Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More to Dislike on Television

We don't have TV channels. Fortunately for us, we don't watch commercials and aren't disgusted and depressed by the nightly news, either. I do feel a bit sorry that I'm missing some quality Seinfeld re-runs, though. It all started when we didn't want to pay for cable. Then the conversion to digital took away PBS (yes, we did install a converter to no avail). Hubby and I decided we weren't missing much.

We do have Netflix, and have purchased a converter that will allow us to watch our "Instant Que" on our television, as well as anything we wish to purchase from Amazon.com. Very convenient. They are continually adding new TV series and movies to the offerings. We have everything from Dr. Who to Spongebob Squarepants in the Queue.

Our 12yo son spotted a new series to add - he's seen it at another person's house and apparently enjoyed it. It's fairly recent and from the History Channel, so I gave it a try.

It's called "Pawn Stars."

Have you seen this?

I think it's repulsive. First, the obvious drama factor of men buying property with another man's money in the hopes of lucrative resale... inarticulate, seemingly impatient men. They holler at each other, call one another names, and should just unzip, grab a ruler and get it over with already. Only, not on camera PLEASE.

My biggest problem with this show is the glamorizing of PAWN SHOPS. To me, a pawn shop is a store full of peoples problems. People usually pawn things to help them out of a jamb, OR the stuff they're pawning is stolen - which is to the pain of another. The proprietor of a pawn shop is a crafty thief. It is he who has all the control. There is NO bartering. He doesn't care why you need the money, only that you do. Whatever you stand in front of him with, he only cares about giving you the least possible amount, so that he can turn around and sell it for twice as much.

This is my experience. My beloved 12 string guitar pawned for rent money, my CD collection pawned for diapers, my leather jacket pawned to pay a light bill. I have never entered or left a pawn shop with a warm fuzzy. I never met a pawn broker that wasn't a shifty sucker. This isn't something you make a TV show out of!!

Or I guess, anymore, it probably is - if you do it "right." In the one episode that I watched, the people coming in to pawn weren't destitute. They brought in stuff that was laying around and they thought they would get some money for. It makes a pawn shop seem like such a funny, quirky, place. Oh...those silly pawn brokers and their quick whit and silver tongues. Gafaw!

GAG. Bad feelings on the show, might as well glorify prostitution or drug dealing. Maybe we could find a hooker with a heart of gold and make a funny, feel-good show out of that! Forget the reasons behind things, America. I know its more important to be entertained. And in between the entertainment, you can be sold on ailments and drugs, vehicles and insurance, beer and chips. Be told what to think, what you should look like, and why you don't have any friends.

Sorry...I had to let this out.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting Over It

I ran this morning. Not a beloved long Sunday run - but just 2 miles or so. My knee didn't hurt, and I think things may be on the mend.

When I run I get the opportunity to think - alone - a complete thought. I was thinking about this blog and the fact that I haven't written much about running lately. Well, I haven't really run much lately - like about 10 miles in the last 3 weeks! After hurting myself (again) and really having to take the slow path, then the injections in my spine, I just guess I was a little mad at running, overall.

I'm not a fast runner, but have maintained a respectable amount of mileage to at least feel like a "real" runner. Fifteen or so miles per week was getting to be the norm and as I took it farther, I experienced an injury. Made me mad. I even considered that maybe I "shouldn't" run anymore. Thought of buying a road bike and trying my hand at that...or rather my legs.

But today I considered my running history. I started running in 2005, after hitting my weight goal the first time. I didn't have any running friends, or even know what to do except RUN! It was hard. I had just quit smoking and had just finished up losing 90lbs. The first time I ran 4 miles without stopping, I nearly died.

After our 3rd child was born, I went right back to running. I tried to run into the end of the 5th month - but didn't like the way it felt. When our daughter was 10 months old, I tackled a half marathon. Three months later I was pregnant again, gained to much weight and quit running. I picked it back up again with a walk/run program when our son was 3 months old. It was hard. I was extremely over weight. The first time I ran 5 minutes without stopping, I nearly died.

So I guess what my thought process brought me around to was "Why give up?" After stubbornly continuing to re-loose weight and re-start running - now, at one of the lower weights - why would I give up without a good fight!?

So, I'm over it. I won't give up. I may run nearly a 13min mile (with my HR at 85% of max) most of the time. I may not be a "real runner" and I may always struggle. But I WILL run. I will loose these last 30lbs and I will run faster.

And I will be smiling and sweating all the way!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Drop Zone After

As FlyLady says: put it away, give it away or throw it away.  I just HAD to take a picture...because as we all know...it will look back to "normal" tomorrow.

Drop Zone Before

This what I started with.  It seems there was everything feom dishes, to computer software, to sunglasses that had been forsaken in the kitchen "Drop Zone."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chuck this Day, Gimme Another

Wow - what an incredibly terrible day for a person that is trying to live a healthy life. Boo.

Unfortunately, it started out way to early with our youngest son around 5am. I managed to stay a while longer- the last 30min along with the little stinker. My poor husband got up with him and I shushed my alarm for 10 more minutes. Skipped my workout and wished for more sleep.

Just felt sore all over and my back was inflamed to the max. I had my injections scheduled for today so at least I could see the relief coming. NOT. I had the worst experience with joint cortisone injections ever. These are the third ones since December - normally they hurt...but wow. The nurse came running in to see if she needed to help. She stood with me during the second one. I couldn't stop shaking and was (against my will) freaking crying. Crying. Theres no CRYING!

Anyway, it's over. I'm still hurting like heck and having to run around at AWANA tonight probably helped for the long run, but hurt for the short run. I stopped for a soda and a bag of party mix (pretzels, etc) after my injections because I needed food to take my mind off of it. *how sick is that?* Then I grabbed a roll of Starburst candies and another Dr. Pepper before church to keep me awake.

I won't even add up the extra (stupid sugar) calories I consumed today - but suffice it to say that I needed them, I earned them, and I don't feel a bit guilty having ingested them. Tomorrow, time to get a grip and Carb Down, Fruit Up, and Veg Out! Today is only Wednesday - even with a day or two off of exercise due to injections - I should be able to eek out a small loss this week. I'm .8 of a lb away from the next decade of numbers.

I can DO it!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

School's a Killer

We started our 3rd week of school, here at the Morton Home School. My 7th and 3rd graders are doing very well at the readin', writtin', and 'rithmetic. I am doing well at keeping up with the grading and the tracking of the hours. I decided that, this year, I have to do it every day for that particular day, no excuses. Well, I plumb forgot yesterday - so I made darn sure to catch it all up today. It's a lot of work...and boy am I wiped out by 9pm (okay by 8pm). It's so worth it, though!

My break from calorie counting is going well. I have "shared ice cream with the baby" more times than normal - however - I believe I am shorting myself during the day due to not really being sure of exactly how many calories are going in. Even with a 90% break from exercise last week, I managed to loose a half a pound. I do weigh myself every day and have still been observing a steady decline.

On Monday, I did a weight lifting DVD that I've attempted many times before. Tony Horton's P90 Masters Series contains a challenging routine entitled Sculpt 5-6. I never knew you could do push ups in so many different ways before this DVD. I've always struggled - but yesterday I completed all the sets! I was so happy with myself and my progress. My chest is pretty sore from pressing my own 100 and some pounds up off the floor so many times...but I think I will do it all over again tomorrow! I like it when I put product in my hair and notice the cut in my bicep. *o*

Ran 2 little miles this morning. Did so with NO pain! I am not a patient person, by nature. God knows this and gives me these periodic challenges to deal with. I have been diligently practicing some specific yoga poses and preforming targeted stretches to deal with an IT Band issue. While it has now been 5 weeks since the onset of this issue, I am now seeing relief! I am grateful to all of my runner friends on Dailymile.com and FaceBook.com for all of their input and experience.

Had Mongolian Beef from the little place up the street for supper tonight. *See first paragraph for explanation*. My sweet husband fixed my plate, and I am happy to report that, as yummy as it was, I only ate half of what was served. I did indulge in 2 crab Rangoon, but I will skip them next time - not very good from that place. Anyway - my kitchen is still clean and I got in a little more play time with Cameron than usual. Well - I sit in one place and he climbs all over me, wiping his nose on my shirt and kissing me with slobbery open mouth.

Ahhh...the perfect evening!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Another pantry creation. I knew I should have snapped a photo straight out of the oven! Enjoy!

Broccoli Rice Casserole

4 chicken thighs, cooked and de-boned *any left over chicken will do approx 3 cups*
1 package frozen broccoli florets *or fresh, approx 3 cups*
1.5c brown rice
3 cubes chicken bullion *or cook rice in broth*
1 can low sodium Cream of Mushroom Soup
1c. shredded 2% Colby Jack Cheese
1/2c. light sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 TBSP butter

Preheat oven 350.

Cook rice according to package directions, adding bullion cubes to water. Meanwhile, steam broccoli according to package directions. Chop de-boned chicken into small pieces and transfer to large mixing bowl.

When broccoli is done steaming to tender crisp, put on cutting board and chop florets into smaller pieces, transfer to bowl with chicken, combine.

Add soup, cheese, sour cream and spices to the broccoli and chicken mixture. Mix well. Add the rice and stir. Transfer to 2 quart casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and dot with butter pieces.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve with a big salad.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Time for a Break?

I have a bad attitude. I'm so tired of recording my caloric intake I could scream. I could tell you what I had to eat on any given day for the entirety of 2010. I have strayed, yes, there may be a total of 2 weeks in there where I didn't write it down. But on a whole, I have stayed true to the rigors of careful measuring and recording.

I've lost 56 pounds.

Now what do I do? I have 32 to go. I don't want to stop! But let me tell you, every time I access the Calorie Counter app on my phone, I do so with a sneer. I don't explore the Fat Secret website anymore, or participate in the challenges because I just don't care. I am sick to death of counting calories.

I almost have myself fooled into thinking that I could take a break. Yep - me, the food lover - me, the aspiring culinary master - me, the person that can make eggs 8 different ways - I think that I can stop counting calories and continue to loose weight. Am I delusional? Maybe.

But I think it's worth an experimental break, at least, just to keep my fragile sanity. A possible compromise may be to stop counting for a week. I shall continue to measure everything, and mentally calculate my intake, but I won't enter the information into the database.

Sure. One would think with nearly a year of "practice" that I should know how to eat properly and exercise to an adequate level in order to achieve weight loss. Right? Right!? Anyway, I think I'm going to try it and I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Magical Chocolate

I had a cookie this evening at the mall.

After a school day like this, I wanted to run, screaming from the house. So about 6:30, after supper, while I was fighting with my 12yo ds about doing the dishes (for the 42nd time), I did. Well, I ran. No screaming this time.

I went to the mall and proceeded directly to Bath and BodyWorks where I know everything is a perfect fit. I sprayed, I sniffed, I checked the specials. After quick deliberations, I came out with 3 of the travel sized bottles of body spray in some lovely new scents. Happiness costs around $10, by the way.

Feeling a little better, I walked down the mall. I hadn't been to the old Westfield Shoppingtown in a while. It appears that they have totally automated their "Concierge Service." You want directions, look at a map. Need a stroller? Stick in your debit card or a fiver and the machine unlocks one for ya. No need to pay a person to sit there and do Customer Service. Nope, no need for that.

I was fairly disappointed that my favorite store seems to have disappeared. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was just nowhere to be found. *sad face* I had sugar soaked dreams on my drive over, of a Peanut Butter Bucket (oh so much more than a PB Cup) and a large fully loaded Dr. Pepper. Alas, I wound up downstairs at The Cookie Company, keeping company with a cookie they call, simply, The O.D. That's right - chocolate cookie with chocolate chips topped with fudgie icing. Oh, and no DP - they don't have it. I drank water, hmphf.

My stomach does hurt a little and when my sugars crash, I'm sure I'll have a headache - but I am feeling much calmer now, and I smell great.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Gain in Pain

Most things that you set out to do will take some sacrifice. Simply living day after day, fitting in, following the herd - well, that takes very little effort. But to break out of a rut, go a little further, change yourself for the good...it can hurt. Whether the sacrifice be physical in nature or have to do with emotional sacrifice, a little pain can bring you a long way.

What got me thinking about this was my recent bout of back pain. I have a recurring issue with a couple of joints being inflamed in my lower back and causing a whole lot of trouble. After months of physical therapy and then chiropractic, I finally saw a surgeon and had an MRI. Rather than surgery, he injected the joints and bought me several months of pain free bliss! Pain returns, I return for injections. On and on.

I'm due again, but can't be seen for 2 weeks. Though they work nearly instantly, I DREAD these horrible injections. The needle used is several inches long, and has to be sort of "dug around" in there to find the sweet spot before the good stuff is injected. I actually scream a little bit. I try to be brave, but it really hurts!

But it's for the good. I have to get over the mental block of the temporary pain to glean the benefits of long term gain.

Things have been really bad in my back. I keep working out because it helps. Increased blood flow to the muscles, the stretching, the breathing, it all helps alleviate pain. Getting started has been difficult and it's hard to walk down the stairs sometimes in the morning. I struggle into my gear and reeeach down to tie my shoes.

But it's for the good. I have to get over the mental block to glean the benefits.

Today, after dinner, we took the kids on a walk to a nearby park. We have a park less than a half mile away but hubby pushed us on to go a little further to the next park well over a mile away. I didn't want to go that far at first. After a very long, very heavy weights session on Sunday - I was paying big time in addition to existing woes. But we went, I walked, it hurt at first. I relaxed. It got better.

And it was good, I got over it and I benefited.

What other things do I avoid that I know will make my life better? Do I resist certain aspects of good health on purpose because I can't deal with a little discomfort? Would my life be better if I gave up caffeine? Meat? Sugar? TV?

Good questions - time to pray.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bill Seymour Run

My brother and I after running the 5k.  It was great to listen to this College Freshman talk to me and run slowly to support me.  Truly one of my favorite days!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fear of a Number

Everyone who is overweight has a magical number in mind for their "wow, if I could just be that thin again" number. Even if you have been heavy your whole life - you can look back to 20, 50 or 100 pounds ago and long for that size that, at the time, you abhorred. If you've ever lost weight only to gain it all back, you know what I'm talking about!

This is actually my 3rd stab at this weight. Well, up until 4lbs ago. I have gone from 225 - 175 twice. The first time I went all the way down to 145 (still NOT to goal, btw), and the second time I got to 175, ran a half marathon, then promptly got pregnant again. :eyeroll:

So there is some mental block about that 175 mark. Today I sit here at 171, feeling pretty good that the last 4lbs are some oldies. I've been carrying these around for 4 years. When I was marathon training, I couldn't get below the magic number. I was also nursing a baby, and I don't think I allowed my body enough calories to do everything. I craved sweets, I couldn't stay on my strict program all the time, and I didn't stick to it 100%.

This time I'm working through the 170's pretty good. It's taken me all of June, July and August to loose 10lbs (*ahem*) but I 'bout got her done. It's a true fact, though, that 4lbs for me is just one weekend nacho binge. I need to put more distance between me and 175. I think 10lbs will be good and I've challenged myself to get there by October 1st. No more messing around. No more excuses about vacations, and hormones....or hormonal vacations... I just need to buckle down and get it done.

Little (biggish) number can't scare me.