Friday, June 29, 2012

206.6; Friday Fives

1.  Please, if you're the paying type or the vibing type, please do me a favor.  My Godfather/Uncle had surgery on Wednesday for mesothelioma.  He had a lung and chest wall removed.  Yesterday wasn't a good day.  His vocal chords are paralyzed and he was draining more fluid from the surgial site than he should be and they couldn't figure out why.  So he is in surgery again as I type this and they are trying to figure this out.  Add to all this that he is in Boston for this surgery, far away from all his family and friends here in Minnesota.  My cousin and his brother are out there now, with more poeple scheduled in and out in the next 6+ weeks until he can fly home. 

Can you take a moment and say a prayer or send him good healing thoughts?  Please?

2.  I've been to the gym twice this week.  I'm trying to get my groove back.

3.  Do you know that they don't sell Ace Banadages any longer?  I have to wrap my calf and when I went for an ace bandage I learned that all they sell is this stretchy sticky bandage thing.  Makes me feel pretty old!

4.  I'm headed back to the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning.  Just me this time.  I think I'll be using these Saturday trips as my quiet time.

5.  Pete and I rode all day Wednesday.  Sometimes there is nothing else to soothe a wounded soul thatn with the wind sliding over your face, the sun on your shoulders, the roar of the engine as you accellerate, the random music coming from your speakers and seeing the open road in front of you.  I hope everyone has something like this to soothe their soul.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

206.2: I'm Funky

I'm in a funk.

I haven't shared this here, but Pete has been unemployed since March.  He's had a bad string of weird employers in the last 2 years.  He last worked in 2010 and was laid off when his work called him during our summer vacation and told him this.  Nice, huh?  He was hired in the fall of 2010 and worked for this company until December 2010.  The owner called him into his office and said that they liked his work, but couldn't afford to pay him any longer.  He could continue to work for them, but they couldn't pay him.  Huh?  Really?  He's had some odd 6 week jobs through temp agencies since then.  But in December 2011 he was hired by a small company to work mainly from home doing what he loves.  It was as though the angels sang down!  He was pretty straight froward though, tellling the owner of his past troubles and asking if she was going to end up doing the same thing to him.  She laughed and told him no.  Fast forward to the Friday after my surgery in March.  Pete was called into the office she had rented to help her out with something.  When he got there, IRS agents were in the office.  She hadn't paid taxes in several years and they were seizing office machines.  Pete was laid off that day.

All this has led to financial strain as you can imagine.  Unemployment benefits is a godsend, but doesn't come close to what he was making at any of these jobs.  He spends 5-8 hours a day looking for jobs, applying for jobs and following up on applications.  It's pretty depressing.

Then you have my numbers up there in the titles of the blog posts.  As you can tell I'm stuck in the 205-207 range and can't seem to move.  It's kind of depressing.

Add to that I have a calf injury.  My left calf  muscle has been sore for a few weeks.  I tried many stretches and different ways to exercise and it wasn't getting better.  So I stopped sunning/cardio for 1.5 weeks.  Again, nothing changed.  Yesterday I did an hour on the elliptial because I just can't stand not working out any longer.  The trainers at the gym have been helpful, but it's so hard.  Yesterday one of them suggested heeping it wrapped while I'm awake so that the muscle is tight against the tendon/bone and warm all the time to promote healing.  Just what I want to do in the 95+ degree heat.

Anyway, if it seems that I'm posting less frequently or that they're not exciting, this is why. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

205.0: Farmers Market

I believe in farmers markets.  When I was a kid, my grandparents lived on a working farm.  They had livestock and crops along with a huge garden.  My grandmother was known for her sweet corn.  I have memories if running through the rows of the garden and bending down to pick strawberries and carrots and radishes.  When I was a bit older, I helped my Mom can vegetables from our garden.  We'd also spend a day or so picking stawberries from a local farm to make jam for the winter.

But there wasn't Farmers Markets.  What you had back then was random trucks sitting at the end of streets or corners, selling out of their trucks.  After my Grandmother sold the farm, there was one corn seller that was the best, parked about a mile from my parent's home.  We'd buy corn by the dozen and eat our hearts content.

When I've lived in homes that I owned, I've tried to garden.  I have some of the knack from watching and helping my parents.  But neither yard was condusive to gardening.  My house had 2 big dogs running around in the yard and I had to container garden in huge containers.  Even then the dogs were knocking fuit and veggies off before peak.  My townhouse now has a small patio with full sun.  It's nearly imposible to keep containers moist even with daily watering.

My solution for all this is farmers markets.  I looked into a CSA the last few years, but decided against it.  Mostly because up until this year we were so busy that we weren't home on weekends.  With packing and working, I was cooking fresh meals about twice a week.  The amount of produce that would have gone to waste wasn't a good thing.  Now, we have time and I cook better, fresher foods.  Only Pete eats about 1 cup a meal and isn't anywhere near a vegetaian - in fact he dislikes most vegetables.  My goal is to either find someone to share a CSA with (like my parents) or find one that gives a pretty small portion. 

This was my haul on Saturday.  I got all the veggies/fruit for less than $20.  Pete thought it was expensive.  But really it wasn't.  The basil would have been about $3, the lettuce would have been about $4, the tomatoes about $3, the strawberries about $5, the carrots would have been about $6, the peas about $6 and the corn about $6.  All totalled, about $33.  When you add in the rolls from the German bakery, it was $35.  So not a bad deal.

We've eaten from this bounty every meal since Saturday morning.  I've made crepes with starwberrys, stawberry shortcake, green veggie salads, grilled corn, roasted carrots, creamed peas over potatoes and some salads for lunch this week.  Tonight I'm going to use the basil, some tomatoes from the Thursday farmers market and make a quick fresh pasta sauce to go over pasta.

So what's your latest haul from the market?

Friday, June 22, 2012

206.4: Friday Fives

1.  I'm trying really hard not to be discouraged that I can't get out of the 205-207 range.

2.  First farmer's market of the season last night!  I got beets, sweet peas, white & red radishes, local brats with pineapple in them and German pretzel rolls for Pete.  Tomorrow we are headed to the big farmer's market in Minneapolis to walk around and find yummy stuff.

3.  I'm trying to talk Pete into the drive in tonight.  Which may not be in line with the farmer's market.  The drive in is 3 movies and goes until about 4 am.  I want to be at the farmer's market by about 7am...  Naptime?

4.  I just noticed this week that my hips are smaller than my shoulders.  Wow.  I think they've been that way for a while, but I haven't realized it.

5.  I finally need new smaller compression shorts!  YAY! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

207.0: Firsts

Sunday Pete took my niece Alison for her first ever motorcycle ride.  She's 10.  Ever since Pete got his motorcycle 4 years ago, she's been fascinated with it.  Kind of a love/hate relationship at first.  She wanted to like it, but was scared of it.  Each time he rode it and she was around, she'd ask to sit on it.  She wanted a ride, but was scared.

This spring her legs fit the floorboards so that she was legal t ride on it.  She spent the spring getting on it and talking to Pete about it a lot.  She talked to me some also.  Finally she decided she wanted a ride.  But that meant talking to her parents and telling them why she wanted a ride.  After pleading her case she was allowed to ride with the right gear; helmet, glasses, long pants and tennis shoes. 

It really was a long process for her.  But she was determined and kept moving forward with it, even through the long times.

She loved it.  Had a perma-grin the entire time and never stopped talking to Pete.  And Pete, in his loving way, answered her questions, encouraged her and smiled right along with her.

I love knowing that she is smiling, but I can't see it.  I love knowing that she is talking, but can't hear it.  I love knowing that Pete is careful and encouraging, and just as happy as she is that she finally made her decision and followed through. 

Right now I love this photo so very much. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

207.6; Dehydration is Bad

I did a really dumb thing yesterday.

Pete and I made it to the gym, but it was around 8:30 am, rather than 6:30 am.  We worked out then hung out in the sauna for about 30 minutes.  It felt really good to just sweat. 

Our plan was to head home, take showers and head out on the motorcycles.  We headed to my sister's house to give my niece her first ride (she was grinning ear o oear!).  Instead of heading for a long ride, we headed home because a storm was moving in.  By this time it was almost 12:30.  Neither of us had eaten a thing.  We went to the local restaurant and split a burger and tots.  Amazingly, even though both of us were really hungry, we were both filled up by sharing.  Then we headed home.  And it was naptime for me!  I love naps listening to the rain.

When I woke up a couple of hours later, my head hurt.  My mouth was dry. 

I realized that all I drank was the 25 ounces of water while working out and in the sauna.  I was pretty dehydrated.  And it sucked.  I drank 20 ounces of water in about 5 minutes.  Then I turned on the timer on my phone and started taking sips every 15 minutes.  My head hurt and my mouth was dry until I went to bed.  By that time I had consumed another 70 ounces of water. 

When I woke up this morning I was thirsty.  I usually wake up thirsty, but I have to be careful about how much a drink right away.  My stomach doesn't really like it and sometimes if they water isn't the right temp, I can feel it catching where the band is.  But I drank about 12 ounces of water before work.

I've been drinking steadily throughout the morning today.  I don't want to go through that again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

207.8: Friday Fives

1.  I'm participating in the Lazyman Triathlon at the YMCA.  It starts today and lasts 6 weeks.  In that time I need to swim 2.5 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles.  I'm hoping to complete it in 4 weeks. 

2.  It's my niece's 10th birthday next Tuesday so there's a big party tomorrow.  I can't believe she is 10 already.  I have a whole basket of Justin Bieber presents for her.

3.  My goal for this weekend is to run outside again.  I clocked a 5K in my neighborhood and I'm planning on getting it in Sunday if it's not raining.

4.  My heart is currently in Vegas with a wonderful group of women that I got to meet last April in Chicago.  The Zen Girls are meeting up again and I couldn't swing this trip.  But My heart and sometimes brain is there this weekend.

5.  My other goal is to participate in mat Pilate's or yoga in the next week.  I need to stretch out my calves because they're tight and cramping lately. 

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

207.6; White Beans With Pork and Sausage

This is my favorite recipe lately.  There is something about the thyme and the celery seed with the tomatoes and the meat.  YUM!  This will make about 4-6 servings for Pete and I.

Country Style Pork and White Beans With Sausage

8 ounces dried white beans
8 ounces boneless prok ribs, cut into 2 inch chunks
8 ounces hot chicken sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced onion
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp celery seed
2 bay leaves
Chicken broth 1-2 cups

24 hours before starting to cut, rinse and pick through the dried beans.  You want to get rid of any weird looking ones or stones.  Then place in a bowl with cool water to cover the beans.  If you notice that the water isn't sufficently covering them any longer, add additional cool water.

8 hours before eating, drain the beans and place in a crock pot.  Add the cut up meats and mix well. In the bowl that the beans were in, add the tomatoes, the spices, the onion & garlic and mix well.  Add the tomatoe mixture to the crockpot and stir to mix everything.  Add broth to cover all the ingredients.

Cook on low for 8 hours or until the pork is cooked through and tender.  I serve this with a green salad.  Pete and I have one meal and then I divide the leftovers into 3 containers and freeze it for my lunches.  You'll notice if you go to the original recipe that I modified it a bit.  I don't think cooking the pork or the onions/garlic adds much to it.  I also divided the recipe in half for Pete and I because we don't need that much.

If you divide it into 5 servings, it's 452 calories,9 grams fat, 56 grams carbs, 14 grams of fiber, and 38 grams of protein.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

205.8; I Still Think of Myself As That Fat Girl

Last weekend Pete and I spent it in this:
It was the first real campout for us.  It was a learning experience with Nico the super puppy, but it was fun.

Being outside all day wears me out.  By 10pm I'm ready to lay in bed for 15 minutes and then get to sleep.  Saturday night Pete and I both headed to bed at the same time.  We both got ready and lay in the camper with Nico softly snoring between us.  Then Pete asked me if I left different on my motorcycle this year. 

When I think hard about it, I do feel a bit different.  I feel more balance and strength and it's easier to ride.  I told him this and he said that I should feel different and that I look different.  I asked how I look different.  He said that my hips don't overshadow the side bags.  I know that he was telling me something good, something positive.  But my heart dropped out and I wanted to cry.  My brain immediately went to the place where I am the biggest girl in the area and I'm being pointed out.  I stopped and breathed a few cleansing breaths and kept thinking. 

I realized that no matter how thin I may get, I will always think of myself in some form as that fat girl.  Comments about being fat, big, hefty and all the other descriptors will always make me cringe inside.  They will always make me sad for that girl who spent so much of her life heavy before she did something about it. 

The rest of the weekend I spent with this view:
I cleared my head by riding with my eyes open at times and eyes closed at times.  When I close my eyes I tilt my head back as though I am looking at the sky.  I breathe slowly in and out and find my center and try to commit the feeling to memory.  When I am stressed I close my eyes and try to imagine myself back there again.  Centered.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

207.0; 7.5 out of 11

I got another fill today.  I'm at 7.5 out of 11 ccs in the band currently.

I keep waiting for this restriction from eating that everyone talks about.  Where I can't or won't be able to eat something because of the band.  It was around this time last year that Pete had his first issue with his band.  We were home for a short amount of time, decided to eat something and head back out to ride the motorcycles.  Only he ate a sandwich with some meat and a bun and it sat.  He doesn't know if he ate too fast, or if the bread was to soft or what the cause was.  But it had to come back up.  Ever since then, he's had a few episodes like that.  Mostly they occur because he's eaten too fast.

I keep waiting for my first time to occur.  Most of the people that I've talked to say that it's not a matter of if it will happen, but when.  I think that I likely eat too fast at times.  But I do chew my food rather well.  But I have to be honest and tell you that for some strange reason I won't feel like the band is working until I have an episode like that.  One that makes me sit up and take notice of what I've eaten and how and when. 

When I weighed at the doctor's office I had only lost 1.2 pound from last month.  How disappointing.  I've been lower than this by about 2 pounds, but up after my weekend of camping outside in the 90+ degree heat.  My face must have told my story and she told me not to be upset.  I'm running 16-20 miles a week and doing 2 hour long weight lifting classes.  She's impressed by that alone. 

So my goal in the next month is to really focus on the running and getting outside at least 2 times a week to run.  I need to start inching up my cardio to a level that makes me really work for it, instead of the comfortableness of knowing the runs inside.  I think this will kick start a loss again that I'm looking for. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

204.6; My ONEDERLAND Reward

Do you watch Biggest Loser?  If you do, you know what onederland is.  Onederland is that day when you step on the scale and you are no longer in the two hundreds.  The day that your weight dips below 200 pounds.  It's always a celebration for the women on Biggest Loser.

This is my SparkPeople app on my iPhone.  It's where I keep track of my weight daily.  As you can see, there is a definite downward trend, which is a good thing.  You may also see on that little chart that I'm getting closer and closer to 200.  And closer and closer to ONEDERLAND!  I haven't seen a 1 on the scale since college.

When I've reached ONEDERLAND and stayed there for at least a week I have a reward planned. 

Rose Compass
A tattoo.  My ONEDERLAND tattoo is going to be a red heart on the inside of my ring finger.  Pete had a wedding band tattoo'd on his ring finger last summer and I'd like something too.  But unlike Pete, I'm waiting my tattoos to be personal and only show them when I want to.  I also have clients who have boundary issues and I'm not going to parade tattoos in front of them to get questions about them.  I'm both excited and scared!

The rose compass up there?  It means a lot to me.  It's used or was used in sailing to tell the direction of the ship.  My journey through life certainly hasn't been a straightforward one.  In fact, It's taken turns and spins and falls everywhere.  I believe that my internal compass kept me on the path that I needed to go, not the path I necessarily wanted to go.  I also believe that my compass will not lead me wrongly and get me not only to where I am going, but back home safe and sound. 

So for my goal weight reward, I'm going to get the rose compass tattoo'd on the outside of my leg, just above my ankle.  I still have time to think about this one and I want to modify it slightly and add a small saying with it.  I wear a ring daily that has "Michelle + Pete 9/26/08" to remind me of our wedding.  I wear another ring that says "Don't Postpone Joy" in honor of a friend who is no longer living.  I want to find a saying about enjoying the journey I'm taking.

So do you have any rewards planned for anything you're trying to accomplish in life?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

206.2; I Ate Bacon

All things in moderation, right?  I never went in all of this to cut out everything bad from my life.  There are things that I don't know that I could live without.  Like cupcakes.  Lovely frosted moist cupcakes. 

For the last couple of weeks all I could think about is a BLT.  I tried to put it out of my head when I'd think about it and make myself that chicken and veggies.  When it became clear that I wasn't going to get it out of my head, I gave in. 

Yes, you read that correctly.  I gave in.  Only I did it differently than in the past.  In the past I would have cooked a pound of bacon for Pete and I to polish off in about 15 minutes of eating dinner.  I could have made myself 4 pieces of toast and slathered on gobs of full fat mayo.  We'd have eaten this with chips and had ice cream for dessert.

Last night I cooked 1/2 pound of bacon and cut up 2 big tomatoes and half a head of lettuce.  I used good sourdough bread that I knew I would enjoy, but 2 pieces only.  I used olive oil mayo with less fat and spread only only enough to coat the bread.  I used thick slices of red and yellow tomatoes (no salt).  I put several layers of lettuce on, instead of just one.  Then I used my 4 pieces of bacon.  Center cut bacon with less fat cooked on a grill top that I scrape frequently so the bacon isn't frying in it's own grease. 

I roasted corn in tin foil in the oven.  Before I put it in the foil, I mixed cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika with some black pepper (no salt).  I wet the ear of corn in water and rolled it in the spices.  Then I sealed it up and roasted it at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.  Spicy and flavorful without butter or salt. 

When I sat down to eat, I took my time and enjoyed my BLT and mt corn and was full after the sandwich and half the corn.

Everything in moderation!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

205.6; Pete Update

I haven't talked about Pete much and his journey with the band.  I've been focused on myself, probably as I should be.  But I do believe that Pete has figured out his new normal.

For the longest time he had a hard time switching from losing to maintaining.  I've been reading about maintaining a lot and apparently this is a hard thing for anyone losing weight, surgery or not.  You spend so much time getting into losing mode in the first place that when you finally get there you rejoice.  You spend a great deal of time in that losing mode and you get used to it.  It's familiar, comfortable.  You spend time figuring out how to avoid that horrible word of plateau.  However, at some point you have to transition to maintaining. 

Apparently this is hard.  Harder than figuring out losing.  In losing, you know that you need a calorie deficit to keep it going.  You understand what you can and cannot eat.  In maintaining you have to firstly figure out what your weight should be.  And I don't mean by BMI standards either.  I mean, where you are comfortable with your body.  You have to actually figure out a way to actually plateau.  And more than a challenge physically, it's a challenge mentally.  Your body plays jokes on your brain and you have to sort out all the jokes to get to the actual information you need.

Pete is there.  For the last 5 months or so he's stayed between 183-189.  He's figured out that he is comfortable with his body at this weight.  However, by BMI standards he is still overweight.  Does he look overweight?
May 2012
He's figured out that he can indulge in certain things for a certain amount of time before he has to reign it in and concentrate on what he is eating and when.  He's figured out that he still needs to go to the gym 4-5 times a week to do both cardio and weights.  He's figured out how to live in his new body. 

I have to be honest.  I don't even remember the old us:
September 2010
I couldn't be prouder of Pete for all his hard word and figuring it out!  I'm next up!

Monday, June 04, 2012

205.4; Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me I Was Fat?

I've been thinking about this for a long time.  Really long. 

In January 2011 I attended a PriorFatGirl event and heard Elle's Story.  And I'll never forget the feelings I had when hearing about it.  She talks about how her parents invited her over (for dinner I believe).  While there, they confronted her about her weight.  I was angry when I first heard it.  Angry with a capital A and it wasn't even my story!  How dare someone who cares about you sit you down and tell you you're overweight?  And while she explained that her parent's were only concerned about her health and she understands, I still thought it was horrible.  I mean really?  How could they?

Earlier this year I heard Elle talk again at another PriorFatGirl event.  She told the same story.  Only she had years between her and the confrontation and I had years between my start to get healthy.  The story still made me angry.  And let me tell you that she does a good job of telling her story form both her side and her parent's side.  How her parents were concerned about her weight and how it was affecting her health.  About the path she was taking with her body not being a good one.  About how much they cared and how hard that had to be for them.  Yet I was still angry for her.

Now that I have a good 80 pounds between me and my heaviest weight I'm in a different place.  I look at the few pictures I can find of myself during that time and I'm amazed.  How different my face looks.  How different my body looks both in clothes and out.  How I was smiling, but wonder if I was really happy? 

I can't help but wonder why no one told me I was fat?  Was my weight creeping up so slowly that no one noticed?  I sure didn't.  Not until one spring in college when I went to buy cute clothes and realized that by the time I got the size I needed, they weren't cute anymore.  I realized it when I started walking that spring to lose weight and some random stranger called me fat and told me to do something about it.  Hello!  Don't you see me walking?

Maybe they did try to tell me I was fat?  I do remember receiving a call from a local weight loss center after I moved back to my parent's house.  I hadn't signed up for anything, but someone had signed me up and given my phone number.  I remember the heat of my embarrassed face and the weeks long wonder who did it and was it my family?  Maybe in their own way they said little things to me about not eating so much or to go out and do something?  Honestly nothing sticks out in such a way that it would have made an impact. 

So while I can say now that I wish someone had said something, I have to be honest and tell you that I likely would have reacted in anger and hurt had they done so.  For anyone, friend or family, to call me out as fat, even though it was couched with concern about my health, I would have been upset.  But maybe, just maybe, I would have made the connection that I had to take control earlier.  Maybe I would have taken the plunge to join a gym or talk to my doctor or something.  Maybe I wouldn't be fighting this as a 42 year old, but rather at 20-something.

Have you ever sat down with someone and told them you were concerned for their health in any manner?  How did you say it and how did they take it?  Would you ever try it again?  I'm having a hard time figuring out what I'd say to someone in my life.  But I do know that I'd likely need to figure out a way to tell them of my concern, even if it meant they were mad for a while.

Friday, June 01, 2012

206; Friday Fives

1.  I am super excited to take a 2.5 hour motorcycle ride tomorrow to my college roommate's house.  Her daughter is graduating (I feel old.) and they're having a grad party.  We see each other only a couple of times a year, but she is one of my oldest friends and I love her.

2.  I need to get a grad gift (see #1) that does not suck.  Not really feeling the money thing, but as you can tell I am a major procrastinator.

3.  My weight is going back down.  I've been exercising more.  But my right knee joint is pretty sore after running.

4.  I'm trying to talk my super duper husband into a date night tonight.  I feel like music and relaxation and some people watching.

5.  I bought some new jeans last night.  From Cabala's.  Interestingly enough they have jeans that a jean weight that seem to fit my booty the best.  I washed them last night so I could wear them today.  Yay for new jeans!