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'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 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 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! :)