Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Mishmash

It must be the weather, but weirdly, I'm not very hungry.  That does not happen very often, so I'm actually taking advantage of it and - are you ready for this?  Not eating.  I know - brilliant!!!  Once again, I amaze and astound myself.  Might as well ride this wave for as long as it lasts, because I know it won't last long, lol!


A while ago, Jeff won a free Road ID bracelet, which I promptly stole (side note:  there seems to be a bit of a theft theme in our marriage).  Anyway, I finally ordered it - that whole "not running" thing kinda put a damper on my enthusiasm over getting a new one for a while, but I managed to rally myself.  They have a new Wrist ID Slim, which is really neat - it's a smaller stainless steel engraved plate on a rubber bracelet.  The cool thing?  It will also fit on most of the support bracelets out there (like the Livestrong one that Janell sent me a while ago).  Road ID also sells additional colors for just a dollar each, so you can match every outfit, should you so desire...and you KNOW I am all over that!!!  I'm thinking that when I finally get back to running, I will treat myself to some extra colors, just for fun.
 I have a yellow and a maroon band, but I need - NEED - a purple and a lime green one!


A few people asked in the comments from Wednesday's post what I wore to my hot yoga classes.  You would think the answer would be "as little as possible" but I found out that less is not necessarily better when it comes to hot yoga...on Monday, I wore my knee-length yoga pants and a sleeveless top, which worked fine when I did regular yoga classes.  Well, having such bare legs made some poses more difficult - there are weird configurations where you're wrapping one leg around another (arms, too) and the sweat made everything slip and slide.  So last night (do you like how I slipped that tidbit that in - I went to yoga AGAIN - twice in one week - go me!) I wore a pair of my Nike running capris and a Champion C9 (Target brand) top, and I was much more comfortable...while I could not imagine running in this heat in capris, they worked great for hot yoga.  I took a quick picture on my way out the door - hair scraped back into a pony tail, no make up - hey, it's not very flattering, but it worked!
This is a racer-back top, which felt really good in the heat.   Plus I liked the loose body.  And of course the color was fun! :)


So swimming.  There is not NEARLY the amount of fun things you can get for swimming as you can for running.  Even the few swimming t-shirts I've seen just didn't feel right for me - I'm not a competitive swimmer, but I am proud of myself for taking the plunge (I know, that was bad).  A few weeks ago I was messing around on the Running Chics website and found this:
 It's me!  Not sure what I love more, the swim cap, the goggles, or the fact that she's swimming with her head out of the water!

Here's a picture my friend Terry took of me when I wore the shirt to our weekly lunch on Wednesday:
I love this shirt - I'm a Swimming Chic!

During our lunch, Terry also got a picture of me and my "halo"  - do you see it?
After I dried my hair and threw on a headband (summer hairstyling - it's getting lazier by the day!), I noticed a ring of short hairs sticking up at the top of my head...and flashed back to when I first started swimming, Coach Joni mentioned something about how a swim cap will cause hair breakage...and there it is.  Luckily, if I actually just style my hair it won't be noticeable.  But I feel kind of "official" now as a real-deal swimmer.  I know, I'm weird.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and come on in, Tropical Storm Don - Texas is waiting for you!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Hot Yoga!

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned going to yoga lately - well, that's because until Monday night, I hadn't attended any yoga classes since I went to Senior Yoga.  What can I say - I just wasn't all that excited about that group - a little (actually, a lot) too much talking, not enough doing, for my liking.  Plus it was about an hour and a half class, and that was after I swam.  Talk about having exercise take up half the day!  While that particular class wasn't for me, I knew that yoga was - I just needed to find the right group.  And I think I have - while this might should weird to many of you, it's a hot yoga class that is currently being held outdoors at the park just up the street from my house!

I found this group through one of those local coupon deals - at $15 for 5 classes, I couldn't pass it up.  I even treated my running buddy Jenny to a coupon to lure her into coming with me...because really, who in their right mind would not only DO hot yoga, but do it outside, in the Texas heat, at 6:00 pm, which is usually when we reach the high temperature for the day? 

::raises hand::  Me, that's who!  And Jenny, and another woman, plus the instructor and a guy who is the instructor for the Tuesday/Thursday sessions.  And you know what?  It wasn't bad!  We were in the shade, and yes, it was hot - 101 when we started, and I'm sure the humidity had it feeling more like 105 or so.  But, as the instructor explained, the heat loosens up your muscles so there's less chance for injury.  And I like to think that this group is being energy efficient - no need to go into a studio and crank up the thermostat when you can let nature do that for you for free, right? 

Anyway, we did a lot of poses - most were standing, and I have to tell you, I was a shaking fool!  Even though I am pretty strong from swimming, holding some of these poses were tough.  I was a limp rag when we were done - the class lasted for 75 minutes, and another benefit I discovered from doing yoga in the evening was that I passed out when I went to bed!  Of course, I didn't stay asleep, but I'll take a few good hours of hard sleep any day, er, night!  The only thing I need to do is find a thicker yoga mat.  We were on concrete, and boy howdy, did I ever feel that coming through on my knees!  A trip to TJ Maxx or Academy should take care of that little problem.

So along with swimming 5 days a week, I'll be doing hot yoga at least one evening a week - probably two, because I really don't have an excuse not to...being that it only takes me a minute to drive there.  Can't beat that, right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Never Cured

Like I said in last week's pep talk post, we all do things differently when we are dieting - what works for one person may not work for another.  And that's ok - while we all may have a common goal, how we get there can be as different at night and day.  I have to constantly remember what works for me, and why.

For example, I've never tried a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich - not that I haven't wanted to.  I hear they're delicious.  But they are sold in a box of six, which is a dangerous thing for me.  Same goes for those cute mini-sized ice cream treats.  By themselves, they're usually around 100 or 150 calories, which is not bad at all for a nice little treat.


I know me.  The me who thinks "well sure, I had one, but one more would taste so good...and it's only 150 calories" - and before you know it, the entire box is empty.  I used to do this with Drumsticks - and let me tell you, those dang things had a lot more than 150 calories in them!  And forget the mini-sized - to me, one is never enough to satisfy.  What's that saying?  One is too many, and a thousand is never enough?  Holds true in so many instances for me.

This is how I know I'm not, nor is it likely, that I will ever be, "cured" from certain things.  Like sugar cravings.  I am so much better off not having treat items in my house.  Yes, I do go out for frozen yogurt a couple of times a week.  Yes, it would be cheaper to have treat items in my freezer at home.  But, in order to save me from myself, it's totally worth the extra few dollars to go out for the treat, and have my house be a safe zone. It took me a long time to figure this out, but it works for me.

There is a reason why I've been reluctant to put "out there" exactly what I ate to lose weight.  What worked for me may not work for you.  Some people are perfectly fine with having a box of ice cream treats in their freezers and can apply portion control admirably.  I have an issue with self control.  I know, shocking - NOT.  It took a while for me to accept that this is a better way to live, and it was only when I stopped trying to copy what other dieters were doing successfully, and started looking at what was unsuccessful for me, that I began to have success.  Does that make any sense?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Mishmash

My jaw has been aching ever since I had that work done for my crown, so on Tuesday my dentist gave me a muscle relaxer to take ONLY at night "because it will make you sleepy."  Guess who is immune to the sleep powers of a muscle relaxer?  I was so disappointed.  I was also ready to pre-book a room at the Betty Ford clinic, because hello, if I find something that actually lets me sleep through the night, I'm gonna be all OVER it.  Alas, twas not to be.  He also gave me prescription-strength ibuprofen, and I think that's helping the soreness a bit.  One thing is for sure, I'm not eating like I normally do, although this is a hell of a way to diet!


Speaking of dieting, I watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead the other night via Netflix.  While I loved seeing Phil, a really large man, go from being hugely overweight and depressed to a much healthier and happier person, I couldn't help feeling like the movie was one long commercial for a certain brand of juicer, which I will not name here because they don't need any more free publicity (but it's easy enough to figure out if you Google it).  And while I do believe in the benefits of fruits and vegetables, I couldn't help wondering how these people got protein in their diet.  I actually went to the movie's website (where, BIG SURPRISE (not) you could buy the juicer) and tried to take their "nutritional needs" profile, but you had to register, which I did, but it kept giving me an error message and quite frankly, they lost me pretty quickly with that.  I don't own a juicer, so obviously I don't juice, but really, wouldn't it be better for you to get the fiber and chewing sensation from just eating fruits and vegetables?


Paco has been driving me crazy lately.  The squirrels in my backyard romp and chase each other through the trees a lot, and he NEEDS to go bark at them.  So fine, I let him out.  He chases them for a while, then I let him back in.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Eventually, I get this:
 Soooo tired.  Don't bother me.  Dreamin' of squirrels.

But not before I'm ready to lock him in his crate.  I even took a little video of him barking at the squirrels to share my misery show you, but I decided to spare you the noise pollution.  Speaking of the squirrels?  Here is one of the trio:
And a little later, this is what he was doing:
Yes, even wildlife is getting tired of this heat!


File this either under A)  Too easily amused; or B)  Slightly loco.  Your choice.  I took this picture to show you that my earrings match my glasses, which matches my shirt.  I know.  How old am I, anyway?

I think the correct answer is B.


And now, it's time for a slightly different Fashion Friday - the Shopping With Shelley™ edition (a semi-regular feature, for when I remember to bring my camera with me on my shopping trips).  One thing that I did quite often while I was losing weight was to go try on clothes - rarely buying anything, but mostly to keep myself motivated - either "ooh, I'm in a new size!" (ok, that was usually when I bought something) or "a few more pounds and this will fit" - it was a cheap and fun diversion for me, and a complete thrill when I could finally shop in the normal sized clothing stores, too.  As I'm A) trying to get some weight off; and B) low on dough, I'm not buying anything, but I am having fun trying things on.  This week, I can tell that it's hot - every thing I was trying on was loose and flow-y.
This one dipped down in the back and felt really cool - perfect for summer.  There was a top layer of cotton lace that looked pretty cute, plus it tied in the back.
I have been stalking this top for a month now - I love the colors.  Unfortunately, it's still priced at $30, which is way too much, in my opinion.  Fortunately, everyone else seems to think so, as there are a bunch of them still at the store.  I keep hoping that one day I'll go in and it will be on the clearance rack.
This one was ok - I liked the colors, but I felt like the pattern accentuated the bulge on my stomach.

I also tried on some dresses at Target while I was waiting for my prescriptions to be filled, but I only had my cell phone camera, and the shots came out really grainy.  Target once again was all over the place in their sizing - the dresses were all too big (I needed smalls - really?!?), yet the shorts?  Hah!  No go.  Ego checked, lol.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Why Swim?

Far be it from me to push anyone into doing anything they are not comfortable with - I am the poster child for thinking (and thinking, and thinking some more) about it, whatever IT may be - but if you are at all considering, or curious about swimming for exercise, I encourage you to give it a try.  And hey - it's summer - what better time than now?  I can assure you that I would not have been as enthusiastic about swimming had I started in January, indoor pool or not.  That said, the temperature at my (ha! MY pool)(that I have to share)(with a swim team and the gray panthers, no less) is usually 82 or 83 degrees.  Sounds warm enough, but it's still hard to do that first shudder-inducing dunk at 8 o'clock in the morning.  However, by the time I'm halfway down my first length of the pool, it's all good.  And hey - spending some time in the water (probably) lowers your core temperature (hey, I'm no scientist) which should keep you cooler during the day (helpful if you live in hell Texas).

I would like to share with you a few truths about swimming:
  • Although I will be the first person to acknowledge that putting on a swim suit can be nothing short of mental torture, the fact is that once you're in the water, only your head and shoulders are visible.  So jump in quickly!
  • There are no rules - you don't have to do anything you don't want to.  Not comfortable with putting your face in the water and trying to breathe?  Then don't.  You don't have toooooo!  Make this fun.  If all you want to do is grab a kickboard or a pool noodle and kick up and down the length of the pool 10 times, then go for it!
  • You don't know how to breathe underwater?  No problem.  You don't have to swim any particular stroke - the back and side strokes are working just fine for me.  I don't stress over that whole "breathing while swimming" thing, I rarely suck down water the wrong way (ok, sometimes it happens, usually because I get overly exuberant with my kicking), and I'm still getting in a good workout.
  •  No one is paying any attention to what you are doing.  Case in point:  while using the kickboard, I do a lot of different things.  I kick, sprint, straight-leg kick, bicycle kick - basically I do whatever entertains me.  It also feels like I'm using different muscles when I vary the style of kicks.  So far no one has reported me to the pool police.
    • Even though I thought it was the height of nerdiness, a swim cap has, surprisingly, become a necessity to me.  Why?  Well, not only does it keep my hair off of my face (and out of the pool), but you can create this awesome "seal" over your ears, so the water doesn't get in.  Makes for doing the back stroke much more pleasant.
    • If you think you might continue with swimming, just go ahead and buy a 100% polyester swimsuit now.  You'll save yourself the frustration of having your favorite "pretty" suit destroyed by chlorine.  RIP purple suit, RIP black suit.
    • Although not nearly as much fun as running outfits, you CAN coordinate your pool ensemble.  Here's my latest creation, with my absolute favorite swim suit - as you know, I've tried several, and this one works great - high neckline (no cleavage and no drag)(have I mentioned that I swim sandwiched between young kids and old people?), 100% polyester, lined, and it's supposed to retain its color with the chlorine.  We'll see about that, but my dad will be happy to know that I marked down the date of when I started wearing it (he dates his clothes so he knows when they are worn out)(he also dates light bulbs)(usually dinner, sometimes a movie) so I will report back to you on that in the future.
    Ocean Moderate Lap Suit - I bought it here. 

      Monday, July 18, 2011

      Personal Pep Talk

      (Does anyone else do this?)
      1. Don't compare your weight loss to others.  Just because you are a turtle and they are a rabbit doesn't mean there's anything wrong with how you are doing it, because you ARE doing it.
      2. Don't compare your goal weight to others, even if they are the same height as you - body composition and muscle mass make us all different.
      3. Don't actually believe that those skinny bloggers who post pictures of themselves with huge plates of inappropriate diet food (i.e. spaghetti, garlic bread, huge burgers and fries, frozen yogurt smothered in a ton of candy toppings) actually EAT all of that and still maintain their skinny frames.  No how, no way - not buying it.  A bite or three, but there is no way that exercise will offset all of that.
      4. Don't forget that exercise is a way of life now.  And while you might have started off on a smaller level, you have to keep it stepped up if you want to maintain that calorie-burning muscle. 
      5. Do appreciate what you have now, even if it's not quite where you want to be.  Because it's way better than three years ago, right?
      P.S.  Your forearms are looking really good - swimming, who knew?

      Friday, July 15, 2011

      Friday Mishmash

      Just when I thought I couldn't like my office any better, what with the new paint job and new desk, came a surprise delivery last Friday afternoon.  A quilt!  Made for me, by the lovely, kind and talented Debby!!!  I laid it on my chair and Paco immediately started sniffing it - I loved that he was smelling Debby's sweet dogs, Sophie, Noah and Mr. Monk.
       Dis is for me, right Mom?

      I started examining every square - I found a cute dog print, a bicycle print, two kinds of words prints (one just said Blah Blah Blah in varying sizes - perfect for a blogger, dontcha think?), flowers, colorful quilt blocks - it was like uncovering a treasure!  She quilted the top in a hot pink thread, and I just knew that there had to be a message in the quilt, somewhere.  I looked and looked, and finally, AHA, I found it!
       Pointing to the part of the message. 
       Close up...
      She quilted "Sophie Loves Paco on three squares - the dog print, of course.  So sweet!  I just love her Sophie - she's a tri-color dachshund, with the personality that only a dachshund can have.  Just to give you an idea, Debby refers to her as "the Queen" and quite fittingly, I might add.
      I have no idea why she calls me "Queen" - now fetch me a cookie.

      Naturally, I had to hang the quilt up right away.  And I had the perfect place for it - a big open area where I used to have a kimono, but I didn't think went with the room anymore so I hadn't put it back up after we painted.  I got so excited I didn't even clean my desk off before I took pictures - the hammer is still warm!
      Throughout my day, I often swivel in my chair and look at the quilt.  It's so fun to look at all the different squares - every day I find a new favorite part!  

      I thanked Debby in an email, but wanted to do it publically, as I am just so touched by her thoughtful gift.  Oh, and also?  In last week's Mishmash?  Was I not saying that the room needed some black and white fabric?  The quilt arrived that day - filled with lots of black and white fabrics!  Amazing, right?!?


      I went to see a movie the other day (Horrible Bosses - liked it) and riddle me this, Batman:  Why, oh why, do they show horror movie previews before a comedy???  I was going to see something light and funny.  Because that is what I like.  I do not - repeat, DO NOT - like horror movies.  So picture me, sitting by myself in a mostly empty theater (because it was the middle of the day), with my eyes squeezed shut and my fingers in my ears, during not one, but FOUR scary previews!   The worst thing about being by yourself ?  No one to tell you when the scary part is over.  Because you can't just go by silence - that's when they KA-POW!!! you with one last scary scene.  There should be a rule:  comedies equate funny previews, dramas equate dramatic previews, scary movies equate scary previews!  Simple.  Now to present my idea to the head honchos at Cinemark.


      My veggie plan that I wrote about on Monday has not gone all that well, mainly because I didn't realize that the dental work I was having that afternoon (for a crown) would mean that it hurts to eat crunchy foods.  Never mind chewing on that side of my mouth - that's out for quite a while...but even trying to eat anything crunchy while carefully chewing on the other side is painful.  The good news is that I haven't had a whole lot of food, but geez.  I had no idea that a crown was this involved!  Not fun, not at all.  I steamed some of the cauliflower yesterday so I could eat it.  Quite the dinner of soft fried eggs on toast and cauliflower.  Watermelon for dessert.  Good thing I take a multi-vitamin, right?


      Back when I started this blog in May of 2008, I never imagined that I would make actual friends through the internet.  But I have, and I've even been lucky enough to meet three of them (Kelly, Debby and Janell).  One whom I haven't gotten to meet yet (hop on a plane, wouldja?!?)(I know, it's not that easy)(but it would be fun!) is Helen - but we talk, text and email quite a bit.  The other day I took her on a quick shopping trip to Ross - really, how funny is it that I could text her a blurry dressing room pictures of the top I was trying on with the message "cute or maternityish?" and get a quick and honest reply? 
      (Answer:  cute BUT maternityish.  Which is pretty much what I thought...good to have confirmation.  I've been wanting a striped top, but still fear the horizontal stripes - what can I say, old "fat fashion" rules die hard in my brain!)

      And later the same day?  While I was sitting in the torture exam chair at the dentist, waiting for the Novocaine to take affect?  More texting, which helped calm me down, as I was beginning to realize that this was not going to be a simple and quick procedure.  Gotta love technology.  Who EVER would have imagined that all this would be the norm?

      Have a great weekend!

      Wednesday, July 13, 2011

      Wednesday Workout Update - Martyr Edition

      Ever feel like you should get extra credit on some days for working out?  Yesterday was definitely one of those days.  I had a lovely 2.5 hour visit with my dentist on Monday afternoon, where I was treated quite royally, as I left with a temporary crown.  It's pretty dull - I sure hope the permanent is jewel-encrusted.  At the price I'm paying (with insurance!), you'd think so!

      Anyway.  I felt pretty crummy for the rest of the day on Monday (and what's up with Novocaine lasting over 10 hours???) - didn't feel like eating, just kept slamming the Motrin and Aleve and hoping things would get better.  Woke up Tuesday morning and had an internal debate on getting up and going to the pool.  Finally decided that I was going to feel crummy either way, so I might as well go.  I did bribe myself with only having to do my 10 lap kickboard warm up plus the combined 50 lengths of side and back stroke.  Then once I got that done I told myself that I didn't have to do any sprints - I could just leisurely kickboard as long as I wanted, but I didn't have to get to 100.  Well, I did do the sprints, but only 5 of them.  And I did get to my usual 100 lengths, but I didn't have to!  It's hard having an inner 10-year-old, I'm telling you.

      Was I glad I did my workout, even though I had a legitimate excuse to skip it?  Yeah (big dramatic sigh).  I'm always happy when I don't miss a planned workout.  And I didn't feel any worse for doing it.  Not a whole lot better, either, but there you go.

      So while I was going to come here and tell you all the fun things about swimming, I'm just going to leave you with that.  Oh, and I stole Jeff's goggles because apparently you are not supposed to wipe out the inside of your goggles - messes with the anti-fog protection.  Which I had done, several times.  My visibility was down to vague shapes.  It's nice to be able to see, he kinda owed me.  Right, Janell?

      Monday, July 11, 2011

      What's the Plan, Stan?

      Jeff is out of town for the week. Could be trouble. But, I've laid in my supplies and am ready to do battle (with myself) should the need arise...what is that they say?  Know thy enemy?  Hah!  I am my own worst enemy, but this week, I'm prepared to call a truce and be my ally.  Make things easy on myself.  We all know losing weight is hard enough - why struggle any more than necessary?
      A bit of a representation of my week's eats:
      • I boiled up a dozen eggs yesterday for snacks or lunch.  
      • Black bean tacos with fresh pico and avocado will do for a couple of dinners - I heat up corn tortillas in a non-stick pan to make them crispy (I don't even use Pam and they come out great).  
      • Instead of using my yummy La Tortilla Factory low calorie wraps for lunch lately, I've been substituting romaine lettuce leaves - I make up my chicken salad using the canned chicken and have several "boats" of chicken.  Fresh and really tasty - I may stick to this even when I'm not trying to lose weight.  Which I am, at the moment.  (have I mentioned that? lol) 
      • Lots of fruit, of course - I have no problem getting that in.  And this week, the watermelon is mine, all mine!!!
      • Veggies, however, are more of a challenge for me unless I'm having a big salad, or grilling them.  I just get lazy.  So to combat that, I bought a bag of baby carrots, broke up a head of cauliflower into florets, and got some hummus to entice myself into having veggies as an afternoon snack.  I'm trying to replace some of my fruit with raw vegetables.  It went pretty well last week - I'm not in the habit, yet, of automatically reaching for carrots over cherries, but having everything prepared and front and center in the fridge helps.
      • Not pictured is the bottle of Athlete's Honey Milk that I drink every day on the way home from the pool, or the container of Fage with fruit yogurt and the quarter cup of granola that I have for breakfast.  I made another batch of the granola yesterday so I'm set for a couple of weeks now.

      So the keyword for me, again this week, is patience.  Just keep doing the next right thing, which in my case is eating good healthy whole foods for the majority of the time (sno cones and frozen yogurt are in the minority), keep up with exercising, and believe that this is all doing something to help me lose weight.  It is, right?  Right???

      Friday, July 8, 2011

      Friday Mishmash - My Week in Pictures

      Over the weekend of the Fourth, Jeff painted my office.  I wanted a cheerful green, and after going through a couple of samples of different greens (let me just say THANK GOODNESS I did this, because my first and second choices did not look good once I painted sample patches on the wall), I settled on Sherwin William's Gleeful.  And you know what?  It does make me gleeful!  I love how it came out:
      I can't get over how perfect the tree painting looks on this color wall.  A friend of mine painted it for me, back when I worked at the Arts Council.  Also?  I wish I knew how to reupholster - I think the gold chair would look awesome in a black and white print (the better to hide Paco fur, too) - something like this would be so cute:
      Not the greatest picture, but you-know-who was posing so nicely, I hate to leave him out:
      The view from my desk...ahhhhh.


      Also on the Fourth?  Watermelon.
      I was in my watermelon cuttin' shirt because it never fails that I end up splashing juice all over me.  Totally worth it, though.


      On Tuesday, a prize arrived in the mail!  I won a giveaway recently on Tricia's blog (thank you, Tricia!) and got to choose a personalized necklace from The Silver Maple.  They have so many beautiful pieces - it was a challenge to decide which one to pick, and then to figure out what I wanted it to say.  After the craziness of this year, though, one phrase kept going through my head, so that's what I chose:

      I have worn this necklace every day since I got it - I absolutely LOVE IT!!!

      On Tuesday evening, the running club met at our local park (where Jenny and I used to run, sob!) for quick run, followed by a trip to Red Mango, which was conveniently located right across the street.  I like my job of Social Organizer, yes I do!
      Look at these cute runners!  Close to half of the group showed up - pretty good turnout!
      My reward for running taking pictures of the group. And yes, I AM wearing a Red Mango shirt (and my new necklace)!


      A few more random shots to round out the week:
      I saw these paper plates at Sam's Club - wouldn't they go great with my new office color?  (No, I didn't buy them...I really don't need 72 paper plates, lol!)

      Our Texas mountain laurel shrub is blooming like crazy - with the dearth of rain combined with our hot temperatures, Jeff has increased the watering time, and apparently that's all it took - this is the best year yet for the blooms!
      I love the silvery green leaves combined with the lavender-colored flowers - Mother Nature comes up with some mighty fine color combos!

      Finally, this was what I woke up to yesterday morning.  Paco took over Jeff's pillow after he left for work, and he didn't even get up when I did, which was unusual:
      I berry tired.  Go 'way.

      Have a great weekend!!!

      Wednesday, July 6, 2011

      Wednesday Workout Update - Fran is Gonna Faint Edition*

      I have stats!  Numbers!  I know, who am I?!?

      Well, stat is more like it:
      30 miles

      So the background on this is that my goal for June was to swim every single weekday.  I don't know why, it just was important to me to drag myself out of bed get up every morning, drive to the gym, and jump into the pool, all before 8:00 am.  Equally important was being able to write something in my Runner's World Training Journal - a Christmas present that barely got two weeks of use before the wheels fell off, so to speak.  Well, I did it.  Wait - let me rephrase that:  I DID IT!!!  Woohoo - this non-swimmer actually met a swimming goal!!!
      Just a few pages of my training journal...

      So my highly technical mathematical skills have led me to understand that I swam about 30 miles in June.  Which is a lot when it comes to swimming - you have to swim a little over 70 lengths to hit a mile.  And I've been swimming at least 100 lengths a day - sometimes a little more.  A length of my pool is 25 yards (some pools are 25 meters, which is a whole 'nother ball game), a mile is 1760 yards, break out the calculator, curse because you accidentally hit "times" when you meant to hit "divide", wipe sweat off brow, take an iced tea break, double check number and method with husband, and now you see why I rarely post stats, lol!

      Anyway.  I'm still swimming every weekday - I even swam on the Fourth of July!  Add the bike rides most evenings and I really don't recognize myself.  Also interesting?  Jeff had to run for 15 minutes on Monday, so that evening while he ran, I biked alongside him.  How things have changed - a year ago, I was the one running while he did the biking!  I have to say that it's much easier to be the one biking...funny, he never let on about that last year!

      *A little inside joke - every month Fran posts her stats - tons of numbers - and she knows that my eyes glaze over when I try to read that post.  But she usually has pictures of her cute outfits, or her sweet dog, so I have something to focus on.

      Monday, July 4, 2011

      Bike Pictures!

      I can't believe this is the fourth year of posting a bike picture!  I originally posed with my gorgeous new bike back in June 2008 - and was shocked at what I saw, because I had already lost some weight.  I honestly didn't think I was as big as I looked.  In fact, I couldn't even bear to post that picture for a year, because I was so unhappy about it.  I know it's on the sidebar, but let me refresh your memory:
      Yowza.  June 2008

      Cut to a year later, and I was quite pleased with the new picture:
      Much better!  June 2009

      The next year?  Loved how I looked, loved how I felt:
      Go me!  June 2010

      This year?  Sigh.  Not loving it, but the person in the June 2008 picture would have slapped me to not be thrilled with this body.  So there's that.
      Apparently my bike is fascinating to Kip and Paco.  June 2011

      To reiterate why I should not be complaining in ANY way:
      June 2008 - June 2011

      Me and my trusty steed dog.
      June 2011

      When I started losing weight, bike riding was my first form of exercise.  A few laps around my street was all I could manage, but I kept adding more and more laps, and eventually ventured out a little farther, and then I was regularly riding between 5 and 6 miles a day.  And while I moved on to group workouts, running and swimming, I give the bike lots of credit for getting this former couch potato up and moving.  I still like to race Paco around my cul de sac (he always beats me!), and I enjoy going for a nice ride in the evening.  The difference?  I've also done a swimming workout in the morning.  It boggles my mind that I am capable of doing so much, physically, now.  Really goes to show me that all of those baby steps, and single laps, really do add up to a big change!

      Friday, July 1, 2011

      Friday Mishmash - Kip Edition

      Last Sunday I had Jeff take my annual bike pictures - that post will be up on Monday.  But here's a sneak peek:

      Kip would not get out of the shot no matter how many times I tried to shoo him away.  So I finally picked him up and plopped him in my bike basket, thinking that would make him want to leave.  No...old Kippers just laid down and got comfortable!  So after a few pictures, I decided to take him for a little bike ride - would you believe that cat stayed in the basket the entire time???  Three laps around my street!  He is so passive - it's no wonder he broke his pelvis in what was probably a garage door coming down on him.  What a nut.


      It's summer and the Watermelon War has broken out.  OK, maybe just in our house...but Jeff and I have both become addicted to watermelon.  There is nothing like cold watermelon for dessert on these days when it's still nearly 100 degrees AFTER dinner.  We buy a seedless one every four or five days and cut it up, storing it in some plastic containers in the fridge.  Well.  It seems that someone, and I'm not naming names here, but it isn't me, has no problem eating an entire container in the evening.  Which leads to someone else claiming another container as "hands off" because she would like to know that the melon is there when she wants it.  Yes, 27 years of marriage, and we are fighting over watermelon.  Maturity, we have it.


      The watermelon thief and Kip.

      Kip loves Jeff.  Every morning when he sits down to read the paper, Kip has to jump into his lap and keep him company.  The other night while we were grilling our dinner, Jeff sat down and instantly, Kip was right there.  And as I was outside taking pictures of the food on the grill (what - doesn't everyone do this???), I was able to get this cute shot of the two of them.  I'm thinking of framing it so Jeff can put it on his desk as work.  Too much? ;)


      Speaking of grilling dinner, this was on the menu Wednesday night:
       Zucchini, summer squash and onion (sorry Biz!), ready for the grill.
      Holy yum, this was good!  Pork tenderloin and some pineapple rounded out the meal - but I could have had twice the amount of veggies and no meat and would have been just as happy.


      Running Club started back up last Saturday - they are training for the Dallas White Rock half/full marathon.  At first I was going to be all bitter sad about missing out, but guess what they did?  My sweet coaches (and friends) created a position for me!  They knew how much I loved being involved, so they made me the Social Organizer!  Which is right up my alley, considering most things that runners do, aside from running, involves we will be doing frozen yogurt runs after the Tuesday night track workouts, group breakfasts after the Saturday runs, a burger night or two - all sorts of fun things to keep up the camaraderie as everyone takes on this new challenge.  Plus look for even crazier water stations during the benchmark runs - what's that saying?  If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter?!?  Woohoo!!!

      I'm also an admin on our Facebook page, so I brought my camera to take pictures of the new group.  I didn't realize I got this cute shot until I saw it later on my computer monitor, but look at the excitement and glee shown in the body language of the two women under the arrow (click the picture to enlarge it) - the whole "what are we about to do?!?" is conveyed perfectly by them, and I just love it!  This is what my running club is all about - taking ordinary people and turning them into RUNNERS!
      Half marathon group about to start their first run of the season!

      Have a great weekend, and Happy Canada Day to my readers to the north, and Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!