Saturday, January 18, 2014

Waking from Hibernation

It's still winter and I know a lot of my northern friends are still dealing with cold and snow, but this Texan is waking from a very long hibernation.

Let's face it: I did not participate in one single race last year. I didn't do as much as usual either. It was more of a sabbatical year for me, I guess. But I'm waking up from hibernation and ready to hit it hard again. I have so many great plans this year!

First, back to low carb. When I started taking metformin I lost all interest in most low carb foods. They seemed repulsive to me. Eggs and bacon? Gag! That's not good for a girl trying to watch her weight and health. Plus I was tired much of the time. When I wasn't tired, I was nauseated. Fun times, people.

Second, starting this Sunday I start training for my first (only?) half marathon of 2014. Rachel is on board and Charlie is considering. No word from Chuck yet. He prefers 5k and would be happy to never see another half marathon in his life. My goal race is April 4th for Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon. I completed it in 2012 and I like the course plus the medal and post race party. The first 5k of the year will be the Rhythm and Blues in Houston on February 10th. Another pretty medal, bands and great party.

Third, I want to play guitar.

Fourth, update my math and French skills.

Fifth, more adventures! I phoned it in last year. Seriously. That just won't do. Life is way too short and there are so many things I want to see and do. If only my checkbook could keep up with those plans.

So let's do this!! Time to kick off the adventures of 2014!

PS: you may notice I didn't mention weight goals and such. That's because I'm not stressed at all about it. I want to feel good, look good, and have fun. I'm assuming my weight will reflect my lifestyle.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Howdy, stranger

It's been a while! How are you doing?

So much has happened since my last post. My youngest is now 13. Rachel has a job. It's crazy with all the changes going on. I guess I just needed some time to step back and look at everything going on around me. I knew time flew fast but I had no idea how fast. They say you only live once but I think I have to disagree with that. You live every day; you only die once.

I did not run one single race in 2013 and I think I'm ready to start training again. I may have gotten a little burned out in 2012 with all the races I did. Lesson learned.

I'm easing back in to blogging and organizing my thoughts. I'll be posting at least once a week. Yay! Then probably twice a week. Any more than that and you'll get sick of me really fast! ;)

Other not - so - fun things: I slipped and fell in a parking lot and really tore my knee up. I have a lovely scar now. Fortunately, there were people to witness my misadventure. Two weeks later Charlie challenged me to a race and I tripped over a root in the trail and landed face first. Face plant on the ground! Once again, my knees were torn up further but I continued the hike while blood ran down my legs. That's how bad ass I am. Call me Grace.

A new low carb cookbook is coming out with a couple of recipes I submitted. I'll tell you more about that later.

I sincerely hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Hoping 2014 is even better than 2013.

I'll be back soon with another post. And thank you for all the messages and emails checking to make sure I hadn't fallen of the face of the earth. I was just suffering from blogger's block.

See you next week!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Camping and Losing Weight

The camping trip went great but, wow, what a lot of work goes into loading, unloading, then loading and unloading again.  Still, to see the smiles on the kids' faces is all worth it. 

We rented a shelter which is just a concrete floor with walls and screen and electricity with a water faucet outside but this shelter was special: it had AC! Our friends rented the other shelter with AC and we had a great time.

Dash, my car, was loaded down with all the bags, food, a mini fridge, two canoes and 4 bikes. I don't think we could have fit another thing in to that car!

After arriving, we had to make a trip to Wal Mart to get some food and a couple of things I forgot to pack. Yeah, this was in the parking lot. 
 Then it was time to relax. What a great view we had from our little cabin.
 Charlie and I went for an evening paddle on the calm water of Lake Raven at Huntsville State Park.
 Chuck had to solo a tandem canoe but he managed.
Charlie and I made it back to a cove and an alligator splashed and went right by the canoe. It was so close we could see it! Talk about an adrenaline rush. Then there were splashes as large fish zoomed past us. I even touched something alive with my paddle. I'll admit I was a little spooked at that point.

On the way back we did get to paddle past a roosting area for great white egrets. That was really cool!

 Got back to shore and relaxed a little but we couldn't resist going back on the water one more time to see the beautiful sunset.
 It just kept getting better and better. Wow! So beautiful. Wish you could have been there.
 The days were spent relaxing...
 The kids played together, went swimming, hiked, rode bikes, paddled. It was a nice break from the daily grind of reality.
 We had a few thunderstorms here and there but nothing bad. In the evenings I liked sitting by the lake and feeling the breeze. One evening we even got a visitor. A great blue heron.
 One night we even went for a night paddle and it was so pretty with the reflection of the moon on the water.

Saturday night we had some friends come up for dinner and that was a lot of fun!
All in all, a great time.

Even though I wouldn't say I ate great, I didn't eat a lot. And somehow I managed to lose 1 pound while on the trip. Maybe it was the paddling. Surely it wasn't just sitting in a chair.

So it's Monday and back to reality. There's laundry to be done. I still need to lose 5.2 pounds in 19 days for my DietBet. I suuuuure hope I can do it! Going to do my best. :)

Hope you had a relaxing weekend too.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Low Carb Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is such an easy and tasty recipe. I didn't count how many carbs are in the dish but it's really low and it's so filling!

First, pound some chicken breasts so they're rather flat. Then saute over medium heat in a couple of tablespoons of butter with a couple of teaspoons of oil added to help with scorching. I also salt and peppered the chicken.
 I mixed about a tablespoon of dijon mustard with a tablespoon of mayo to make a little sauce.
 Brush the top of the chicken breasts with the sauce.
 Top with ham slices.
 Top with swiss cheese.
 At this point you can roll them up and secure with toothpicks but I just left mine flat. Put in 350* oven for 10 minutes and you're done!
 It's great for weeknight cooking when you just want to get in and out of the kitchen. Plus I was having a hot flash or something because I couldn't stop sweating and really didn't want to be over a hot stove.
-----------------------

Monday I got out for some exercise before the rain hit. I only got in a little over 4 miles but it still felt good to get out there and sweat.
Tuesday I had tickets to Bugs Bunny at the Symphony so we braved the traffic for 1.5 hours and finally got there.
They had pre-concert activities like a live band (as opposed to a dead band).
Several vendors and people giving away stuff.
They even gave away free ice cream. Don't judge. I had one. :)
We had great seats in the covered area (it's an outdoor theater) and loved every minute of the show. They showed cartoons on the big screens and played the music. Sometimes the conductor would give us a little background info or history first. The whole thing was fantastic!
It let out pretty late and we had a long drive home in the drizzly rain. Houston was lit up so pretty. Sorry for the blurry picture.

Things are going good with the DietBet. I did check my weight yesterday even though I said I was not going to do that. I was happy to see that it is going down. YAY!!!!!

Friday I'm leaving for a camping trip so I don't know if I'll be sending out a post before I go. I'll try!

Y'all have a great day!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Daily Struggles and an Impromptu Adventure

Roller coasters can make you scream obscenities in terror be a lot of fun but a roller coaster on the scale is not so fun. Summer is my weak time. I get in this Margaritaville mentality and just want to be lazy and do whatever I want with a side of fries. Fortunately, I've been staying at a pretty constant weight of fat and haven't gotten much fatter than I did over winter but I haven't made much improvements either.

But with the DietBet thing going on, there's money as an incentive. Plus I don't like to fail challenges. It's actually perfect and I am SO thankful to Helen for inviting me.

My struggles show up mostly in the evening. I do perfect at breakfast. Lunch is usually ok. By dinner time I want to have something totally unhealthy. I'm trying to learn how to cope with that. Maybe it takes time? Maybe I need to eat a larger lunch so I don't even care about food when dinner comes around? Or maybe I just need to have a menu planned so everything is planned in advance and I won't stray.

So this week will be by the menu only. We'll see if that helps with the evening struggles.

I'm also doing my best not to weigh every day. Instead I'd like to weigh only once a week so I don't go crazy (crazier). I tell you, it's hard to walk past that scale without hopping on for a peek. But I'm refraining.

Paddling

I've come to realize I am a bit more flabby than I used to be. I had some pretty nice looking legs when I was running but now they're very....opposite. I'm happy to have legs that work but I miss being able to see a little muscle. Same thing with the arms.

While I know I need to exercise, I want it to be fun. Kind of like have my cake and eat it too. What? It's not wrong to want it all!

Some of my favorite "play exercises" include hiking, walking, biking and paddling. I'm hoping running will be in the list one day but for now it's not.

After spending all day indoors Saturday (thanks for the tantrum, uterus!) I decided I had to get out Sunday and do something. So we loaded up the canoe and headed out even though we were supposed to be getting a pretty bad rain storm (we didn't get any rain).
 We arrived at Cedar Hill Park in Wallisville, TX and launched on Lake Charlotte. The giant salvinia, a type of floating fern, was floating everywhere. That stuff is really bad for the fish because it takes oxygen out of the water and it's invasive.
 We paddled past huge cypress trees with their knees sticking up from the water.
 It was overcast and the water was calm. a perfect day for paddling.
 Two fish almost jumped in the boat which was kind of funny. We finally reached the northern most corner of Mac Lake after traveling through Mac Bayou and had to push our way through a lily pad infested area.
 We got to see 3 alligators, several fish jumping, lots of birds and calm waters. It was a great paddle.
On the way back I filmed us going through a heron/egret nesting area.
We paddled 2 hours 20 minutes then the thunder and lightning started so it was time to head home.

My shoulders and arms are a little sore from the paddling. What a great way to get some exercise!!


Friday, July 12, 2013

I Bet I Can Lose Weight!

Got up this morning and actually did what I was supposed to do.....exercise! Doctor demanded 15 minutes of activity every single day but I gave 21 days because I'm awesome like that.

Ok, it was just a quick ride. 3.23 miles. But it felt soooo good!

This week I received an invitation to participate in a game at DietBet (http://www.dietbet.com/). Have you heard about this? You put money in a pot (usually $25) and you have 4 weeks to lose 4% body weight. Anyone that accomplishes his/her goal is a winner and splits the pot. If you don't succeed, you lose your money. 

You have to send in a full body shot and a pic of of your feet on the scale along with a piece of paper with a special word that they give you. You submit your photos then start losing weight with the group. That's it. What great motivation! 

So I'm betting that I can lose 8.1 pounds in 4 weeks. You think I can do it?
I know I can because...


Yeah, I'm feeling pretty awesome. And I've lost 4.1 pounds since Tuesday! It may be mostly water weight but it sure is motivating.

Have yourself a great weekend. I hope to have even more good news and a couple of new recipes to report Monday.

***I used a blogger app to write this so I have no idea how this will turn out.***

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Low Carb and Random Stuff

Well, well, well. Here we are after the holidays and it's time to get serious. Seriously serious. 

Wednesday, July 10, will mark day one of back on the wagon for the whole household. Because if I am going to do this, we're all going to suffer get healthier together.

I bought Rachel and I an Atkins Workbook to track our progress and daily eats. I love this book! It's perfect. It asks you questions about why you're making changes and has daily check lists. There's a place to put a "before" picture and record measurements. It's just a great little book and I highly recommend it if you are struggling to get back on track. You can find it at Amazon.com

Another great resource is the Easy Living Low-Carb Cookbook from Carbsmart. It has tons of great recipes and they're all easy to make. Even better, it's on sale right now!!! There are some new copies that had a few scratches on the covers but it's really nothing as you can see by my copy. You can get it for $7.95 and that includes shipping! Woohoo! Bargain.
Armed with a workbook/journal and a new cookbook, I'm ready to tackle everything.

It's not about the weight. Wow, I can't believe I just said that. But I'm a little tired of worrying about the weight. I think if you eat right and do fun exercises then weight loss will be a side effect. As Jason Seib says in The Paleo Coach, "I am simply making the point that the path to better health leads to a hot body by accident, while the direct route of the purely aesthetic goal often leads to frustration."

In other words, do what's right and you'll be hot as a side effect. I can live with that! Instead of worrying sooo much about the number, concern yourself with the process. Eat better. Move your body.

My favorite way to exercise is to find things that are fun! Hike, paddle, bike, long walk listening to music and things like that. Fun stuff! Even running around playing with my kids. 

With that being said, I will track my weight along with measurements. Measurements are the most important to me because I don't bring a scale into the dressing room when I try on clothes. I'm just worried how I look in the clothes and how I feel!

Random Stuff

Did a lot of fun stuff over the 4th of July holidays.

On the fourth, we headed to Miller Outdoor Theater.
Cluck Gable was in attendance and very excited to hear the Houston Symphony and see the fireworks. All for free!
 We got there 2.5 hours early so we would get a decent seat and have a picnic. Even getting there that early, it was still crowded. Cluck was pretty upset to discover he was enjoying Popeye's Fried Chicken.
 He also enjoys photo bombing.
 I tried adding little touches like flameless candles to the ice chest. Now that's classy! ;)
 Isn't this sweet? Brother and sister living in harmony. Actually, I told them to get together and act like they love each other. True story. (they really do love each other)
 Let's try a group self portrait.
 And then sit around for a long, long time watching people fly kites and stuff.
 This is what it looked like when we got there.....
 ...and this is what it looked like once the symphony started playing at 8:30. Keep in mind we're on top of a hill and all of that is also covered in people.
 The symphony was great. And free. Did I mention free?
 You're allowed to bring alcohol to your picnics but no glass containers. This poor lady had been drinking since before we arrived and finally passed out. She wasn't doing too well the rest of the evening.
 And then came the 1812 Overture with cannons!! It was so cool!
And the fireworks display was fantastic! This is just a very tiny portion of them.
It wasn't difficult getting back to our car but leaving the parking garage was a beast. Took 45 minutes but as soon as we were out it was smooth sailing the rest of the way home.

Rachel made a graduation cake for a get together Saturday.
Such great hosts and what a fabulous pool and house they have!! We played pool volleyball, ate, and had a great time.
Sunday we tried fishing at the front "lakes" but the fish weren't biting anything even though we could see the fish!
We had better luck catching things with a cast net. Of course they were tossed back to live a long and prosperous fishy life.
Chuck fitted Dash with a canoe rack.
So Monday we were ready to head out for some fishing!

As soon as we arrived at the canoe launch I found a little hermit crab! So cute.
We toss all the gear in the boat and off we go to the salt marshes to catch tons of redfish!
Except all I caught were two small catfish. :( Not one redfish wanted to bite even though we could see them everywhere.
And I had a high quality pole and reel. It was made for kids and called Fishing Pal. So me and the Fishing Buddy caught two catfish. Was still lots of fun.

A storm rolled in so we had to call it quits early but not before heading to a fishing pier with a restaurant called Jimmy's on the Pier.
From there we could watch the storm come in as we sipped on a hurricane and noshed on some food.
Nice relaxed atmosphere and great food.
After cleaning up and taking a short nap we took the kiddos to an hibachi steakhouse and got dinner and a show.
It was a great weekend. Now back to reality.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!!