Friday, April 30, 2010

Feel Good Friday- Mirror Edition

There is a funny side effect of this whole Healthier Me thing I've got going on. My goal is to run. I want to run a 5K. I, generally, make food choices based on how that food might impact my running performance. Because of the changes I am making, there is a fantastic side benefit- weight loss. I've shared my weight loss and the reduction in clothing size here on the blog and on Facebook. I've had great friends and family cheering me on, supporting me. I've spent the last week venturing out to a gym near home to take Zumba classes. I went to a Zumba for Autism event on Saturday afternoon and loved it. The gym gave us 2 week passes to come back and try other classes and so on. I've never been a group fitness person but I have to admit I'm loving it right now! I went back Monday evening for Zumba and Wednesday evening, too. Tonight, I plan to venture out for an aerobic dance class (blend of hip-hop, jazz, modern, disco, etc) and a core conditioning class. I might even try to squeeze in a cycling class on Saturday. One thing that this group fitness thing has shown me... and this was creeping up on me, this new awareness... I love mirrors.
In the group fitness room at the gym- there are mirrors everywhere. So I see myself as I wiggle my hips and move my legs and reach up high. At my gym by work, there are mirrors and I've been seeing the changes in my body every time I walk in. I know you like to tease me about my pictures that I take in the bathroom at work. But I can't walk past that mirror without taking a moment to admire the view. The space between my legs, the lack of rotund belly sticking out, the muscle flash in an arm, less of a chin, and so on. I just can't help but stop and admire the view. It itsn't that I think I'm so hot or anything. I am just amazed at how different my body looks and feels! Even at my biggest, I loved my body, my belly, my legs. It's been years since I would look in the mirror and say hateful things to myself- I've certainly been there. But years ago, I gave that up and learned to love myself, as I am. But it's the change, the strength, the grace, the newness of the muscles and abilities of this stronger, healthier body.

I even ventured out to a different bathroom mirror today- just for you. Bad lighting in that bathroom but I do like that full length mirror! The truth is that I've come to just love seeing mirrors and reflections of myself. I won't go so far as to say I'm vain. I'm just so stinkin' proud of the changes I've made and upheld. Yes, I am proud that I can run a mile and that I am continuing to plug along on my running. Even though this last hurdle has lasted longer than the first, I continue to try and try and that's better than not trying at all. I'm branching out to new exercises that work my body in different ways. I'm eager to push myself and do more. When I did those Zumba classes over the past week, I did not struggle. I was not exhuasted by the end- not even after the 2 hour session (broken out into 3 sessions with short breaks in between). I was sweating, my heart rate was up but I was still going. On Wednesday, I even went from Zumba to the treadmill and did a mile (walking and running) just because I needed to run. So I'm finding my reflection anywhere I can and I am enjoying catches these little reminders of how far I've come, how much hard work I've done, and I am feeling very proud to FEEL SO GOOD! Photobucket

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eternal Interviews

Last year, I did an interview with Teagan. Going back and reading it was fun so I thought a repeat would be fun, too. And I thought adding in interviews with the rest of the family would be a nice addition. So sit back and enjoy getting to know us a little better! ***

What is your favorite game? T: Hide and seek! Z: Hide! What is your favorite color? T: Pink and purple. Z: uhhhh... I nuh like puhple. What is your favorite thing to eat? T: Tomatoes and strawberries Z: Stwawbeddies! What are your favorite things to play with? T: I like "I Spy" and My Little Ponies and my Mermaid Barbie Z: Hide Seek! And... uh.... dinosaurs! What makes mommy happy? T: What we're doing now. And when we don't get mad. Z: When Zachy happy! When is mommy sad? T: When there are sad people on TV. Z: I want my dinosaurs! What does mommy like to eat? T: Brussels sprouts. Z: Nooduhs! And vegtuhbuhs! What is mommy's favorite thing to do? T: You like it when I stand on your back! Z: Play dinosaurs! Teagan, what do you think of Zach? T: Zach is a best friend of mine! Zach, what do you think of Teagan? Z: NO! No, no, no! I no like Teagan! What do you like to do with Daddy? T: I like to hide under him. I like to go places with him like the movies or Fry's or Arby's or Target or the comic store. Z: Play dinosaurs! Where would you like to go on a trip? T: Disney World! Or grandma's house. Z: (no answer- he was off playing with his dinosaurs) *** I also interviewed Jeff. What is your favorite thing to do? I like to build things outside.

What is your favorite color? Blue Favorite food? Sausage and onion pizza from Pizza King What is my favorite thing to eat? Healthy crap. What makes me happy? Getting a massage. What makes me sad? The kids fighting. What do you like to do with Teagan? Go to the movies. What do you like to do with Zach? Play basketball. Mommy's note: The last two answers were whispered to Jeff by Teagan. What do you like to do with me (keep in mind it's a family friendly blog)? Hold your hand, give you a massage. Where would you like to go on a trip? Holiday World! *** I hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better! Feel free to borrow the idea and interview the kids in our life- you never know what you might learn! Photobucket

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scotty's Lakehouse - Got What I Wanted!

Last week, I wrote a post about Things I'd Like To Have. First thing on the very short list was to eat a meal at Scotty's Lakehouse. After a fantastic afternoon at the Indiana Tourism Media Marketplace and then coming home to an empty (and, therefore, relaxing) house... and a husband that came home a smidge early... and a sunny evening... we decided it was the perfect evening to check out Scotty's Lakehouse. It. was. gooooood. It's a dark restaurant- that would be my only complaint. Made it very hard to take pics to share. But there are great pics on the website. The thing that attracted me to Scotty's Lakehouse? This statement from their website (and this note from Scotty on the website): We source as many products as possible locally, from Indiana farms and businesses. Our food waste is composted and all paper, glassware, and plastic is recycled. We sat at a large booth. The table was covered with brown paper that also had the menu pritned on it. There were 2 TV's on the wall of our booth- both tuned in (no sound) to ESPN type stations. There were fresh flowers on the table. The kids were handed Crayolas. We ordered our drinks and I was so geekily excited to have our drinks (not the kid drinks, though) served in Ball glass jars! A very cool touch that is a great demonstration of the commitment to buying local. We ordered the kids' food and chips and salsa for us. So good! Baked blue corn chips. The salsa was chopped tomato, onion, and fresh jalapeno (not the dark green jarred kind- these were the fresh, bright beautiful green kind). So tasty and zingy! Our waitress was very informed about the menu and all the different burgers and sides offered. Jeff decided on the bison burger and I had a turkey burger with a peanut sauce and fresh cabbage. Jeff got house fries and I opted for the house salad. It was nearly impossible to pass up the mac n cheese options... Click on the link above and read the "burgers bff" page. Are you drooling now? But the house salad was delish- hard boiled egg, goat cheese, greens, tomatoes. And Scotty's Lakehouse is all fresh, mostly local, and all organic. They also make all of their salad dressings- I had the ranch and it was very good. Teagan went with a standard kid dish- chicken tenders and a fruit cup (oranges, apples, grapes). Zach had the monkey tail- it's a wheat tortilla with peanut butter, apples, bananas, and raisins all rolled up and a side of fresh fruit. I asked them to deconstruct the wrap so that Zach would have that fruit separate from the wrap. He was adorable as he told the waitress, many times, that he wanted "Nananas!!! I like Nanas!!!" If I ever had a chance to bend Scotty's ear... I'd love to suggest a naked chicken tender. I really hate those heavily breaded pieces of chicken. There is a kids' play area, too. The bottom half of the wall in that space is a giant chalk board! Then there are bins of toys and a little table to play on. There are also a couple of video games (including Ms. Pac Man). The service and food delivery was so fast that the kids never had a chance to play in the play area while waiting for food or anything- so we checked it out after we ate. The place was a definite hit- Teagan has already decided what she wants to try next time we go (the 1/2 burger- with beef raised in Indiana) and Zach cried when it was time to leave. Jeff enjoyed his meal and thinks it would be a great to go back for a family dinner or on a date night! I'd heard some complaints from folks who went to this little spot prior to the big grand opening last week... but most seemed to recognize it was a learning curve, growing pains kind of thing. I sincerely hope that anyone who tried it before will give Scotty's a second chance... and that anyone who hasn't been will make the effort to go. Very worth it, very delicious, and very much the kind of business I want to support! Photobucket

Random Tuesday

Isn't there a meme out there for Random Tuesday Thoughts or something? I'll see if I can find it here shortly... because this is going to be a random post!


~~~ I had planned on sharing pics and such from Teagan's first day at soccer this past weekend but we are having some issues with our internet/phone/cable provider (they are coming out on Weds) so loading pics goes verrrrrrrrry slowly. ~~~ I also have a post planned that is a follow up to last year's Interview with Teagan. This year, it will be an interview with Teagan, Zach and Jeff! Again... the picture issue. ~~~ I've been loving Zumba! Did the 2 hour event on Saturday (Zumba for Autism- raised over $2100- yahoo!). LOVE the instructor- Kimberly. She is incredible- high energy, gets everyone involved, connected to everyone in the room. She is very supportive and encouraging and so much fun! Here's the kicker- to keep taking her class, I'd have to join a second gym (this one would be by my house). It would cost around $30 per month. If I take a class elsewhere- community center or a church- it would cost $4-$5 per class. If I go weekly... $20 a month. For an additional $10, I could take other classes, use a treadmill when it rains or is too hot. But... am I willing to give up home time in the evening? It sucked not seeing my kids until I got home- and they were already in bed. And giving up more time on a Saturday morning just won't work- unless there is a 6 or 7 a.m. class. Or I could just buy a DVD and shelve the idea for a few months. That might be my safest option at this point. But I really, really, really like that instructor and the group atmosphere. ~~~ I'm getting hooked on 2 super easy ways to get in loads of fruits and veggies every day. Smoothies and soup. For smoothies, I use plain kefir, a little honey, frozen peaches, frozen mango, frozen strawberries. I easily get 2-3 servings of fruit first thing in the morning. With soup, I always go a little crazy with the ingredients. The chicken noodle soup that I made this weekend has chicken and Ronzoni Healthy Harvest egg noodles... and it also has carrots, celery, cauliflower and I toss in a little baby spinach when I heat it up. Again, 2-3 servings of veggies in my bowl of soup! And both things are amazingly filling! ~~~ I'm working on a special project that will happen at the end of May. I just turned in round one for review and am hoping for some really great feedback. If you are the praying type, prayers are appreciated. If you the good thoughts and positive vibes type, that's welcome, too! ~~~ Half day at work today- cram packed with meetings- and then I'm off to the Indiana Tourism Media Marketplace at the State Fairgrounds! I'm very excited! I'm planning to make up a little brochure about myself and my blog in case any of the locales might want to do some kind of partnership. What should I say about myself and my blog and the networking opportunities I can offer? ~~~ Enjoy your Tuesday- I need to grab a cup of coffee and prep for my first of 3 conference calls for the morning! Photobucket

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Days That End With Wine

From time to time, our little family hits a Saturday where the kids just... seem to have this pent up, built up, need to be frustrating and annoying. They aren't being Bad. They are being kids- plain old, regular old kids. But about once every 2 months, they both hit a Saturday on the same day where they are a little extra demanding, a little extra clingy, a little extra questioning. This past weekend was one of those Saturdays. From the moment they woke up, it was one demand or request after another. And if the response wasn't what was wanted, there was whining. Not a lot- just enough to push the envelope. We had soccer Saturday morning- Teagan's first day in any sport, ever. She did awesome for most of it- and fell apart by the end. Given the demands and whiny-ness of the morning, I wasn't really surprised. Both kids took good naps in the afternoon. I think both are having growth spurts- I can't keep up with the food demands and there are the slightly annoyingly grating behaviors and they are both sleeping more... usually means growing. I headed out for the afternoon- a 2 hour Zumba for Autism event at a friend's gym. It was awesome and I might be completely hooked. Got home... kids were better than before but still pushy and demanding. Jeff was at his wit's end... so I showered, got dinner all set, took the kids out to run an errand and sent Jeff off for some alone time. I have to admit... it was just... one of those days... It's one of my favorite strategies, I have to admit. I get to take a few hours to myself and then give Jeff the chance to do the same. Or, we split the kids up. Then we each get some one on one time with the kids and each kid is infinitely better behaved when they are one on one with a parent. So while Jeff was gone, I got the kids in the tub. While the kids soaked in the tub, I enjoyed (immensely) a glass of Zinfandel Port. The wine had been a gift from Christy in celebration of the Race for the Cure. I was very relaxed as I sat in the bathroom, on the lid of the toilet, drinking my wine, reading my Sookie Stackhouse book while the kids enjoyed a good half hour in a bubble bath. They didn't fight or get crazy with splashing or bubble wars. Bedtime was so easy- I was a mixture of exhuasted from 2 hours of pretty intense cardio (did I mention I loved it??) and relaxed from that lovely wine. We read books, we tucked in, backs were rubbed... and then it was quiet and the day was over. It's hard for me to know if those kinds of days are more about the kids or more about us as the adults. Were Jeff and I just extra sensitive to the complaints and demands? Were we all feeling pent up because of the impending rainy day? Were the kids really in a synced up pattern of difficulty? Who knows, really. All I know is... it was one of those days that just ends better if Mommy gets a little something to take the edge off. Photobucket

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Love of Veggies

Mom- make sure you read this one! I love vegetables. I love fruit. I love that I have gotten back to a lifestyle where those are the focal points of my diet. In my family, food is a way to show love. For example, my mom makes certain to have a favorite dish for specific people at each holiday. Ryan loves "those potatoes." Jeff loves angel food cake. Martha loves cheesecake. She makes sure to have everyone's favorite beverage on hand- from Corona to Dr. Pepper to Mt. Dew. It's her way of showing people that they matter, that they are thought of when she is planning the meal, and that they are a special part of our family. I think there is an overall idea that people who love with food do so in an unhealthy way. "You're hurting so here's a brownie." In my family, the message was different. I have some great food associations and memories from my childhood that are healthy food related. While I might not have appreciated all of these things as a child, these memories have definitely been engrained into my sensory memories when I eat these foods now. Grapefruit. When I was 4-5 years old, my mom and I lived with my grandparents for a bit. For a period of time, my grandma would sneak me a snack after I went to bed. Usually it was a piece of chocolate- like Whitman's. One night, she went above and beyond and brought in a dish with half a grapefruit on it- complete with cherry on top and sugar sprinkled over it- and 4 pieces of chocolate on the edge of the plate. She came into my room, set it down by my bed, and walked out with a smile. I sat up and wolfed down that chocolate! Then I grabbed the spoon and dug into the grapefruit. It tasted awful! I went to my Grandma's room to complain- and she gently pointed out that I ate the sweet chocolate first so that was ruining the taste. Spaghetti Squash. My mom used to buy a spaghetti sqaush to serve as a complete meal for the 2 of us. She would cook the squash and carefully scrape it out of the skin. Then she would serve it- with spaghetti sauce on top. As a kid- blech! I don't recall what I liked least- the spaghetti sauce on it or the squash itself. Isn't it funny that I would have such a negative memory of spaghetti squash but now it's one of my favorite veggies? I also love that it is so easy to cook (less than 10 minutes in the microwave, scoop out the seeds, scrap out the squash, add some butter, salt, pepper and I've got a meal). Artichokes. From time to time, my mom would buy artichokes and steam them on the stove. I remember how the smell permeated the apartment. I also remember the mayo and lemon juice dip she made for the leaves. I loved it when my mom made artichokes. I still love artichokes and eat them often. This summer, I plan to branch out in my cooking method. I'd love to grill them or pan cook them! Gardening. My grandfather is a master gardener. When we lived at their house, he had a garden that took up most of the backyard. There were a lot of rules about not going in the garden- but I also remember going out and helping my grandpa in that dirt. Even though it took a long time for me to consider having a garden of my own, part of what I love about having a veggie garden now is that it feels like a bit of a family legacy. Spinach. I used to love spinach as a kid. Isn't that weird? I have lots of memories of eating spinach and of the comments about how odd it was that I loved spinach so much. I don't remember exactly how the spinach was prepared in my family. I just remember it being one of my favorite vegetables. How about you? Do you have positive memories about fresh fruits and vegetables when you were growing up? Photobucket

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What I Used To Eat

I've been pretty open these days about what I eat. Part of that is because the food choices I make are directly impacting my fitness goals and my waist line. More than that, I am proud of my food choices. I like sharing that I eat fruit and veggies. I like sharing the healthy choices I make when I eat out. I've only recently been able to actually talk about how I was eating before now. It's funny- I wasn't ashamed of my food choices then. I didn't think about what I was eating so it didn't matter. But I look back now and I do feel... embarassed? Ashamed? I don't know exactly. But I feel the need to "come clean" about how I've been eating for the past 2 years or so. I would often grab breakfast on my way in to work. Burger King or Chick Fil A were the preferred stops. At Burger King- a sausage, egg, and cheese croissanwich and a mocha joe with no ice. At Chick Fil A- breakfast burrito with sausage, egg, cheese and salsa (no onions or peppers) and a large lemonade or sweet tea. Sometimes, I would even get a gallon of sweet tea so I could drink it all day long. If I wanted a mid-morning snack, I'd grab junk out of the vending machine or snag some candy from someone's desk. That's typically how an afternoon snack would go, too. Lunch was often eaten out- fast food or large portions at a chain restaurant. Rarely made healthy choices. Dinner was similar to lunch- Big Mac, fries, Dr Pepper. And sometimes... there was a second dinner or a large dessert after the kids went to bed. I'm not sure when we started this really bad habit... one of us would "still be hungry" after the kids went to bed. Instead of grabbing something light, one of us would run to a nearby fast food chain and bring home goodies. Mini chimis from Hardee's, a Blizzard or Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen, bag of stuff from Taco Bell. Or I'd sit on the couch with a gallon of ice cream, a spoon, and a bottle of Hershey's syrup. I think it's those end of the day meals that I'm most embarassed about. That was emotional eating at its finest, I think. In a day, I could easily consume... Wow, this is hard to face. 4,490 calories 1,726 calories from fat 231 grams of fat And that doesn't include soda, sweet tea, lemonade, etc. That was mocha joe and cheesy bacon bk wrapper for breakfast, donettes at work, chili's quesadilla explosion salad, cheetos in the afternoon, big mac and fries for dinner, peanut buster parfait at night. What was I doing to myself?? I wasn't buying produce- and if I did, it was for the kids, not for me. If I did, it was more for fun and not as part of our daily food intake. I ate veggies for dinner if I cooked dinner at home. I just can't believe I let myself be that way. It should come as no surprise that the weight is falling off now. I've gone from 4000 calories a day to less than 2000 calories a day. I've gone from being sedentary to hitting the gym a few days a week to being a truly active person. My grocery list has gone from as much packaged and frozen food as possible to spending all of my time in the produce section. Chips, dips, cookies, donettes, sugary cereals, processed and pattied and frozen chicken. Any produce purchased usually went bad because we simply didn't eat it. Now I explore the produce section- picking up grapefruit, oranges, apples, bananas, artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, salad mix, and more. I'm eager for the Farmer's Market to open up so I can start buying locally grown produce. I'm going to give a produce delivery service a try soon. I'm eager to expand my shopping list to include quinoa, berries, chickpeas, kale, plums, bok choy, and more. I'm starting to think about trekking to Whole Foods for a more varied and organic selection of produce.

I started my day on Thursday with a fruit smoothie. I had plain kefir and frozen fruit that needed to be used. Peaches, strawberries, mango, plain kefir, some locally grown honey, a little water. Delicious and at least 2 servings of fruit, maybe even 3. For dinner, rump roast was already cooked and I made some peas and potatoes for the family. I had a little meat and some potato... but I loaded up on spaghetti squash. I'm just in awe of the changes and so grateful that whatever needed to click, clicked. Because I would have certainly killed my body had I continued with my previous diet.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Feel Good Fragments!

Our lovely hostess with the mostest... Mrs4444 is bringing us another Friday of Fragments! And don't miss a chance to visit the Girl Next Door- she's all Grown Up! *** First, I'm going to point you to a post I wrote this week. The Girl suggested I link it up for Feel Good Friday so I'm going to link you to it! *** Something else leaves me feeling good... I've reached a weight loss milestone! 25 pounds gone in 8 weeks! My focus is still on running. I've been a little frustrated as I face my next hurdle. Just a few weeks ago, getting through the 5 minute running interval was a challenge that took some time to get through. Now, getting past the 10 minute mark is proving to be tough. I've done a 13 or 14 minute interval once or twice, I've run a mile once or twice. But it isn't consistent and I am still struggling. A friend gave me some great advice- " Try not to think about what you have yet to accomplish and more focus on doing what you can do, then one day you'll just run further." That's pretty much my life philosophy- I just hadn't thought to apply it to running! *** Fun day today- I'll get to that in a minute- but it was almost ruined! Got a call from our daycare provider yesterday around 4:00. Zach had woken up from nap around 3, pooped 3 times, and then started vomiting. Jeff rushed to pick him up and get him home. I took off from work to get home and take care of him. He puked every 20-30 minutes until around 7:30 in the evening. He fell asleep around 8:30. I slept by his side all night (we camped out in the living room). He's been fine all night and woke up thirsty and hungry this morning. So far, he's kept down yogurt, applesauce, water, and chocolate milk and he's back to being peppy and energetic. He never had a fever so I'm assuming he ate something that didn't agree with him. *** I'm going to make a commitment to visiting different Farmers Markets this summer. There is a nice one in my town of Fishers. There is also one in neighboring towns of Carmel and Noblesville. I also hear great things about the market in Broad Ripple. That's 4 opportunities to find locally grown produce and locally raised meat. I'm very excited because I think that my new focus on produce will really lend to a different kind of Market experience! *** On my Facebook page yesterday (link in right sidebar), I did another day of sharing my food pics. Anything I ate, I snapped a pic first and shared it on my fan page. I discovered something really helpful about food jounraling with pictures- almost all of my produce yesterday was yellow or pink. I was completely missing out on green or purple/blue. I had a smoothie- plain kefir, honey, frozen mango, peaches, strawberries (red/orange). I had ruby red grapefruit (red). I had carrots (orange). I had spaghetti squash (yellow). Never had a salad or anything- so no green. There is a lot of merit to eating a rainbow of colors each day. Try taking pics of your food for a day- you might find you're lacking colors, too! *** Today's fun day is for Teagan and Jeff. Today is field trip day! The school is going to a local dinner theatre to see a special production for children of "Aladdin." Teagan is very excited! There was supposed to be a school and families picnic afterwards but rain is dampening those plans. I took today off work because Zach's daycare is closed today. I'm extra thankful the tummy thing passed quickly or else my vacation day would be a real mess! *** My awesome friend Ashli (I've talked about her before) is also on a journey to be more fit and has lost weight in the process. This week, she brought me a bag of clothes she has shrunk out of. Mostly size 14 stuff. I wore a pair of her hand me down jeans in a size 14 this week! And they looked great! It blows my mind! *** My awesome friend Mim lifted my spirits this week- when I mentioned that I wanted that book on Amazon, she sent me an Amazon gift card! The book is ordered and I can't wait to read it! Thanks, Mim! *** Our weekend... Teagan starts soccer Saturday morning! I'm going to try Zumba for the first time at a fundraising for Autism event at my friend's gym. Church on Sunday (church takes half the day for me- I get there before 9 and don't leave until 12:30 and there is no down time in there). Oh! And next week is the Indiana Tourism Media Marketplace! I'm so excited! What are your weekend plans? *** Please continue to keep Hallie in your thoughts and prayers. Photobucket

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Isn't It Crazy How Life Changes?

If you are looking for something fun to do today- I'm going to be doing the food photo journal thing aain but only on the Facebook page. I also would love it if YOU joined in on the fun by sharing your own pics of your food- you can load pics right on the fan page! Do you plan and control your fate? Do you turn it over to a higher power? Do you know where you are going next in life? Are you drowning in chaos? How's that working for you? I always have a really hard time answering the standard "What will you be doing in 5 years?" When I look back 5 years- I certainly never predicted I'd be where I am now. I'm not a life planner. I'm not a career planner. I'm not one to stress about advancement, plans, life goals. I don't have a "bucket list." Just a few short years ago, I struggled with who I was and where I was. My heart was torn into pieces as I left my daughter in daycare. She was 12 weeks old when I went back to work. For at least 6 months, I spent 10-15 mintues of my morning commute crying, sobbing because most of my heart was being left in the care of another woman. My drive home was filled with stress and anguish because I wanted to be there and not stuck in traffic. I longed to be a stay at home mom and it was shredding me up inside. I wish I knew when the change happened. I don't know if it was something I heard in prayer, in conversation, in a sermon. I don't know what the influence was... but I started to discover the power of choice. I had so many options. I'd spent all this time feeling like I was stuck- that all I could do was leave my daughter each day while I went to work. Because I felt stuck, I wasn't a good employee. I wasn't focused on my work, I wasn't putting in the time. I was distracted and sad and desperate for something different. But I did have choices. There are always, always choices. It can be hard to see them. It's so much easier to only see the frustration, the sadness, the hard circumstances. I could continue as I was- feeling stuck, feeling sad, not being the best employee. I could look for a different job, closer to home, better hours (tried, failed). I could buckle down and set up a budget and work it so that all expenses started to come out of Jeff's check and my paycheck would go into savings- after 1 year, I could stay home. What I chose was to pray and to take it day by day. I've written before about believing in the power of staying in the "now." I can't change the past. I can't control the future. All I have is now. Living that way has gotten me to where I am. And now I am happier than I've been in a long time, healthier than I've been in a long time. I'm a valued employee and I value my job. My marriage is a partnership. I have goals. I have things I want to do and see and experience. Life certainly always contains planning and safety nets and reactions. But if I had this plan... and was hanging on to it for dear life... and wasn't willing to give up control and just go with it... to hear the whispers of fate, of God... if I wasn't willing to go outside my comfort zone... I've heard some friends lately expressing dissatisfaction with life- satisfied but not happy. Trying to convince themselves that they are content. But they are spending so much time looking ahead... longing for something different... that they miss what is right in front of them. Are you unhappy right now? Are you frustrated? Dissatisfied? Stop and think about your choices. Spell them out. Then choose. Focus on right now. Stop trying to plan everything. Stop trying to make life be what you think it needs to be- you are missing a lot of beauty along the way! Take of the blinders, relax, stroll through some of this world! Photobucket

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Things I'd Like To Have

A meal at Scotty's Lakehouse. Scotty's restaurants focus on organic and local food for as much of the menu as possible. And the food is GOOD! Books on Eating Clean. A magazine subscription to Clean Eating. To run further than a mile OR to hit the 20 minute length in a run. New pants. In this new smaller size. Cuz my size 16's are almost falling off of me! *** I sat on this post for over an hour, trying to think of fun things to list as things I want... I don't have much. I still want that specific clean eating book- but I also just won a book on a FitCity Indy Twitter chat! It's "Back to Basics" by April Adams. And my trainer, Bridget, loaned me "Eat This and Live!" by Dr. Don Colbert. So I'm covered on healthy books for a while. I have to say that life is mighty peaceful when I'm not focused on what I want next... on what thing I think will make me happy... I mean, if someone handed me $1000 and told me to go spend it, I would certainly be able to do so! But I'm not aching for things that I think I'm lacking. I also notice that when I am not distracted by wanting things, I have a lot more awareness of the amazing little blessings and accomplishments already in my life. For example... I just put on my wedding band and engagement ring for the first time in over a year. My fingers were too fat before now. The gym went out and bought larger towels. When Christy and I finally headed back to the gym back in January, a new towel policy was in place. One towel is free, there is a nominal charge for using a second towel. I grumbled because the towels are small and not fluffy so I "need" one for my body and one for my hair. I grumbled because the towels were too small and barely fit around my body when I dashed from shower to toilet stall. Now... the towels suddenly seem so much bigger! I bought size large workout clothes to celebrate my Race for the Cure. I took them to the gym Monday- without trying them on. I bought size L because I knew I could shrink into them in a few weeks. So I kicked myself when I got to the gym and realized that I had grabbed clothes that most likely would be too tight. With a very familiar dread, I stepped into the pants and started to pull up and... they FIT! The shirt FIT. I was shocked and so pleased! My husband is handy with household projects- but also likes to cook. He doesn't do full meals. But on Monday, he cooked a pork tenderloin and a rump roast. And they were tasty. And now I don't have to do major cooking this week- just a side and a veggie and/or fruit each evening. We got done with dinner early enough last night that we got to take a walk around the block! Gratitude is such an important part of living. In church on Sunday, one thing that stayed with me from the sermon was that the best way to form a bond with someone or to strengthen a bond with someone is to thank them. Having a hard time with someone at work? Thank them, sincerely for something. Want to feel closer to your spouse? Thank them, sincerely, for something. If you want to be content... if you want to be happy... if you want to experience joy... gratitude is the place to start. What are you grateful for today? Photobucket

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Inspiration Train!

An idea struck me yesterday evening... and I am taking action on it and am very excited about it! I've had several folks express their interest in doing the Couch to 5K but they just need a boost, a push, something to drive them. I've made a couple of individual offers to get together and do a first workout with someone... but trying to manage that with multiple someones is tough. So I've created my very own Fun Run/Walk! Walkers can walk, runners can run and anyone doing the C25K or who wants to start it can come participate. I'm no expert at this running thing... but I think there can be great encouragement in having someone start something with you. On May 1, I'm hoping a group of people show up who are ready to make a commitment to themselves. Who are ready to support each other, seek support, and make a great step forward on their road to healthy living. I think there is a lot of possibility for this group. I have plans to map out different routes in different areas and parks on different sides of town. I have hope that once a group is formed, someone will step up and keep up those meetings. I think that we will form a group at church in the next couple of months- maybe we can run before first service on Sundays (there is a shower at church). How about you? Can you set May 1 as a date to do something in your area? Can you find a group of people to gather together to run and walk? Can May 1 be a new start for someone you know? For you? Photobucket

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Crazy Bug Bit Me!

I did something a bit crazy yesterday. I think I've mentioned before that I basically have a black thumb when it comes to houseplants. I've never had one survive so we have no plants in our home. I've only in the past year or so started planting and growing things in my yard- a rose bush that was here when we bought the house has continued to thrive, a lilac bush that I planted gets bigger each year, my blackberry bush is returning for the 3rd year, I had a successful vegetable garden last year. My wonderful husband has a gift for imagining a project and then working it out and doing it all on his own. He built our deck. He tore out a dying bush and built a 2 tiered stone wall that is also a garden space. This year, he built a brick wall to create a defined front flower bed.

Today, I must have had a high fever or something because I decided that all of his hard work would be best showcased with some lovely flowers. I also planted flowers in the tiered wall he built last year.

The blue pot on the porch? Why, that's a strawberry pot! I planted 3 strawberries plants in the side bubbles and gerbera daisies in the top. Isn't it pretty?

I hope to start work on the raised veggie garden (the bed that Jeff built last year) in the next weekend or 2. My mom has started tomatoes that she'll bring up. I picked up a few brussels sprouts plants and some banana pepper plants. Yum! We'll see what else I pick up to plant in there- I'm open to suggestions! I'm thinking 2 or 3 tomato plants will be plenty. And then I'd love to have a variety of other veggies growing! Here's my lilac bush a few weeks ago... And a shot of the lilacs today! They smell divine! Hooray for springtime!! Photobucket

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Intolerance

Most of the time, I am pretty open to different attitudes and behaviors and ways of thinking. But today, I'm done. I've reached my limit and am calling off all efforts at understanding, peace keeping, and tolerance. I think that everyone has a limit. Some people have less tolerance and understanding. Some have a pretty high limit- I've always considered myself in that category. Today I woke up and I found a limit. The whining, the demanding, the questioning, the fighting, the arguing, the bossing. I'm done. I've instituted a No Tolerance policy in my home today. Whining, crying, fighting, and other such behaviors... you go to your bed. Period. No chances, no bargaining. I just can't take it today. Photobucket

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Race for the Cure Indianapolis 2010

You can find an album of pictures on the fan page (link is in the left side bar).
It was far too packed to run much. I ran when I could. According to the Smart Runner app on my Palm Pre Plus, I ran an average speed of 3.11 (which shows how often I had to walk) and my max speed was 7.27! I completed the run/walk in 53 minutes and 22 seconds. Next year, I am eager to run the entire course.
I am also very excited for the next 5K... end of June. I'm eager to jump into training and work on distance and then on speed. I've got about 2 months to prepare!
The most moving moment for me was during the Survivors Parade... I was enjoying just cheering for everyone, clapping and yelling... Then I stepped forward and started giving hi-fives to women who made eye contact with me. I even had someone ask me for a hi-five!!
I had an emotional moment when a woman in the 5 year survivor group walked by- carrying a child around Zach's age and walking with a child around Teagan's age. Those kids could have lost their mommy to cancer... I choke up now just thinking about her.
The most amazing thing about participating in Race for the Cure is that all of these people- 40,000+... All come together with HOPE. There were people there who fight the Cause just because. There are people there walking and running in memory of someone. There are people walking in celebration and support of someone's battle. From infants being worn by their mothers to teens to young women to middle aged women to old women. Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. Men and women, boys and girls. All coming together with hope for a cure.