Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Damn Wagon!

Boy, have I ever fallen off of the wagon. Not only have I not been active in the blogosphere as of late, but I haven't really been putting any effort into practicing healthy habits either. I suppose one leads to the other - if you don't have anything nice to write, don't write anything at all.

I'm a little ashamed to admit that my mother's Food Challenge was a bust. I wanted to cook more meals at home, really I did. Even with monetary incentives, which mean the world to me, I gave in. Oddly enough, the fast food trip that did me in was a trip to my favorite sandwich shop. It was only a turkey sandwich! I was actually on the phone with my mother as I was driving home from work and making the decision to go to Mr. Goodcents (the sandwich shop). She flat out asked me if the sandwich was worth the $100 that I was going to lose in the Food Challenge. I thought about it and then decided, yes, I wanted the sandwich more than I wanted the $100. That says a lot about how much I like their sandwiches, huh?

I'm fearful that my lack of commitment and overall apathy contributed to my mother's temporary funk. But I'm happy to say that I think we both have shown a bit of a resurgence in the dedication department - my mom more than me, but I'm trying.

I actually attended a Weight Watchers meeting a couple of weeks ago to check that out. Unfortunately, I don't think that kind of environment suits my personality. I was so proud of all of the strangers in the room, though. Good for them! For me, I have a hard time paying someone to tell me what to do when I already KNOW what I should be doing - I just choose not to do it all too often.

So this weekend I went grocery shopping and stocked up on all sorts of good stuff. I'm prepared to cook more often at home - it doesn't have to be as complicated as I make it out to be. My reward for being good during the week will be to enjoy football Saturdays without too much guilt. I'm also going to try to visit the gym more frequently - I went on Sunday and it felt good to be back.

I made it through Monday and Tuesday's off to a good start, so let's hope I don't do something stupid over the next few days! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

It Pales in Comparison

I must first say that the accomplishment that I am about to brag about does not compare to those of some of my loved ones recently.

My adorable niece started kindergarten yesterday. It's just a matter of time before she is officially smarter than me. I talked to her on the phone last night to get a recap of the day's events and she reminded me that I need to be eating 5 fruits a day. Apparently, I also need to be getting my dairy in, too. I think I need to hang out more with my niece - I'll eat better. So I definitely can't compete with a cute 5 year-old on her first day of school.

Next - one of my best friends had a baby yesterday. It's her third and she finally had a girl. Enough said. Welcome to the world Kali!

Realizing that I don't have a prayer of competing with either of the above events, I'm STILL going to take a moment to pat myself on the back. I scored the winning run in my kickball game last night - in extra innings and in our first playoff game. See? I told you it was going to be a lame accomplishment. :)

Oh, and lest anyone think that I have not been participating in the Food Challenge, I have. Behind the scenes I have been communicating with my mother and sending her photos. It's primarily been salads and some ground turkey burritos. I've had plenty of leftovers to enjoy so I actually haven't made a bunch of different stuff. On the days where I've been a little lazy, I've opted for Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. Not too shabby for me. However, I need to cook dinner tonight or else I fall behind this week. I wonder if leftover turkey burritos will count again? I swear I keep eating them and I can't seem to make it all the way through the stuff.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Dinner Challenge

And so it goes with another challenge put forth by my beloved mother. She does it with love so I can't give her too much crap, although I'm pretty sure I will at some point during this challenge.

The new mission: cook 3 homemade dinners during the week (Monday-Friday), one meal on the weekend (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and once a month I have to cook in bulk on the weekends in order to have food for the following week ready to go.

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? I actually like to cook, but I don't always have the time or the patience. All too often I rely on quick, unhealthy foods when I get home from work late. I want instant gratification and cleaning, chopping and cooking are just too much for me. It's a weak excuse, there are many people who are busier than me. I'm lazy, what can I say?

My dearest mother has taken it easy on me for the first week. I only have to do 2 weekday dinners instead of 3. I just got back from vacation and then had friends visiting until Monday evening. No time to grocery shop yet and a busy week at work. With that being said, however, I managed to make dinner last night - Week 1/Dinner 1.

It wasn't fancy, but it was a home-cooked meal. Pizza - a whole wheat flatbread with mixed greens, kalamata olives, red onions and feta cheese. Side dish - brussel sprouts.

Have to get back to work. Looking forward to what I can pull out of my you-know-what for Dinner 2. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yeah, I Don't Think So

So this will have to be a quick post for me today. I realize that my "quick" posts are still quite lengthy but give me a break.

The other day I experienced my first massage. For anyone who knows me, I am NOT a touchy feely kind of person and particularly with strangers. I even try to avoid hugging my friends when I can - not because I don't like them, though. Anyway, the massage was a "treat" from one of my colleagues. I survived but I don't think it's for me. I spent the whole time thinking about my to do list at work. And when the woman got to my toes and individually massaged each one, I couldn't help but recite the "This little piggy went to the market..." nursery rhyme. I couldn't help it. I don't think I appreciated the whole experience the way a normal person would.

I wrapped up my last two training sessions this week. I don't recommend drinking a cosmo before working out - just a little something I learned on Tuesday. Yesterday was much better sans the alcoholic warm up. I apparently accomplished some great feat yesterday by completing 40 cardio push ups. My trainer was more than impressed. Yay for me, I guess.

I need to decide if I want to sign up for another round of sessions or try to do it on my own and focus on the proper eating portion of the event. I think I need to take my mother up on her offer for the next great challenge. I like eating healthy, but somehow I manage to avoid it too often when work gets stressful.

I'm at work and need to get back to it.

Parting words - congrats to Mom for her consistent dedication. I hope you can teach me a few tricks when I'm home. :) I'm also looking forward to your cooking and even some kohlrabi.

Two more work days until a week of vacation. Yippee!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Some Things DO Stay the Same

Sunday was a fairly uneventful day so I'll keep my rambling to a minimum. That, and I'm at work and need to get a head start on a bunch of stuff.

I finally made a trip to MY gym. I had been neglecting it for the past few weeks in favor of working out with my trainer. I did 35 minutes on the bike. I figured I should submit some cardio with photographic evidence before my mother started to question my honesty.

As for the title of my blog today, I thought I would go back in time and try eating something that I didn't necessarily love when I was a kid - pork chops. I've seen them in some recipes lately and on TV and they look wonderful. I thought I'd give them another shot and put them on the grill. It's about what I remembered - dry and a little tough. Yes, it might have something to do with the cook. I have plenty of leftovers so I have ample opportunity to get used to them. I did, however, enjoy my green bean salad that I made.

Off to work. Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Nose Finally Stopped Burning

It's far more common to hear that one's nose is running or perhaps that one's ears have been burning. In my case this afternoon, my nose was in fact burning. No, I didn't spend too much time out in the sun. I made a salad. Huh? I don't know what's more surprising - that I finally made a salad instead of eating a bunch of junk food or that the salad I made was incredibly spicy.

It all started with good intentions. I had a session with my personal trainer this morning. It was a good workout so I was determined to eat healthy today so all of my hard work and sweat didn't go to waste. I love chickpeas (or garbanzo beans if you prefer) so I dumped a can of those in a bowl and mixed it with assorted veggies, tuna and feta cheese. One of said veggies in my salad was a leftover pepper. It looks like a hybrid of an Anaheim pepper and a jalapeno. Let me go on the record by saying that I had already eaten two of these peppers in the past week or so and they were a very mild but tasty pepper. I don't know what happened but this thing picked up heat somewhere and it didn't occur to me that I needed to handle it with care. I dumped it into my salad after I half-heartily scraped out the seeds/ribs. I don't recall washing my hands, which turned out to be a problem that I later regretted.

I was thrilled to dig into my salad and the first few bites were yummy! And then it happened - my mouth was on fire! No worries, I thought. I'm not a wimp and I love spicy food. That's what my ice water is for. I kept going because that's the kind of trooper that I am. Next thing you know - my nose is burning and I mean B-U-R-N-I-N-G! I must have inadvertently rubbed my nose when it began to run due to the spicy peppers I had been eating. A burning mouth and a burning nose is not a good (or attractive) combo. Shoving a cold, damp paper towel up one's nose is not really a good idea. Somehow it made it worse. I just had to suffer until it went away - about 30 minutes later. Guess what, though? I finished the salad and I'm dumb enough that I'd probably do it all over again. See how dedicated I am to healthy eating? Ok, that's probably a stretch.

I haven't blogged in a while so here's a quick recap:

-I've continued with my personal training sessions. I just completed my 6th session (out of ten).
-I did 15 minutes of cardio on Thursday with my trainer (Mom, you decide if you want to allow me to count it).
-I did 10 minutes of cardio following my session today (pretty please, Mom?).

Oh, I also spent a bit of time outside today trying to get my windblown tree up off of the ground and properly staked. It's a very young tree and can't seem to hold itself up. The previous stake snapped in a storm and the tree fell over but didn't break, thank goodness. I think the current contraption I'm using might be temporary. It's my best looking tree in the backyard so I can't afford to have it beaten up like that. I might need to call in a professional because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just What I Thought

Yesterday was day three with my trainer. I have to say that I actually enjoy the training sessions. I like leaving with the knowledge that I have worked hard and that my efforts will be worthwile.

With that being said, I also walked away with confirmation of something that I have known but have never fully proven. I have little to no discernable upper body strength. I'm exaggerating to some degree, but it's definitely a weakness of mine. Unfortunately, my dedication to "12 oz curls" have not resulted in improved strength. I might have to adjust my tactics - slightly. :)

My mother has kindly informed me of my lack of upper body strength and tells me that's why my golf game stinks. Ok, she didn't use those words exactly, but I know that's what she meant. She has a vested interest in my training sessions because I am her golf partner in an upcoming tournament. The stronger I am, the less she thinks she has to do. So, so wrong.

Thank you to everyone who gave me tips on how to avoid injuring myself in the gym. Why is it I've always been intimidated by the glove-wearing weight lifters? I just assume you have to know what you're doing and be really serious before you earn the right to wear them. Maybe I've been wrong all of these years and they're just sweaty like me. I think they prevent calluses and blisters, too. Yesterday wasn't nearly as sweaty and slippery so I'm hopeful that I won't make a fool of myself. I have another session tonight - lower body and core exercises. Yay!

By the way, only a 5 minute cardio warmup yesterday. Hardly worth reporting, but since the race in the cardio challenge is tight I need all of the help I can get.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Is That Normal?

I've discovered recently that I sweat a lot. Before I continue I should probably explain that I'm talking about situations where some kind of physical effort is involved. I don't just break out into a flop sweat when I brush my teeth or anything. Come to think of it, I do sweat a little when I blow dry my hair. That's not the point, but in my own defense I will say that I rarely set my AC below 82 so the occasional bead of sweat will appear at random times.

Back to my original statement regarding sweat and physical effort. I recently decided to sign up for some personal training sessions this summer. A friend of mine is a personal trainer and she was offering up some summer specials, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I tend to be more diligent if someone is expecting something out of me. I'm a people-pleaser so I can't help myself. So far I've had 2 of my 10 sessions and I think I've sweat more in those two sessions than I have in all my life. I honestly began to question my ability to hold onto the weights and equipment because of my sweaty hands. It became a big concern when I was laying down on a bench and lifting a slippery 25lb weight from over my chest, to over my head and toward the floor. How could I explain that I broke my nose and knocked out all of my teeth while exercising? Fortunately, that didn't happen but it was a distinct possibility. Having toned triceps didn't really seem worth it at that very moment.

If there is any chance that the amount of one's sweat equates to the number of calories one has burned - then I'm good for a few weeks. :)

One other matter that needs to be addressed...the Cardio Challenge. I have been woefully absent for the past few weeks. I'm hoping that a certain someone will grant me permission to count my 10 minute cardio warmups that my trainer includes in my training sessions (hey, it's not like I'm claiming I warm up for 60 minutes or anything). She doesn't allow me time to take photos of my cardio time.

10 minutes on a treadmill (Tuesday)

10 minutes on the elliptical (Friday)

30 minutes on the elliptical today, for which I have proof

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Apparently I'm a Slow Learner

My plan was to get up this morning (check), water my plants and my sad tree (check) and go for a hike (check). Sounds like a lovely morning, doesn't it?

The morning was technically a success, however, I should have planned more wisely. I was distracted by a few things I needed to this morning and headed out for my hike later than originally planned. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but holy crap it was hot! It was already 100 degrees by 9am-ish. I've lived here for nearly three years and it still catches me off guard sometimes. I'm not so stupid that I don't take water with me, however. I was torn between my fuel belt and my Camelback (hydration backpack). I went with the fuel belt and probably should have gone with the Camelback since I was out there for over an hour.

My dearest mother/competitor had better count my cardio for the hike. I used my Garmin specifically for this reason - I want credit for the 1 hour and 4 minutes of cardio that I did out in the heat and climbing a mountain. The Colorado Rockies it was not, but it was still a big damn hill. That's 1 hour and 4 minutes for 3.52 miles. The "0.0" was my pace at the time I took the photo. No, I can't take photos and walk at the same time. The 11:28 was the time at which I took the picture (after I got home and had breakfast) and it's off an hour (should have read 10:28). More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.

Yesterday, was a relatively lazy day. I made a trip to the farmer's market to pick up a few items. The last time I went to this particular market, there was a Nebraska vendor selling pork products. I didn't stop to chat them up last time, but yesterday I decided to stop by and check out the goods. The company name is Pork on a Fork and they sell pork straight from their Nebraska farm. As a fellow Nebraskan, I felt I had to support their company. I picked up a pack of jalapeno bratwursts. I grilled them up last night and my roommate and I thought they were really good. Good for summer grillin'.

The other neat thing about the guy who runs the stand - he was wearing a t-shirt from the local Husker bar that I go to for football games during the fall. I'll have to look for him the next time I'm at Arena's for a game. It can't hurt to have a friend in the pork business, right? Actually, I don't know why I said that - I really don't eat that much pork. Now, if it was healthy to eat pounds of bacon everyday, I'd be all over it.

Have to go to the grocery store for other items for the week. I think I'm going to try panzanella salad this afternoon. It's mostly bread and fresh veggies, how bad could it be?

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm One Hot Corner!

Last night was my first kickball game. I had missed the mandatory rules clinic and practice games last week so I had no idea what to expect and I was actually a bit nervous. From what my teammates had told me, we didn’t exactly play very well in the casual pickup games. I was expecting us to be a team of misfits – the kids who always got picked last in gym class. To add insult to injury, as one of the new teams in the league we were given the pistachio colored t-shirts. They aren’t as awful as you might think.

We didn’t win our first official game, but I thought we did really well. Apparently we played one of the best teams in the division, Rubber Balls & Liquor, and only lost 2-0. Our defense was really impressive and I think all credit should be given to our 3rd baseman. Oh wait, that’s me! Yes, I play the “hot corner”. Did you know that 3rd base is called the “hot corner”? News to me. I personally got 3 people out at 3rd base. That’s right – don’t mess with me and my base! Wade Boggs, George Brett and Mike Lowell have nothing on me. As for the 2 runs that the other team did manage to score, they had nothing to do with me.

Unfortunately, I can’t count any of my kickball activity last night as cardio. The agreed upon rule was that I had to kick a double (get to second base) or more in order for it to count. Well, no one on my team can say that they did that. We need to work on our offense. I had no idea a big, red rubber ball could roll so slowly toward the plate. I was expecting faster, bouncier pitches. Overall, it was a fun night. Next week’s opponent is “Don’t Come on My Base”.

A bit of irony for you on a Friday – I have a toe injury. Did I get it during the kickball game last night? No, I didn’t. I managed to drop my garbage can on my bare toe this morning and it’s still throbbing and is swollen. I actually can’t walk normally. I’ll be sure to use the family remedy of “stick it in some ice and you’ll be fine”.

Have a good weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stayin' Alive

My plants have officially survived one day. I went out this morning to check on them and they were a little dry so I gave them a small drink to make it through the 108 degree day today. It's actually nice in the mornings - I should really make going out into my backyard part of my routine.

As promised, I made it to the gym yesterday afternoon. I managed to sweat up a storm on the elliptical. Sorry for the crookedness of the photo - I had to rest my hand on one of the handles to take a readable photo.

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot Dog!

No, I didn't indulge in hot dogs this weekend. Although, I don't blame you for thinking that.

As it turns out my roommate's dog might be coming to live with me. For those of you that know me, I've always wanted a dog but have never had one. I've always lived vicariously through others. Between my dad not being fond of any pets when I was a child and me being reluctant to take on the expense and responsibility as an adult, I've never had the courage to get a dog. The prospect of my roommate's dog coming to live with me is the perfect scenario - she's a great dog, she's older and completely house trained, I'm not responsible for the daily chores that come with her and I'm not repsonsible for paying for her needs. I just get to play with her and take her for walks. Don't know for sure if it will happen or when, but I'm excited at the prospect. (Shhh, my brother's dog will always be my favorite. Shout out to Maxfli!) Oh, and we can have a contest to see who sheds more. I think it would be a close race.
On to other things from this weekend, which has been quite a busy and productive one. I started off my Saturday with an early trip to the downtown Phoenix farmer's market. I think my expectations were a little too high. It was ok, but definitely not worth the 30 minute trip (one way). I think I'll stick to the farmer's market a little closer to home from here on out.

After shopping, there was cleaning and yard work. I do NOT recommend doing yard work at 3pm in 105 degree heat. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, that's when my roommate and his uncle were available to help me trim my palo verde trees. May I just say that trimming those trees are a lot more complicated than I thought. Glad I had some expert help (the uncle, not the roommate). This should get my HOA off of my back - I received a "warning" about my tree hanging too far over the sidewalk. Well, unless Yao Ming walks down my sidewalk, I think I'm good to go. Never mind that I've yet to see anyone walk in front of my house. Stupid HOA.

After a few hours of yard work, we had people over for a barbecue and did grilled pizzas. This was the first time that I did it without parental supervision and it was a success. I even managed to grill some pineapple and mango for dessert - with vanilla ice cream, of course!

I've been busy today, too, but the only notable thing to share is my attempt at gardening again. I have this beautiful pot that is in my backyard. I've had it for many years and I've only attempted to grow things in it twice - both times my mother bought the plants and planted them for me. And...both times I have neglected to water them with any kind of regularity and both times I have killed all of the plants.

I'm stupid enough to give it another shot. I went to Lowe's, mostly because I haven't been in a while and I thought they might be worried about me, and purchased the heartiest, most drought resistent plants I could find.

No, I don't have a pot full of cacti, although I do have one but it's in another pot and even I haven't killed it off yet. This is how dumb I am when it comes to plants - my cactus started growing things that looked a lot like asparagus a few months ago and I was curious if that was normal. I opted not to cut them off and eat them, which was a good thing because a few weeks later they had bloomed with reddish like colors (similar to a yucca plant). Who knew? They didn't look so perky the other day so I cut them off.
I'm going to squeeze a trip in to the gym in a bit. Haven't been in a while so I need to get back on the wagon. Who the heck knows how far behind I am in the challenge. I'm better off not asking.
I now have two challenges - a cardio challenge and a gardening challenge. I can't fail at both, so something's gotta give. Let's hope I can pull a rabbit out of my hat and do well at both.

Monday, June 15, 2009

That Was a Really Bad Idea

It’s amazing what one can learn about oneself in a very short period of time. Several things became clear to me Sunday morning during the 5k run that I thought was a good idea. I hate to bother you with the random bullet points, but that’s actually how my brain works. Also, each one of these thoughts crossed my mind during my “run”.

  • Deciding to participate in a 5k run on a whim is not a good idea.
  • Cardio exercise on an elliptical or a bike does not translate into being in running shape.
  • I should not take a 21-week break from running and then jump right back into a 5k.
  • Running on a multi-surface course is not ideal for the out-of-shape (concrete, dirt, sand, gravel, horse poop).
  • Yes, I said horse poop.
  • Indoor, air-conditioned exercise is nowhere near the same as outdoor, desert exercise.
  • Because of my non-existent training I had to succumb to a combo of jogging/walking.
  • I think I walk faster than I run. Is that possible? Wow, I’m lame.
  • At least I don’t do the funny arm and hip swinging when I walk really fast.
  • My mother so kindly referred to me as “skinny” in one of her recent blog posts. God love her, but I have to say that there were many non-skinny people that kicked my you-know-what at that 5k. That confirmed what I already knew - "skinny" has nothing to do with being in shape.
  • I was really proud of the non-skinny people making me eat their dust.
  • It occurred to me at one point that the longer I took to complete the 5k the more cardio minutes I could report for the cardio challenge. I realize that isn’t the proper motivation one should focus on for a running event, which leads me to some of my concluding thoughts.
  • I hate running.
  • I was not meant to be a runner.
  • I admire those who do enjoy running.
  • I need to find a new activity that I actually like.
  • I’m contemplating cycling, but that would require me to purchase a bike and that will have to wait. For now, I’ll have to stay indoors in the comfort of my gym.

That’s it for now. I’ve had a couple of lazy weeks during the cardio challenge, so I’m hoping to make up some ground this week. Cross your fingers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lackluster Effort

I don't have much to report from last week and my efforts this weekend were not very notable. I normally get to the gym on both Saturday and Sunday, but I think the extra hours at work last week knocked me out a little bit. I skipped Saturday and wanted to do the same on Sunday, but I managed just enough energy to do the treadmill for a bit.

I did have a small discovery this weekend. I went to go donate blood this weekend, but found out that my iron levels weren't quite where they needed to be. I was one point lower than their acceptable range. It's nothing to worry about, but it might explain my constant fatigue. Later today I will be surfing the web to discover foods high in iron. I don't want to load up on nothing but red meat - that would cause other problems, I'm sure. I should also start taking my multi-vitamin again.

Sorry for the boring post. Don't have much time and need to get to work. I feel like I never left.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday Triumph

It's not a triumph in the way that you might be thinking. I'm not foolish enough to claim victory in my cardio challenge this early in the week. The triumph that I speak of is that I actually made it to the gym on a weekday evening. Yay!

I have to say that the weekday evening crowd at the gym is quite different than the weekend morning. And by crowd I mean 7-10 people. I like that I have a small gym. I was amused by an older gentleman, probably 70+ years old, who made strange barking-like noises when he exhaled on all of his reps. Don't get me wrong, this man was in good shape and could probably kick my butt in every aspect of health & fitness, but his barking noises were still funny. Barking might not be the right word. I can most easily describe it as the type of noise you make when you play football in the backyard and say "hut-hut-hike" when you're playing quarterback. It kinda sounded like one of the "huts" and was pretty loud. It's the little things that make me laugh.

The only reason I made it to the gym last night was because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep soundly with the words "insurmountable lead" floating around in my head. Gone are the days when my mother's voice has a soothing and calming effect on me. Now I have visions of her on a bike or treadmill just laughing (or cackling) away with a slimy, s#&t eating grin on her face.

I managed 35 minutes on the bike last night. It actually didn't tire me out as much as I thought. I actually stayed awake until 10:00. Yes, that's a big deal for me. :) Sorry for the shaky camera work.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cardio Hangover

Isn't exercise supposed to fill you with endless amounts of energy? I think I'm missing that part of the equation. After my big day at the gym yesterday, I went home to shower (boy, was it desperately needed and I enjoyed it immensely) and then headed back out to the grocery store for a quick trip but I was dragging like you wouldn't believe.

As I was on the bike yesterday, for what seemed like an eternity, I was reading my SELF magazine and saw some recipes that I wanted to try - is it bad that my mind turns to food even when I'm exercising? Anyway, the recipes of interest were a healthy macaroni salad and roast beef and artichoke lettuce wraps. I had the lettuce wraps yesterday for lunch. Note to self - don't go cheap on the roast beef. I don't eat a lot of roast beef, mostly because I'm really picky about excess fatty parts. It was actually delicious, but I think I might go with tuna as the protein next time. Other ingredients: lettuce (duh), roast beef, artichokes, chickpeas, zucchini, lemon juice, a little shredded Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. It was a light and refreshing change of pace. I'll make the macaroni salad today. I've never hard boiled an egg before so that will be new.

The rest of my day yesterday was pretty lazy and pathetic. I blame it on the excess cardio, but honestly I still would have probably been tired and lazy. So what does one do after a successful day at the gym and a really healthy lunch? You screw it all up by having a really unhealthy dinner. I was craving Mexican food from a little place called Carolina's (best tortillas ever). It was certainly yummy, but boy did I feel like doo-doo afterward. I really hope that I remember that feeling for a while and will use it as motivation not to do it again in the near future.

I went to bed last night at 9:00, which isn't too unusual for me but still a little embarrassing to admit. I woke up this morning at 6:30 and decided it was time to make up for those sinfully delicious machaca burritos and tortillas from last night. I hit the "dreadmill" for 35 minutes and then followed it up with some upper body weights and ab work. I hadn't done any strength training in a while so it was good to squeeze some of that in. I was tempted to go to McDonald's and get an Egg McMuffin and a Chai Latte at Starbucks later, but I came to my senses and went home instead. I made a healthy egg, spinach and feta wrap and had a big glass of water. Yay! I'm not completely brain dead when it comes to food.

Now for posting today's cardio, but before I do I need to make the smallest of retractions. I called my mother my "sworn enemy". Apparently that's a little too harsh for her (sissy!). Instead, I will consider her my "Rival Numero Uno". Hopefully, that's a little more palatable. If not, tough! It will build character.

Ignore the calories and distance - that's not the point. It's just the fact that I was up off of my you-know-what for 30+ minutes.
Have a good week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bringin' It!

Things in the Raz family are getting ugly. My brother is disappointed that Mom and I aren't exchanging more barbs than we are in our cardio challenge. My mother all too happily heeds my brother's advice and wastes no time in telling me how WAY far ahead she is in our challenge. Really? I thought this was going to be an honorable challenge and that we would conduct ourselves with the utmost respect and sportsmanship. Apparently, I am all alone in my naive little cardio camp of 1. If mud is going to be slung, then I better start bringin' it and I mean that physically and verbally.

After a conversation with my dearest mother (aka "sworn enemy until August 1"), I got the slightest indication of exactly how "WAY" far behind I am in cardio minutes/bonus points. I have to say that her lead is sizable but not insurmountable. I may not be able to make a comeback all in one day, but gosh darn it I gave it a try. I should probably be embarrassed that I'm super competitive with my mother but I'm not.

My day at the gym was a long one, but well worth it if you ask me. There was no bleeding and my feet didn't go numb even once. Proof of my quality time with both the elliptical AND bike are as follows:

If my lower limbs are still functioning tomorrow, then I'll be at the gym again trying to log my minutes. I have to kick some 60 year-old butt, you know!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lazy Weekend

My lazy weekend continues. I've watched entirely too much of the John & Kate Plus 8 marathon this weekend. I have absolutely no idea why. I'm not married, I don't have kids, I previously had no interest in them. I blame it on the sensational media coverage of them recently. It's like watching a train wreck. Don't get me wrong - the kids are very cute but it's chaos non-stop. I can't even take care of myself on most days. I think I need Kate to enforce my healthy eating. I wonder if she could make room for me at the table.

I digress. I successfully completed my cardio both yesterday and today. Yesterday was 30 minutes on the elliptical and today was 35 minutes on the bike.

In honor of the three day holiday weekend, I fired up the grill last night for some hamburgers. I don't know what I did differently, but they were really juicy and YUMMY! I even made Bobby Flay's Green Chile Sauce to put on top and it was wonderful. I forgot (not really, just lazy) to grill/roast the red onion and put it in raw - still delicious. I think I'm going to use some of the leftovers as a dressing for my green been salad today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Just Barely

Today is the first day of my three-day holiday weekend. I'm afraid that there will be more bad news than good when it comes to my food intake, but at least I made a trip to the gym today. It was all I could do to get my cardio in - 36 minutes on the bike. I should have stayed and done some strength training, but I just didn't have it in me. Perhaps tomorrow...

I'm not sure where this puts me for the week in terms of our cardio challenge, but at least I squeezed in the 60 minutes. I'm sure my competitor has logged more "bonus" points. I need to rent a 5 year-old for a few days and chase them around for more "cardio time". Maybe my brother would ship my niece out to Phoenix for a visit. Nah, probably not.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recess Here I Come!

Oh Lord what have I done? So I belong to this "Girls Night Out" group that I discovered online here in Phoenix. I occasionally participate in events like happy hours, hiking, indoor rock climbing, etc. Today I got an email about one of the girls trying to start a co-ed kickball team to join a league. I don't know what got into me this morning but I thought it was a totally cool idea and before you know it I'm replying, "Yes, sign me up!"

I should really stop, think and count to ten before making such life altering decisions. Ok, I'm a little dramatic. Who didn't love kickball as a kid? How tough could it be? It's not like it's softball where I have to hit a moving object with a tiny stick. I have issues with that due to my upbrining as a golfer - small stick, but a stationary ball - big difference.

So the games don't take place anywhere near my house, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet more people and get some fun exercise in at the same time. Hmmm. Will my mother allow me to count my kickball time as cardio. I see some negotiations in my future. :)

I tend to regret making decisions like this, but so far I'm still excited. Look out big red ball - you're mine!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Early Morning

After being very sluggish yesterday, taking a nap and going to bed at 9:00pm, I woke up this morning at 5:30am. Before I had a chance to talk myself into going back to sleep for a bit, I climbed out of bed and got ready to go to the gym.

I doddled a little bit around the house before I went, but I was there at about 6:30ish. I got my cardio in and did some upper body weights. I tried to use one of those benches that lets you do sit ups on an incline. I managed to get on the contraption with my legs strategically placed in between the pads. I did three sit ups. Normally, I'm quite good at sit ups and can do many of them. What I realized with this thingy-ma-bobber is that the incline was to steep for me. Unfortunately, I'm NOT smarter than the bench and I couldn't figure out how to change the incline. Maybe next time. I had done my time and decided to leave to do my other favorite thing in the world - grocery shopping! I find that if I go grocery shopping early in the morning before the crowds, I'm a much less annoyed shopper.

I'm off to run a few errands, but so far it's a good day - exercise, grocery shopping, healthy breakfast, cleaned the shower and have had 3 glasses of water. And it's not even 10:00am yet!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hot Damn!

I wish I could say that that exlamation was about a huge success that I have experienced, but instead I'm referring to the weather. I live in the desert of Phoenix (aka The Valley of the Sun), so it should come as no surprise to me that it gets hot here. I'm entering into my third summer here, so you'd think that I'd be less of a wuss. I'm afraid not. The temps have officially hit the triple digits and they are here to stay for a long while. The first month or so of the heat seems to knock me out - tired all of the time. I know what would help - drinking more water. Why has that been so difficult for me lately?

Maybe I need an Agua challenge in addition to my Cardio Challenge. I need to challenge myself to drink at least 6 glasses a day - I can't commit to 8 right off the bat.

As for the cardio, my mother probably has the leg up on me this week. I hit the gym last Sunday and then again today. I've met my 60 minute goal for the week, but I'm not happy that I only went two times this week. I'm hoping I can get some rest, drink lots of water and find a little more energy this week.

Oh! I almost forgot to add that I made it to a farmer's market today. I haven't been to one in a long while, so it was fun to check it out. I picked up lots of good veggies and look forward to enjoying them this week. I've learned one very important thing about myself - if I don't go grocery shopping and have my fridge and pantry full of yummy stuff, I will fall off the fast food wagon and treat myself to just about anything I desire. Unfortunately, I don't love grocery shopping so this happens a little too often.

I did 35+ minutes of cardio today on the elliptical. I did my usual 30 minutes and then tried another few minutes doing it backwards. Wow, that felt awkward.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I apologize for my blogging faux pas. An award was bestowed upon me by my mother and I have not properly displayed the honor on my blog. I look forward to passing it along to other wonderful bloggers, but I first have to find time to follow ya'll.

Hopefully, I will squeeze in a trip to the gym tomorrow and I will have something to blog about.

Have a good Monday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So Far So Good

I'm happy to say that both my mother and I have survived the first week of the carido challenge. There weren't any cheap shots and I do believe that we both behaved ourselves. That can only last for so long. :)

I'm sad that the weekend is nearly over. I enjoyed my day off from work on Friday, despite the fact that my golf game was rather pitiful. I'm still enamored with my new, cute golf shoes so at least I had that going for me. I also made it to the movies with some friends and saw Star Trek. I'm not a Trekkie by any means - I've never seen any of the movies and I've maybe seen a total of 10 minutes of the TV show. It was still a big summer blockbuster that I felt compelled to see. It was pretty good, but I'm also easily entertained. :)

Yesterday was a busy day, but I can't recall why. Do you ever have those days? All I remember is building a 4-drawer dresser. It took FOREVER! I actually like projects like these. I love getting all organized and following directions. It wasn't anything fancy, just a piece of furniture from Target for the guest bedroom. I only had one goof that, of course, I noticed at the very end. I put one piece in upside down. It was entirely decorative and not functional, but I couldn't let it go. I had to take several pieces apart just to fix it, but it made me happy to have it done properly. It was very satisfying and it was practically a workout. My hand is still sore from the screwdrivers and hammer.

Today I had brunch with a couple of girls. I treated myself to eggs benedict and a bloody mary. Both were ok - I've had much better. It was a nice change of pace and I didn't feel too bad about splurging because I went to the gym this morning for over an hour. I have a sneaky suspicion my arms are going to hurt a lot tomorrow - they had that limp noodle feeling when I was washing my hair in the shower. Oh well, no pain no gain, right?

30 minutes on the bike this morning. Good news - my photo skills are improving!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Could Have Done Without That

I'm taking a vacation day today. I'm not doing anything spectactular, but I'm happy not to be in the office. I'll be leaving here shortly to go play some golf. We got a great deal that includes green fees, cart, lunch and a sleeve of golf balls. The lunch is a hot dog or hamburger so I will have to decide which will do the least damage.

Today is garbage day. That means my roommate has to finally pick up the dead lizard in the backyard. I let him keep it an extra week - don't ask why. He threatened to bring it into the house instead of walking it around and putting it in the garbage directly. So when he went outside I locked him out. I knew he was going to mess with me, but after I asked him if he threw it away he swore that he did. I should have known better. I opened the garage door and was expecting him to scare me with it. I thought I was safe because I didn't see anything on the garbage can itself. However, I found it strange that my roommate felt compelled to follow me out to the garage when I was headed to the gym. Yep! He had put the dead lizard on the hood of my car so it would be looking at me when I walked toward my car. I hate my roommate with the fire of a thousand suns. Geez Louise! My heart rate shot through the roof before I ever got to the gym. Needless to say my roommate got quite the kick out of it. Once his mission was accomplished he threw it away. Jerk.
I managed to compose myself and made my way to the gym. I did the bike today, as I was a little bored with the elliptical.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just Say No!

I had to summon my inner Nancy Reagan last night.

You see, I decided to join a friend of mine for a drink after work. I was chatting with my parents on the phone on my way to the sports bar and a certain someone mentioned to me that this friend might be a bad influence on me and my attempt at a healthier lifestyle. I didn't take kindly to the implication that I can't think for myself. To be honest, I can screw up and be a dum-dum on my own, thank you very much. (No, I'm not actually proud of that.)

It did get me thinking, however. I decided to make an honest effort at not throwing my fairly successful eating day away by blowing it on a few beers and a bunch of bar food. I spent 15-20 minutes looking at the menu trying to figure out how to minimize the damage. I opted for the 10" veggie pizza. My friend and I ended up splitting the pizza in half, so I only had 3 small pieces. I also limited myself to one beer. All in all, I was ok with my outing. It could have been much worse, trust me! A big thank you goes out to American Idol - I left the bar early to get home to watch the show and it may have prevented the temptation to eat or drink more.

My big concern was getting home and feeling hungry again. I hate the evening nibbles. I was good until my roommate went out to pick something up and came back with two ice cream cookie sandwiches. Yikes! He bought the 2nd one for me and asked me if I wanted it. I briefly thought about it and decided to go with what I learned as a little girl - "Just Say No!" Hey, ice cream cookie sandwiches might as well be drugs. Both are dangerous.

Cardio challenge note: I didn't get up early this morning like I did yesterday, but I'm hoping to get to the gym this evening. Congrats to V on her day - she isn't going to make this easy. :) Oh, one more thing - I don't think I said I would accept the pedometer for golf. That's four hours of "cardio". I said you could use the pedometer to report a walk in the neighborhood. Don't try to squeeze in your grocery store trips and golf rounds as minutes of cardio. Good try, little lady.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Look at Me Go!

It's amazing what I can get done in the morning when I don't hit the snooze button twelve times - sadly that isn't an exaggeration. The alarm went off at 5am and I was ready to continue with my usual routine, but at 5:20 I decided I needed to get up and go to the gym. After all, my mother had recorded her Day 1 of the Cardio Challenge and I didn't want to be left behind.

Pardon the lack photography skills on my part. I took the photo while still using the elliptical. I was afraid if I stopped or paused, the machine wouldn't show my time. The blurriness makes it look like I was on the elliptical for 3,005 minutes, but I can assure you that's not the case. It was 30:05.
I was so proud of myself I almost went to McDonald's for a cheeseless Egg McMuffin. Thankfully, good sense prevailed and I went home and made my own breakfast sandwich. I tried one of the new Alternative Bagels (only 110 calories) and quickly made some eggs with my Egg Beaters. Yum!
Last night was a big accomplishment, too. You see, I LOVE Mexican food and beer. Cinco de Mayo is the perfect reason to indulge and normally I would. Somehow my calorie count during the day left me with enough wiggle room to have Taco Bell! Hey, I don't discrimate when it comes to Mexican food - it's all good in my book. One bean burrito and crunchy taco later and I'm a very happy girl. Que Bueno!
Adios for now!

Monday, May 4, 2009

This Should Be Interesting

A challenge has been put forth. My mother and I are both motivationally challenged when it comes to doing cardio exercise on a regular basis. So the question is this: can two lazy people motivate each other to not be so lazy?

If our battles on the golf course are any indication of what is to come during this challenge – it could get ugly. Sometimes there is no mercy. I complain, she cheats, I get pissy, she manages to beat me, she has uncanny luck and I get pissier. I could go on, but I will spare you the details. Fortunately, this challenge doesn’t involve any luck. There will be bragging rights, but we are both attempting the honorable goal of being more active so we’re both winners. Yeah, right! I still want to win and I know she does, too. Let the heckling begin!

The rules, which will evolve as we undoubtedly become cardio queens, begin with us committing to 3 days of cardio per week for a cumulative total of at least 60 minutes of cardio time. We each earn points for any additional time above and beyond the 60 minutes. Time must be reported via photos of our cardio machine and achieved time. The photos will be posted on our respective blogs - mine and hers. The challenge began yesterday and will run through August 1st. The winner gets a $25 gift certificate to the store of their choice. My mother has selected Whole Foods, which is an interesting choice considering she doesn’t have one where she lives.

Some of you out there might assume that I would have the advantage over my mother because of our respective ages. Not so. I don’t have a very good track record with challenges – I’ve signed up for the SELF Magazine Challenge two years in a row and haven’t done a darn thing with it. I agreed to a long run challenge with my brother and a fellow runner to keep us on track for our half/full marathon training and I weaseled out of it pretty early on. I completed the half marathon, but my training was pretty miserable for the last 2 months. I need to figure out a way to transfer my desire to win on the golf course to winning in the gym.

It’s all in good fun and I look forward to all of the friendly banter between the two of us.

By the way, my mother has graciously agreed to accept my 32 minutes on the elliptical from yesterday morning without visual documentation.

One quick note from this past weekend – my week had its usual highs and lows with regard to my eating and exercise. My Friday, however, was sabotaged by my co-workers who wanted to go out to lunch. We went to a place called 2 Hippies and the Magic Mushroom Burger. How could I say no to a place like that? My only choices were hamburgers or hot dogs. I went with the Roasted Green Chile Hamburger, no cheese, fries and orange soda. Who knew an orange soda was 200 calories – I could have had two beers for that!

Game on, Mi Madre!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm Such a Girl

Let me start by saying that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a girl. It's just that I don't tend to lean in the direction of being a girly-girl. However, I did learn something about myself this weekend.

Me + dead animals = a bit of a hissy fit.

My Saturday was a pretty lazy day, but I did commit to pulling the weeds in my yard. It should have been a fairly harmless activity. I even had extra help because my roomie was determined to help me out. Wow, did he end up having to help me out in ways that I could not imagine.

If you recall, I had a bit of a rodent problem in my front yard several weeks ago. The pest control folks came out and put down a couple of contraptions that would catch/kill the little bugger. A couple of days after they put down the traps, I had noticed that one of them went missing. I considered plenty of possibilities and was going to call my pest control people to see if they came and picked it up, but I was lazy and never bothered - mostly because I noticed that the hole next to my house had not reappeared. Whatever the case, my rodent seemed to stop digging.

I can now most assuredly tell you that they did NOT come pick up the trap. I was pulling weeds in the front yard and was making my way around the corner to the side of the house. There it was - the trap. I was afraid to approach, but I had weeds to pull! I very quietly and nervously got close enough to look at the trap - I had a sick feeling in my stomach because how on earth could a trap make it from the front of the house to the side of the house without some kind of animal "moving" it? I didn't see any immediate signs of death, but there was something kinda sticking out. It almost looked like dead leaves, but I wasn't convinced. I finished pulling my weeds in the front, leaving the trap behind and running into the backyard to tell my roomie what I had discovered and that he had to go check it out. Right on cue, he laughed at me and told me I was being a baby. So what! I don't care! He checked it out and sure enough - a head! Only the head? What the h#&@! My roomie proceeded to pick the head up and threaten to chase me out into the street with it. I didn't have my running shoes on and I hadn't run in months, but I was prepared to run to Tucson if necessary! After my begging and pleading, he put the head in the garbage can. Damn, damn, damn! The garbage doesn't come until Friday - is it weird that I'm now afraid of my garbage can?

I eventually came down off the ledge to continue my weed pulling in the back yard. Actually, my roomie was doing the weed pulling and I was following behind with the Round-Up. So we're methodically making our way through the back yard and I turned around and almost stepped on a big lizard! Are you kidding me? The lizard didn't move an inch but I think I managed to jump four feet into the air and squeal like a little school girl. My roomie couldn't figure out what my problem was until I pointed and freaked out a little more. Yes, I live in the desert and should expect to find lizards every now and again but I wasn't prepared. I was still recuperating from the dead animal head found in the front yard.

My roomie proceeded to poke at the lizard. As it turns out, there's a reason the lizard didn't jump when I did. It was dead. Huh? My house is surrounded by death. Now, I had had a teeny tiny lizard in my garage when I first moved in - about 3 inches long maybe. This lizard was a foot long - no, not a $5 footlong (insert annoying Subway jingle here). What I wouldn't give for a turkey sandwich on whole wheat in my backyard! With my eyes wide open and my nerves completely shot, we completed the weed pulling and I happily went inside where I would be safe. My roomie said he would dispose of the lizard later in the afternoon. I'm not complaining, but it's still there. I'm fearful that my roomie thinks it decorative yard art now. I'm not so sure. I may have to get my shovel and dispose of him myself - the lizard, not the roomie. However, I think I'm going to wait until garbage day so the head and the lizard can be gone.

Exercise and food?

Friday - baseball game, chips & cheese/chili, chicken tenders, ice cream and beer.
Saturday - ate out for all three meals (yikes!), no exercise, plenty of trauma.
Sunday - went to the gym, healthy breakfast and lunch, dinner was hamburgers on the grill with a small side of baked fries and two Coronas.

Here's hoping for a good week!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So after all of my bragging about how much I accomplished at the gym this weekend, I'm still in pain. Surprisingly my shoulder doesn't hurt - you would think it would after patting myself on the back repeatedly. Instead, it's my inner thighs that are screaming for mercy. It turns out that just because I CAN do a fair amount of weight with the hip exercises, it doesn't meant that I should. For crying out loud, my inner thighs hurt while I was driving into work this morning (yes, I'm blogging from work, but I technically still have 30 minutes until the workday officially begins).

I'm hoping to go to the gym tonight, but it all depends on how late I have to work. I do have to say that I totally rocked it on the food yesterday. Here I go bragging again. There were absolutely no slip-ups in my eating yesterday. And it wasn't without temptation. I offered to pick up Jack in the Box for my friend/roommate on my way home from work. Normally, when I work late and am stressed I treat myself to some kind of fast food goodness. I resisted. Now, it's probably because I don't know the menu at JITB very well and I was too tired and lazy to figure it out. I ordered my friend's stuff and drove away. I actually feasted on a Smart Ones dinner with a side of brussel sprouts. I was very proud of myself. Eating anything more than that at that late hour would have been bad news.

I must go and continue to shuffle my way through work. I'm hoping my legs will return to full working order after some extra rest.

Ta-ta for now!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Nice to Know You're There

Wow, where have you been? This was the internal conversation I had with my calves this morning when I realized how much they hurt. Normally, I would find this annoying and complain about how it sucks to get older (I'm not that old, but it doesn't prevent me from complaining). However, I am happy to say that the soreness is a result of my workout yesterday at the gym. Yay! Oddly enough, my discomofort put a smile on my face and I continued my morning routine and got ready to go the gym AGAIN this morning.

This has never happened to me before, but I found myself actually interested in the various machines at the gym. Usually, I'm too intimidated to try some of them - too many moving parts. I got over it and actually felt like I was "playing" in the gym. Unfortunately, I know myself too well and know that this feeling will eventually wear off. I'll enjoy it while I can.

My toys of both yesterday and today included the elliptical (25-30 minutes), leg presses, shoulder presses, weird abdominal thingy-ma-bobbers, other upper arm exercises that I don't know the name of but they're good for your shoulders, triceps, back, etc. And my personal favorite, the hip abductors and adductors. Strangely, my hips are very strong. I can do a fair amount of weight when doing those suckers. They aren't the most ladylike exercises in the world, but I guess that is almost fitting for me. :)

I'm pretty pleased with my new gym - not too big or very busy, which makes it nice to just do your thing. Oh, and my gym has this body scan machine that measures weight, BMI, body fat %, blood pressure and pulse. If only it could tell me the winning lottery numbers! I have a feeling that I might get addicted to this machine. I don't love all of the stats it spit out yesterday, but that's why I'm in the gym, stupid! I think this machine will be my nemesis and I won't stop until it tells me what I want to see/hear.

I've been mostly better about the food issues. I've kept a food journal fairly religiously for the past week or so. It's pretty easy to spot the things that I can cut out. Even on my bad days it's not horrific. Progress.

Must go for now, but I'm contemplating signing up for a run in the next month or so. I haven't run in a while and it might be nice to do a 5k.


Monday, April 13, 2009

A Good Effort

Let me start off by saying that I really did try to be good this weekend and for the most part I was. (I can't say that for past weeks/weekends.) I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I was completely successful - that would leave me without anything to complain about.

Sadly, my hike that I was looking forward to on Saturday did not happen due to rain most of the day. Yes, it does rain in the desert. Go ahead and check it out for yourself - I'm not lying. Now, if I was really as sad as I claim about not hiking on Saturday, then why didn't I go for a hike on Sunday? It was a beautiful day and I don't think I really needed to watch every single moment of the Masters.

Following is a brief recap of my weekend. It's more for me than anyone else. Maybe I'll notice a pattern or be embarrassed enough about something that I'll make some changes.

Friday - not a bad day, despite the blue jelly bean. Oh wait, that's not quite true. Because of Good Friday I stopped at McDonald's for a Filet 'O Fish sandwich. I did have them hold both the cheese and the tartar sauce. Yes, I'm weird. Yes, I understand that those omissions did not miraculously make my lunch "healthy". Dinner was a simple and small pasta dish.

Saturday - my friend and current roommate decided that we should run out for breakfast. That was a subtle suggestion that I should go out and pick up breakfast for the both of us. Normally, I would say do it yourself, but all of the sudden an Egg McMuffin from McD's sounded good. Yes, two trips to McD's in two days - I'm not proud of this. Again, I had them hold the cheese on the sandwhich which made it less evil and I also asked for bottled water instead of the OJ that comes with it. The OJ wasn't a sacrifice as I don't really like the stuff (same can be said for the cheese). I should have, however, done without the combo meal completely because I didn't need the hashbrown. The wheels fell off around dinner - not so much by the menu itself but by the quantity. What I made was truthfully meant to be two servings but I ended up eating the whole thing - chicken sausages with brown rice and a side of brussel sprouts (I don't like melted cheese, but I love brussel sprouts - I get weirder, don't I?). It should have ended there, but my sweet tooth drove me crazy and I ended up at Cold Stone Creamery. That icky feeling that I do so love followed soon after. When do the psychological cues kick in? Don't dogs, rats, monkeys, etc. eventually learn to stay away from things that cause them discomfort? I'm officially dumber than a lab rat. Great.

Sunday - not so bad. Healthy breakfast, snacks and lunch. I tried a new recipe for dinner - grilled pork tenderloin with tomatillo salsa. I must say that I managed to grill it to perfection (thanks Mom!) and it was delicioso! I ate it with a couple of corn tortillas to make them tacos and I was completely impressed with myself. Unfortunately, I found myself hungry again later in the evening. I ate the leftovers of my Cold Stone ice cream and called it quits for the day. I was extremely tired come 8:30ish. Pretty sure that means that sugar isn't good for me that late in the day.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I finally joined a gym again. I cancelled my old gym membership when I moved. I decided it was time to start up again. I'm making my first trip this evening. I have my gym bag packed and in the car waiting for me so I can go directly to the gym and then home. If I go home first I'm in trouble. I'll find a million excuses not to go.

Time to get back to work.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Can a Jelly Bean Send a Person to H**L?

I sure hope not. I blame the Office Easter Bunny that planted an Easter egg in my office. I know it’s Good Friday but somehow I had a lapse in judgment that resulted in me eating one very small blue jelly bean. I’m supposed to be fasting. Can one jelly bean really be considered an infraction? I’m not exactly full because of it. Do I have to consider that to be lunch now? I hope not. I would have picked a bigger piece of candy if I knew what I was doing.

So I haven’t blogged in what seems like a very long time. To be honest, I haven’t had anything positive to share with anyone. I have had a better attitude, but I still suffer from bad choices that are triggered by stress. Too much work, not enough taking care of myself. It is very safe to say that I feel icky. I keep saying that today is the day that I do better – and I do in some respects. I always seem to stumble somewhere, though. Fast food, junk food, beer, lack of exercise, you name it. Why do I keep “rewarding” myself with terribly unhealthy food that I know will make me feel like doo-doo later? I’m a fairly smart person, but this concept has me stumped.

I’m going to enjoy my weekend and try to take baby steps in the right direction. Things I know for sure: I will go for a hike, I will watch the Masters, I will watch BU play in the finals of the Frozen Four on Saturday night (yay!).

Go BU!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Game On, Gopher!

My "mystery rodent" saga continues. The hole in my front yard has not only reappeared, but it has increased in size. I asked the pest control people to come back because the previous treatment of kicking the dirt back in the hole didn't seem to deter my guest. My front yard is now equipped with a bait box and trap. The bait? Peanut butter. Who knew? Normally I would not advocate the trapping and killing of an animal, but when it comes to the foundation of my house being at risk I don't mess around. Call me a paranoid new homeowner - I don't care.

Let me get back to more important things, such as my inability to do well in a basketball pool. Normally I don't participate, but I was lured in by the potential prizes - 32" plasma TV, iPhone, gift cards, etc. I'm a sucker for prizes. Sadly, it appears as though it won't be necessary for me to rearrange my furniture to accommodate a new TV. I'm going to the UConn vs. Mizzou game this afternoon and for one day and one day only I will be a diehard Husky fan. I can pretend that it's somewhat like being a Husk-er fan. :)

I think I have made my way out of my little funk from the other day. My food choices have improved the past couple of days, but it wouldn't take much so I'm not going to pat myself on the back just yet.

I did sushi last night and it was wonderful! I don't eat sushi very often, which is strange because I enjoy it quite a bit. As usual, the food choices weren't too awful, but I'm pretty sure the 2 or 3 Sapporos (beer) weren't ideal. I need to take some pointers from my Mom, who does this incredibly genius thing and actually PLANS ahead so she can comfortably have an "adult beverage" without it completely undoing her hard work during the day/week.

As for getting my rear in gear...it's desperately needed for sure! I may go for a quick run. I haven't run since the half marathon back in January, so I need to keep my expectations in check. It may be a walk/run, but that's ok. The day is too beautiful to waste. Especially, when I have loved ones that are still dealing with rain and snow.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh Woe is Me!

I've been throwing myself a little pity party as of late. I'm the only one at the party and quite frankly even I'm getting tired of myself. There have been a few things that have thrown me off of my game and I'm using it as an excuse to make stupid choices. Enchiladas, root beer, chinese take out, pizza, no exercise, too much TV...you get the idea.

I need to start focusing on the good things, which has always been a struggle for me. I can spot negative things from a mile away and I zero in on them and don't let go. So let me take a step back and try to see the positive:
  • I'm still employed - we had layoffs last week that were difficult to go through.
  • The weather is beautiful - I shouldn't waste these opportunities to get outside and enjoy it before it becomes 100+ degrees on a regular basis. Love the desert!
  • I have tickets to the NCAA Sweet 16 this Saturday - I'm really hoping Mizzou loses to Memphis so I don't have to watch them. I'm a diehard Husker and don't like anything related to Mizzou.
  • I may go for a hike with a friend of mine this weekend.
  • I'm going out for sushi this Friday with a friend of mine - I've been craving it for a while and I can even make it healthy! I'll stop short of getting mercury poisoning, though. Don't worry. See how positive I am already?
  • I finally tried the swiss chard. It was actually pretty good. I added a bit too much salt, but otherwise I enjoyed it. I probably won't purchase it often, but it's not a bad alternative to other greens if you're looking to change things up. In case you wanted to know, I used a Rachael Ray recipe and just sauteed it with EVOO, nutmeg, paprika and a little bit of chicken stock.

It's time for me to get to work. I hadn't posted in a while so I wanted to squeeze one in. Hopefully, I'll post again in the next few days with more positive news about my healthy choices. I'm going to pretend the Ho-Ho's I purchased this morning didn't happen (hey, I told you I was not doing well).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes You Just Need a Cheeto

I can admit it when I give in and relent to the junk food gods. That's the kind of girl I am. I could go into my very sad story, but you wouldn't find it that sad. Actually, you'd probably tell me to get over myself. So with that in mind I'll simply say that I gave myself permission to have Cheetos with my turkey sandwich yesterday. While I'm at it, I might as well confess to the root beer and very small cookie that I had with it. Bless me Father for I have sinned...Hail Mary, full of grace...

There hasn't been much happening on the exercise front either. I had the perfect opportunity the other day when I got home from work early, and by that I mean 5:30. It was still light out and a beautiful day. I changed into some workout clothes, shoes and all, and planned to go for a walk. Well, unless you consider a walk to my mailbox a workout, I failed. I will say that my mailbox is not at the end of my driveway. It's down the street and around the corner. Still, I'm easily distracted and after my quick trip the mailbox, I lost interest in my real walk and did nothing. I really am lazy.

However, I did discover something on the way to the mailbox. I noticed a pile of rock/dirt in my front yard that isn't normally there. I live in the desert so my front yard is all rock, but I usually don't have a pile of it in one place. I go to check it out and I discover that some kind of critter has dug a hole in my yard, next to and under my house. That's GREAT! The critter even left some poop behind just to rub it in that he has marked my house as his territory. I can only assume the critter is a "him" because a female critter wouldn't crap in front of someone's house. The backyard, maybe, but not the FRONT yard. Tacky. I will be evicting my new critter/roommate as soon as possible. Pest control is on the way!

I sincerely hope that I can get back on track this weekend.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Weekdays Stink!

No matter how prepared I think I am to tackle the week ahead of me, something always throws me off track.

Sunday was a lazy day, but I did manage to do my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. I suppose the 30 days are to be consecutive and not just cumulative over the course of a year. I haven't even managed to do it on two consecutive days yet. Thus, I have seen absolutely no signs of being "shredded" yet. I'll try to make another appointment with Jillian this week, but I can't seem to get it done in the AM (already going into work early) and I'm usually too tired after work. I know, excuses, excuses.

I also tried a new recipe on Sunday. It came from Every Day with Rachael Ray. Like her or not, she does have some nice recipes here and there and some are even healthy if you eat them in moderation. I can't believe what Rachael considers a serving size on her shows - yikes! I digress...the recipe was Quinoa with Pine Nuts, Mixed Olives and herbs. I really liked it and even had leftovers Monday night. For those of you who don't know me, I'm not usually good at leftovers so this is quite the statement. Monday's leftovers were accompanied by steamed carrots and some grilled chicken. Needless to say, I was very proud of myself. No takeout!

You see, work has been stressful. I'm sure many can identify with the economy in the state that it is. Anyway, work was a bit crazy and I usually decide that I deserve to treat myself with something horrible to eat - that is, horrible for my health, but oh so yummy. I resisted and went home and ate my leftovers. Kudos to me!

Today is off to a rocky start - damn the Irish! I'm 1/4 Irish so I can say that. There are extra treats floating around the office today and not only did I grab a bagle with cream cheese (low fat veggie, that has to count for something), but I grabbled a shamrock-shaped sugar cookie to go with it. I should probably walk home from work today to feel better about this, but I live too far away (20+ miles).

Tonight is the night I try swiss chard for the first time. After my food consumption here at work, this might be the ONLY thing I eat tonight. At least it's green - Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is This Lettuce?

Contrary to popular belief, my diet is not so horrible that I don't recognize lettuce when I see it. I picked up my mystery bag of fresh produce yesterday and there was one item that had me slightly puzzled. It was definitely a leafy green and I was pretty certain it wasn't lettuce. I tore off a little piece to taste it and it was slightly bitter. Although I was 99% sure it wasn't lettuce, I was nonetheless compelled to email my mother with a photo asking, "Is this lettuce?" She eventually replied with the answer that I had expected..."It looks like swiss chard or kale." Ok, that's cool. I definitely need to refer to a cookbook now. In a weird way I'm actually looking forward to finding out if I like swiss chard. Just in case you were curious, the rest of my mystery bag included: tomatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, lemons and oranges. I had no problems identifying those items. :)

On to the rest of my Saturday...as I was finishing the breakfast burrito that I made for myself (yum!), I was debating whether or not I should a) go for a walk b) go for a run c) go for a hike or d) pop in a workout DVD. The weather was so beautiful I couldn't justify option D. As I pondered a bit more a friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to join her for a hike at Pinnacle Peak. Wow, thanks for making that decision easy. "Yes, I'd love to go on a hike!"

Pinnacle Peak is one of the prettiest hikes in Phoenix. Actually, it might be in Scottsdale but you get the idea. It's a relatively challenging hike with varying elevations. Good climbing. We took our time and enjoyed the weather and the views, but we were out there for a good couple of hours. After that, we decided to reward ourselves with a late lunch at Greasewood Flat. I know what you're thinking. A restaurant with the word "grease" right in the name can't be good for you. You're right. My friend and I did our best not to completely undo what we had just accomplished on our hike, so we split an 8 oz. hamburger (4 oz. for each of us) with grilled onions and we each had one beer. If you know anything about Greasewood, you have to have a beer.

I was glad to get home and shower because the desert dirt on my arms and legs was getting a bit yucky. Then another friend came over to the house to watch a movie. It was the perfect way to end the day - on my rear end and in the comfort of my new furniture.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

All Things in Moderation, Right?

I'm not entirely sure that I have embraced the true meaning of moderation but I'm trying. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.

I haven't blogged in a couple of days, as was pointed out to me by my dearest mother. So here I am, being the good daughter, ready to share the latest and greatest. By the way, I changed the name of my blog. The other title just wasn't doin' it for me.

Thursday was an irritating day that included arguing with two different cable companies to resolve a bill for services that I did not receive for three months. It's a long story, but everyone is familiar with difficult customer service people so I'll leave it at that.

By the time I left work, a friend invited me to have a drink and grab a bite to eat. It's nearly impossible to have one drink with this particular friend, so I had to seriously consider what I was about to get myself into. I talked to my parents while I was driving up to meet my friend and, God love 'em, they were trying to help me with a healthy game plan. I was pretty confident I could find something healthy on the the menu (and I did - grilled shrimp tacos, no cheese, with steamed veggies on the side). It was the type and number of drinks that I needed to plan for. We all thought that 2 beers would be reasonable based on my day's caloric consumption to that point. I had the 2 beers, plus another 2 or 3. This is where I haven't full grasped the meaning of moderation. Technically, I only ordered 3 beers. It was the 2 that other people bought for me that put me way over the top. I tell myself that it would have been incredibly rude to say no to the nice gesture. My parents taught me manners, but they also taught me how to drink. See? It's an uphill battle that I'm facing.

Truthfully, the day wouldn't have been so bad if I had managed to squeeze in any kind of exercise, but I didn't.

Friday wasn't nearly as destructive. In fact, it was pretty good. I also got my new furniture so it was a pretty good Friday the 13th!

Today I get to go pick up my mystery bag of produce, which I'm sure will result in me searching for new recipes to try out. Yay!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Excuses Are My Specialty

Human beings have many different qualities - some are good and some are bad. I have the unique ability to make excuses for just about everything. Often times these excuses only make sense to me, but that's who really counts, right?

I didn't do any exercise yesterday and my eating was somewhat suspect. My actual caloric intake was probably not too offensive, but the fact that 85-90% of it consisted of carbohydrates was not in the plan. I had a lunch mishap where the sandwich I ordered from my office cafeteria tasted a bit funky. I took out the turkey, lettuce and tomato and ended up eating a mustard sandwich on whole wheat bread. To top the day off, I didn't even do any exercise. I made some kind of excuse that had to do with work, but there isn't going to be a day when that isn't a factor so I just need to get over it.

I am proud that I resisted the urge to partake in a huge gift basket full of chocolate, cheese, crackers, etc. Nothing good will come from that. Plus, I have issues with cheese, meat and fish that don't need to be refrigerated. I don't know how that's natural.

So tonight is The Biggest Loser. I'm hoping that will motivate me to pop in my Jillian Michael's DVD and get up off my rear. My other option is joining a friend of mine at a bar for "$1 shrimp taco night". I know I could find an excuse that would justify the trip to the bar, but several Miller Lites and shrimp tacos later, and I'm listening to myself complain again. Even I get tired of myself sometimes. :)

Here's hoping for some clean living tonight...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm Back!

With this post, my second, I have already succeeded in bettering my previous blogging attempts. I'll take any success I can at this point.

Yesterday didn't turn out quite like I had planned. Unless you consider sitting on the couch and watching TV and a movie a healthy workout (if only!), I didn't do myself any favors. My food choices weren't any better and I'll leave it at that. Let's just say there's a reason I give up several things for Lent, so when I eventually goof up on one of them I'm still technically participating in the annual Lenten practice of giving something up.

My Sunday morning is already off to a promising start. I made a good breakfast (scrambled eggs with basil and tomatoes and whole wheat toast-no butter) and I spent quality time with my dear friend Jillian via DVD. I forgot how much I hate shoulder raises. I considered that maybe I need lighter weights for that exercise, but I don't want to spend the money. I'll just grin and bear it - metaphorically speaking because I'm pretty sure I wasn't grinning.

Oh, I figured out that my local farmer's market is the 1st Saturday of every month. I missed this month's, but I'll try to go in April. As a substitute, I signed up for my first Chef-to-Chef pickup. It's a company here in Phoenix that provides fresh, locally grown produce. I pick my bag up this Saturday and I'm very excited.

I'm headed into the office this afternoon and if I don't have to stay too late I may try to get a walk or run in.

'Til next time...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Can't Let Mom Win!

I created this blog to keep up with my 60-year old mother. I don't know how it happened but my mother joined the blogosphere before I did. Actually, I do know how it happened. You can read the story for yourself at Just for the Hell-th Of It, or if you're too lazy I'll give you the abridged version...

My parents came to visit me in Phoenix in an effort to escape the cold winter blues in Des Moines. As always, we enjoyed ourselves immensely by playing golf and eating and drinking a bit too much. Searching for the perfect Mexican restaurant is a particularly favorite activity, but usually one that leaves us feeling a bit guilty at the end of the evening. Guilt isn't all bad because it got my mother and I talking about how we should really try to make better choices about our health. We consider ourselves fairly intelligent people, so why do we do such stupid things sometimes? We decided a small support group might be just what we need to keep us motivated to eat a little better and exercise a little bit more. Nothing intense, nothing competitive, just good-natured humor and support along the way. We might share tips, recipes, stories, etc.

And that brings us to me and my blog. I have to admit this is my third time at creating a blog. The two previous times resulted in one post and then never returning again. I'm hoping that the third time really is a charm. Besides, I can't let my Mom Win! :)