to dentist for cleaning and crowns upon our return.
8. Most importantly:  Begin writing my Sockems and Monkems books and my alphabet book.

1. Go for pre-op bloodwork and CT
2. Have 4th sinus surgery and spend a week to ten days recovering.
3. Son comes home for a week.
4. Sister comes up for a week (this is a week to look forward to!)
5. Trip to Natchez with sister to tour antibellum homes
6. Annual trip to Dallas with sister and daughter to go back-to-school shopping
7. Get daughter to doctor for physical and college shots (don't tell her though - she has a serious needle phobia!!)
8. Get myself to doctor for annual bloodwork/physical.

1. Take daughter #2 to LSU for a week of Stripes and pick her back up again.
2. Daughter #1 comes home for a week.
3. School begins again.

I realize some of this is fun stuff and optional, but you have to throw some fun in with the obligations and grunt work. Most of my summers sound just like this. I think I know why I'm always ready to return to work in August. ;-)

I'd love to know how my fellow teachers spend their summers. If you teach, post a comment and tell me what you're up to! If you don't teach, tell me how you fit all of the maintenance into your yearly life. I'd love to know!

Preview of Saturday's Dinner

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry-Peach Chutney Recipe

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry-Peach Chutney

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns
Peach Chutney
  • 1/3 cup prepared cranberry chutney
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped peaches
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well to blend.

from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 342
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 2.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
  • Protein: 28.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 35.8g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Cholesterol: 71mg
  • Iron: 2.8mg
  • Sodium: 447mg
  • Calcium: 92mg

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

I'm rather glad to see this day rolling to an end. The beginning was off - little sleep, then overslept by nearly an hour, nose bleed upon getting up, late to work, realized I'd forgotten important meds so had to go back home, another nose bleed session, missed 45 minutes of a training, sleepy for the rest of the training, battle with my insurance company, headachey and snippy all day...sigh. However, it wasn't a total loss. I took an hour long nap, then got up and made Cooking Light mini chipotle meatloaves. Randy came home early and we got in a 30 minute walk followed by a 15 minute cool off in the pool. Now we're settled in with the Lightning game, and at this moment, we're ahead! I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed that we'll be in the Stanley Cup finals - it's been 7 years since we won it and it's time to do it again!

I also updated my weight tracker to show a 2 lb weight loss. I weighed in today because I'm impatient and didn't want to wait until Sunday. How nice to see another pound down! Seeing changes in measurements and on the scale is making me want to do more, but I don't want to do too much too quickly or I'll burn out. Right now, I'm very pleased with the little food changes I've made like drinkng MiO, a water flavor enhancer, and snacking on fresh fruit and Newton Thins in fig, blueberry, and cranberry flavors. Oh! and I've been using Cooking Light recipes this week, too. The mini meatloaves are a keeper. Tomorrow night we'll make the sausage and shrimp with onions and peppers with grits. I've noticed that their recipes are very flavorful so you don't miss the added fats. Makes sense to me.

Two more days to go until my summer offically begins. I'll make it and I'll make the most of this summer! I can't wait for it to begin!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Terrific Tuesday!

It's rather cliche, I know, but it really was a terrific Tuesday! My out-of-state certificate expired so I applied for my new Louisiana teaching certificate today. I'll finally be official after 3 years - and highly qualified to boot since I passed the dratted Praxis. After teaching the first day of school in August, I'll be tenured, as well. What a great feeling!

School was great today, too! We decided to departmentalize, and I'll be teaching math. I just wrote math plans for this past year and made new tests for each week, so I'm very excited about specializing in that area. I'll miss teaching reading, but my teammates and I all had to sacrifice something we enjoyed to benefit the children. I love working with Gail and Sharolyn, my teamies - they make things fun! We're all looking forward to summer, but we're also looking forward to our new year in August.

To wrap up the day, I went and got my hair done, scheduled my surgery for July, and shopped for baby shower gifts. Then I came home, picked blueberries, and jumped on the rowing machine for 20 minutes. I would have loved to have rowed for 30 minutes, but there was no way! My heart rate went straight up, I broke a serious sweat, and my arms reached maximum fatigue. I know it'll get easier each time and then I can get my time up. It sure makes me respect Rebecca for rowing all these years. Randy made things fun by hoola hooping on the Wii while I rowed. He tried to beat Kelsey and Rebecca's scores, but came in 3rd place. That boy is too cute!

I can't believe how much energy I have during a week that has historically been one of the most draining weeks. There's something to this exercise thing...maybe that will keep me going for the long haul!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Monday Blahs

This may have been the last Monday of the school year, but it wasn't easy breezy. The Riser awards ceremony went smoothly and most of the kids checked out afterwards, but my work wasn't done. My room awaited. It took most of the day to pack up everything and put it in cabinets, lockers, or up on top of the counters. I moved every student desk, a couple of tables, and a packed file cabinet. I'm regretting it now with a sore back and headache, though to be honest, the headache started yesterday evening along with a nose bleed. Today I awoke with sinus pain and the dust bunnies du jour made it infinitely worse. It's a good thing I got a workout at school with all the packing, cleaning, and furniture moving because I sure didn't step outside to walk and I didn't row either. Blah, blah, blah. Ugh. Tomorrow I will call to schedule my summer sinus surgery. Of course, that's what I said today.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Stats Day

Today is stats day! My baby steps are paying off. I lost 0.8 lbs (I'm a math teacher so I think I'll round up to a full pound!) and inchage (new word?) off of my chest and waist. It reminds me of Kelsey and Rebecca saving up their coins throughout the year. They'd take their jar up to the back coin machine just before vacation and always cashed in far more than it looked like they would. That's the way these itty, bitty changes are going to work for me. It doesn't seem like much, but when I cash in at the end, the payoff will be big.

So how am I going to stay motivated through the FMS pain? The ankle and foot pain are persistant and it doesn't walk off. In fact, that's what FMS is all about - pain with repetitive motion. It gets me out of vacuuming, but it isn't going to get me out of exercise.  I don't want to become discouraged, so I'm going to alternate walking and rowing to see if using different muscles will help. I'm also planning on spending a great deal of time in the pool. Swimming is the recommended exercise for FMS, so I'll take advantage of the weather and dive in as often as possible this summer! I have to say I'm enjoying the pool so much more than our old boat. Sorry Randy.

And finally - food! I promised Kelsey I'd try the Cooking Light recipes this summer. We're starting this week with Onion Tart and salad, Shrimp and Sausage with Pepper and Onions, Beef Stroganoff,  and Mini Chipotle Meatloaves. I'll post about them as we go.

Now I'm jumping into the pool. I'm hot and sticky from our walk, the pool is a lovely 80 degrees, and the temp is inching toward 90! Have a lovely Sunday Stats Day!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finally Saturday

This has been the longest week. I feel like we packed two weeks into one, but it's finally over. It wasn't a bad week, mind you. It's just that looking back, it feels like I chaperoned Excalibur a couple of weeks ago rather than a mere 4 days. I think it's the rotting out of the school year that makes it feel this way. On Monday I had 19 kids in class and by Friday I only had 8. Next Monday I'll have about 8 for an hour and then most of them will check out and go home after the awards ceremony. The rest of the week, we'll corral any that show up and they'll be kept occupied with a movie while the teachers attend Dibels 2 trainings and tidy the rooms for summer school. Very different from my old days but so much more peaceful and productive, too!

What I learned this week is that exercise gives me have more energy. I know, I know. What a duh! thing to say, but I really felt it this week. Each morning, I woke before my alarm ready to get up. With fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, and restess leg syndrome, "well rested" is a rarity. Even better, I've been able to stay up until 10:30 or 11 without the ever present sleepiness and fatigue that are my usual post dinner companions. For the past semester, I've been lucky to stay up until 9:30, and as we say in Louisiana...that's just pitiful!

A note about Friday - I didn't walk because I'd been walking around my room all day packing it up and felt that was quite enought physical activity for one day.  I didn't post due to no internet connection.

Plans for today - Petco, drop off generator to get fixed, grocery store, 3D archery range, walk, swim if the weather allows, laundry and Tampa Bay Lightning Game 4!  Dinner will be Venison burgers, cole slaw, and grilled dill potato planks ala Martha Stewart. Yummy! Let's hope the world doesn't end today. It would be a shame to miss all that!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carol 1 - Anxiety 0

Stress and illness cause me more anxiety than just about anything else in my life. Today = STRESS! No details will be given. It's just that time of year. The amazing thing is that I'm not anxious. I put my foot down and decided to take control of my emotions and my day. Instead of stopping to pick up fast food, I went to the grocery store and picked up a couple of sushi rolls and the fixings for a Chinese crab salad. When Randy came home, we took our two mile walk and then I jumped into the pool for a quick cool down before dinner. Now we're full, cleaned up, and settled in for another exciting night of playoff hockey! Go Lightning! Go me!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What a Wednesday!

This was a weird Wednesday. I spent the day in the computer lab writing math tests for next year while a sub babysat my little kiddles. No lab classes are being held this week, so there were no kids about. It was very peaceful and I got a lot done. Then I emerged from my cave and found out two of my more challenging kids had been extra challening today. Foul mouths spewed and a bully used his brute strength against a hapless classmate. Sigh. They were invited to stay home for the rest of the year - mind you, that's only 3 more days. Still. It was an odd juxtaposition to my day of peace, and I felt drained by the news.

Now, in the past I would have driven straight to the grocery store to load up the cart with comforting carbs. Instead, I drove straight to the store and bought cabbage and low fat baked BBQ chips. Randy grilled Nathan's hotdogs and we topped them with mustard slaw instead of chili and cheese. Then we finished it off with a 30 minute walk.

I feel in control. My day of peace and productivity overcame a few moments of angst. As I reflect on this, I wonder how much of my new attitude is tied to the end of Rebecca's estrangement and exhile. Did the guilt and defeat of sending her back to Florida undermine my sense of control in my life? I feel like my prison sentence is coming to an end. My creativity is springing to the forefront. My attitude is rebounding. My sense of self worth is reawakening. The hardest challenges of our lives are the very things that strengthen us like steel forged in fire. I'm thankful for the strength I've gained, but I'm grateful the sun is coming back out and the storm of the past few years has past.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 3

Today was a great day! I chaperoned a fieldtrip to Excalibur (think Castle Golf and Games) and the kids were perfect! I got a bit of exercise walking around for 4 hours snapping pics and checking up on the little kiddles. Then, my coworker and friend treated me to an early birthday movie - The Bridesmaids. I'm sure I burned some calories laughing...raunchy, ridiculous fun!

Now, I'm snuggled into my recliner for the 2nd Lightning vs. Bruins hockey game. I'll definitely burn some calories over this game. We scored just 13 seconds in and it lit a serious fire beneath the Bruins! My heart is racing and we're not even 10 full minutes into the 1st period! The Bruins have a powerplay right now so we'll have to see where that leads...

Anyway, I got no exercise today per se, but I'm not feeling bad about it. I had a scrambled egg sandwich for breakfast, one slice of pepperoni pizza for lunch, a banana, and a piece of boudin sausage and corn on the cob (no butter or added salt) for dinner. No popcorn, no candy, no soda at the movies! Go me! Go me! Remember, I'm not on a diet. I'm just making better choices.  Go me!

Here's the link to The Bridesmaids in case you want to know more about it.  www.bridesmaidsmovie.com/

Monday, May 16, 2011

So Far So Good

It's been one whole day and I'm still alive. I haven't run around the house eating everything in sight. I haven't even been tempted to do so. Could it be because I'm not using the word diet? Could it be I think the weight is going to melt off simply because I want it to? Not sure, don't care. I don't need to borrow trouble!

Tonight Randy and I will be walking our two mile route to the back of the hood. It's not a hardship to take in the scenery - it's absolutely lovey. There's a horse farm to the west and a lovely set of ponds to the east. Sometimes we see deer or hawks. A couple of nights ago, the bats swooped overhead. The neighborhood dogs tend to walk with us, so we're never lonely for company. The high today was 74 and the wind has been blowing nonstop so the temps will be great. I'll take pictures and post them to remind me that it's worth my while to get out there and enjoy the view!

Many thanks to all of my friends and family for your encouragement! I've gotten private emails and comments sharing your trials, adventures, and successes. I've received a LOT of advice that I appreciate - everything from how to measure foods to running marathons. While there's no "one thing" that will work for all of us, it's inspiring to hear how all of you kept looking until you found what worked for YOU. That's what I'm doing. I know measuring and recording calories isn't my cup of tea, but I have also learned that I like to keep a food log to see what I've consumed in a day. I intensely dislike anything gym related, but I think I can manage switching out between walking, rowing, swimming, Wii, and bocci ball since Randy is doing this with me. I have knee problems and won't ever run, but I would love to walk another 5K one day. I don't want to weigh my food, but I love Kelsey's reference list that tells me how to know how much a serving is by comparing it to common things:  1 serving of meat = a deck of cards, veggie serving = baseball, potato = computer mouse, etc. That's so my style! So please keep the advice rolling in! What works now may not work later when I need to get past a plateau, and I'll need your sage words.

So hang in there with me, dear friends. Check in when you can, when you're curious, or each day if you're willing. I need you guys!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Morning Musings

My brain is already wanting to think it terms of diet breakfast. I had to give myself a swift kick when I caught myself thinking things like "no grits, no cheese, no this, no that." It's hard to retrain our brains. In the meantime, Randy has taken over (bless his heart) and is in the kitchen making egg mcmuffins with his homemade Canadian bacon. The good things about this:  Egglands Best eggs are better than regular, English muffins have fewer calories than two slices of wheat bread, Canadian bacon is lower in fat than bacon, and Randy's making it.

Oh, wait! Put ont he brakes here. Randy just informed me he's frying bacon.  However, it's his homemade bacon that has none of the nasty additives of store bought bacon so I'll take that as a positive.

After breakfast, we'll go for a walk. Then I'll take measurements, have a hearty laugh at my own expense, and post it for the world (or at least my family and friends) to see.

What a lovely start to the day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In the beginning...

Once upon a time I was physically fit. Then I got married, began teaching, had three kids, got busy, got stressed, got fibromyalgia, and basically ate my way through two-and-a-half decades. The toll has been high...as in high cholesterol (271 total), high blood pressure (175/90), highest weight ever (190 lbs), and a very high amount of stress. Like everyone else, I've dieted and regained more than I lost. I've tried Atkins, The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, Weight Watchers (twice), protein powders, and more. Finally, I decided I would never, ever go on a "diet" again.

How, then, am I going to lose 50 pounds before I turn 50 without dieting? By eating less and exercising more, of course! Sounds simple. Sounds reasonable. Sounds nearly impossible to me! But that's what I'm going to do. My 49th birthday is June 11, so that gives me a 60 weeks to lose 50 pounds. Fit by fifty - that's my mid-life goal!

Over the weeks (I think it's best not to think of it as months or a whole year!) I'll post my weight loss stats and pictures, along with strategies and recipes that have worked for me. My plan includes eating healthy "power" foods and slowly putting exercise into my everyday routine. I'm also planning on keeping busy with more than just Facebook and Bejeweled Blitz - I have a book to write before school starts up again, my 4th sinus surgery to weather, my daughter's return to the nest before she heads off to college in the fall, the vegetable garden to tend, and lots of math tests to write to better prepare my 3rd graders for the iLEAP test. Busy can equal stress and stress can equal eating, I know, but this kind of goal oriented busyness has built in rewards along the way, will keep me occupied rather than bored, and taps into my creative side. All of that ultimately feeds the soul. Perhaps "soul food" will fill me up quite nicely so I won't feel the desire to give into earthly temptations.

The next few weeks will be filled with goodbyes. Goodbye to Cheetos, goodbye to McDonald's sausage biscuits and sweet tea, goodbye to unhealthy post-dinner snacking and, hopefully, goodbye to lethargy, this double chin, and the Carol barrel middle I'm carrying around.

I'm motivated and ready to get started...right after I clean up the dishes from our yummy dinner of Southern fried chicken, collards with bacon, cornbread slathered in butter, and semi-homemade coconut poke cake. What can I say? I live in the South. How am I going to eat healthy when I'm surrounded by such delicious temptations as boiled crawfish dipped in melted butter, Sam's Southern Cooking with my favorite deep fried oysters, Joe's Crab Shack, and every food chain restaurant known to Western civilization?

I have no idea.

Scarlett had it right when she said, "I'll worry about that tomorrow."